Adventure and Excitement in Johor Bahru, Malaysia
I crossed the causeway from Singapore a few minutes earlier, and was at the border with Malaysia. Modern, high-rise buildings, swarms of people all over the place, and a vibrant city was straight ahead. It looked inviting.
Border checks went smoothly and soon I was on tour. Nice shopping stores were everywhere. In the first store I entered, a lot of electronics were on sale at good prices. My plan, however, was to take a few snapshots and mail postcards to friends back home, but no major purchases.
Outside, I rounded a corner and came to an abrupt halt. On the ground before me was a totally black corpse. Looked like he had been burned to death. I was appalled and had to cover my nose from the stench. Flies were circling. Next to the body was a man, squatting on the ground, begging for money. Might be a brother looking for burial money. I spent little time here. My only regret was I did not take a photo. Not an often seen scene.
I spent another hour enjoying temples. One Hindu temple caught my eye. I have a picture of me near it.
After a few more hours of sightseeing, I decided to return to Singapore. I got a cab and told the driver to take me there. He sped away from the border and I quickly got alarmed. Stopping at an open area with a few buses and taxicabs around, he talked to a couple of guys. Next, he turned around and told me they would take me back. The price was $60. Too high! I assumed these guys were smugglers. They looked unsavory, so I left them quickly. I rode the first cab I saw and got back to the border.
This time, I took a bus. Looking back at Johor Bahru, I had mixed feelings about the modern skyline, people milling about, and shopping places. I had just spent a few hours there and had all the excitement I needed for awhile.
Published on 9/27/01