Sunday, 2 June 2013

Walking to Malaysia

It was a simple enough task. 

Upon exiting the Woodlands checkpoint in Singapore, get on the bus (which we had used to arrive just hours earlier) and take the 15 minute drive to the Malaysian checkpoint in Johor Bahru. 

It was 11pm.

So we exited.  

There was a waiting bay for mini-buses. 

And there were signs for Coaches & JB pointing straight ahead. 

So we followed the signs.

Down some stairs. 

Into a creepy, dark alley. 

Me: O.O

Friend: See, this is how Singapore treats Malaysia…

I was genuinely waiting for a man with a knife to jump out.

But he didn't. 

We came out of the creepy tunnel, alive.

No bus stop. 

Just Causeway. 

Us: :S

We looked back - perhaps because it was so much brighter on that side, looking down there it was pitch black.  

The creepy tunnel was no longer creepy tunnel but DEATH tunnel. 

Any sensible girl - no, any person - would steer WELL clear of that. 

Friend: Maybe the bus stop is a bit further on?

We stood…unsure. 

And a bit lazy. 

Looked back into the tunnel. 

And there emerged a boy, about 18, his white polo shirt glowing out of the darkness. 

He walked past us, really fast, and onto the Causeway. 


Friend: Lets go and see..?

Me: Ok.

There's a pavement. 

We follow it, and the boy, around the corner and see the few km of road stretching ahead, cars, bikes and buses rushing past in both directions. 

No sign of a bus stop. 

But we're still walking...

Me: So…are we walking to JB?

Friend: :|

Me: :|


That is exactly what is happening.

We just kept walking. 

Cos there was a pavement AND a boy, so it must be fine. 

And what fun?! 

Who knew you could do this?

We found the "0" marker - exactly on the border!!

Wah. So cool. 

[Singapore behind me, Malaysia ahead...]

So it was all quite jolly until the last 1km. 

When suddenly the pavement stopped. 

There was a big wire fence and there was road. 

Me: :O

Friend: :O

Me: But the boy? How did..? Where..?

Suddenly realising we lost him after taking all our photos, perhaps we should have followed him more closely.

: /

Now imagine - if we were unwilling to turn back at the edge of the tunnel, how about now - walking so many km AND the tunnel??

We looked up and down the Causeway for a while, helpless. 

Friend: The edge of the bike lane. Let's go. 

Me: :|

This part was not so much fun. 

But we managed not to get hit by anyone.

And at last, we reached the glorious, glorious immigration building.


Me: How normal do you think this is, on a scale of 1 to 10?

Friend: Um, minus 5??

Me: Oh...

We walked past a room with a polis man sitting inside, who watched us walk by. 

Kept going, looking for someone to tell us what to do next, I suppose. 

From above we heard shouting. 

It was two polis men on a balcony, gesturing behind us. 

We turned. 

The sitting polis man had stepped out of his room and was standing with his hands on his hips, his face a curious mix of rage and wonder.

Delayed reaction.

Polis: Where you're going??

Me: Um…Malaysia?

Polis: Hah?!

Obviously, right...

Me: : /


At this point he turned his rage from the obviously clueless mat salleh to my Malaysian friend, shooting a tirade of questions at her in Malay, including things like, what are you doing? How did you get here? You cannot simply walk into Malaysia! How about your passport? Where are you going to get a chop? Enter Malaysia without chop then you are entering illegally, what are you doing????

The best part was when, although she was answering FANTASTICALLY about our useless innocence and naivety, he still looked mad.

Me: Tell him about the boy!

Friend: Ah! Ada orang lain, dia pun jalan! Kita ikut dia. 

Polis: Di mana sekarang dia?

Friend: Er…saya tak tau. Dia hilang. 

Polis: Hilang?!?


Quickly change the subject.

Eventually he realised we were just silly and told us we couldn't use the bike entry lane but we had to go back and use the car entry lane. 

Which doesn't really make any sense. 

So we had to walk a few hundred meters the WRONG way down the bike lane, which was by far the most dangerous part of the journey.


Then another polis officer saw us, asked us very similar questions, looked equally confused, but then moved barriers and stopped cars to allow us safely into the building.

He pointed us up some stairs where we joined all the bus passengers who'd just (happily) got off their buses. 

Not really a big deal then, what?

That's all we were looking for - it's not as if we were TRYING to walk into Malaysia without a stamp. 

Because if we wanted to do that, we could have easily jumped into the sea or climbed over the wire fence…


So we got our passports stamped and there we were. 

Safely and legally back in Malaysia. 


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