Around Sebana

Hi Everyone,

“Nice to hear all in jolly and good mood for the new year 2009. In fact in Islam calendar next Monday 29th December will be our new year”  That was from our friend Emilda in Kuala Lumpur in West Malaysia.  Here in Sengai Rengit banks are closed on Thursday which is the “Western” New Year.  While we were in China we celebrated Chinese New Year.  In the Philippines at Puerto Galera we celebrated “Western New Year.”  This year we’ll probably be asleep by 10 pm which is how we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Roanoke, VA.  Whenever you celebrate New Year, we hope next year is better for the world than 2008 has been.  Maybe we’ll just wait and celebrate on Inauguration Day.

There are some new signs on Marina Drive.

clip_image002  I truly am one of the folks who needs a sign like this.  I am always tempted to feed them.  But they do all right on their own……

clip_image003  This fellow and some friends weren’t so very far from the sign.  I don’t know what it is they were eating.

clip_image005  The small Macaques are kind of cute.  The larger ones are too wary of humans so look sort of threatening, like a country dog you don’t know.  These photos are with a zoom.  If I had tried to get close, they would have run away.  I guess….  I was biking yesterday and rode down into a one-road neighborhood off the main coast road.  There were monkeys overhead running on the telephone wires and in the trees.  Then one came running down the middle of the narrow road towards me.  I kept waiting for him to run away but he just kept coming.  I did my dog running at me yell, “GO HOME!!!”  The monkey ignored me and kept running past me probably to hook up with the other monkeys in the trees.  The running monkey had a blue rope around his neck and a small piece trailing behind him.  Someone told me later that the monkeys are trained to get the coconuts down from the trees.  I guess that one had quit his job and taken to the road.

clip_image007  Just where this sign is Randal and I had seen a family of wild boar.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera.  But one whiff of a human and they run away.  Same with the monitor lizards.  I haven’t gotten a photo of them either.  The funny thing is that there is no image on the other side of the sign so if you’re coming the other way I guess you just run right into the wild boars.

So to get from one end of the Marina Drive to the other, one must watch out for boar, elephants and, refrain from feeding the monkeys.  Won’t find those rules in Roanoke County, VA.

Ru

Good Cheer

Sebana Cove, Malaysia

Randal is off in the galley finishing his barbecue pork roast and gravy, his SECOND apple pie, and is about to begin making biscuits.  My only job has been to clean up lots of dirty cooking pots, pans, and utensils.  We will join about 25 other cruisers for a pot luck lunch on the dock.  The French folks are making French dishes and the Italians are making pizza!  There will be turkey and cranberry sauce and who knows what.  I did a quick bike ride this morning while Randal made the second pie.  Now I can eat!  We are also going to do one of those crazy gift swaps.  The rule was to take something from your boat that you really don’t use and wrap it because someone else might use it.  Randal, however, couldn’t resist buying some real kids toys in town to add to the mix.  His employees used to fight over them at the company gift swap.  Happily Brian Vaughan was visiting the boat yesterday afternoon so volunteered to wrap the no shape gifts.  I had too many years of wrapping about 50 gifts for Randal’s employees’ gift swap.  Randal had supplied all of the gifts, the employees supplied the fun of the exchange.

So for everyone who celebrates holidays at this time of year or just enjoys joining in their friends’ celebrations, we wish you, and our new President! the best of holidays and a happy and healthy New Year. 

clip_image002  Randal making the first pie yesterday.  Smiling and enjoying a Scotch on the rocks. 

The pork curry-barbecue was in the slow cooker.  Today with the rush to make a second pie, finish slicing up the meat and make the sauce and then biscuits on top of the.  Well, lets just say there is not so much smiling and definitely no Scotch!

clip_image004  We just had a visit from Santa!  Tropical Santas don’t need as much bulk to keep them warm the way they do at the North Pole. 

And to all a good night.

Ruth and Randal

back at Sebana Cove

Singapore  Impressions

Little India

Broadway Hotel

sing-song speech from smiling street merchants

spicy, pungent smells of Indian food and temple incense

clothing in peacock colors gaudy with tiny shinny mirrors and small silver rounds

rapid-fire Singapore English spoken by helpful locals when we were lost

foreheads marked with bindi (women) or tilak(men)

Bollywood meets Chinatown meets British manners

Kinokuniya-the largest book shop in Southeast Asia

streets and buildings named Victoria

EZ Pass for easy travel on the MRT of buses

I’m not upset that we are back in Sebana Cove rather than in Singapore because I know the plan is to spend one or two months there beginning late January. Singapore might just be my favorite stop so far.  And that conclusion comes without even beginning to explore the huge National Library or anything more than bits of Little India, Kinokuniya Book Store and the Bras Basah Complex that houses Art Friend and is nicknamed City of Books for a reason, lots and lots of used and new book shops.  Just a great place.   We walked and walked and walked and the weather gods were smiling.  If we do move DoraMac to Singapore I would like to visit each of the really unique areas of Singapore taking a week for each.  And I think visitor cards at the library are available for about 11 Singapore dollars so I will probably do that too. 

Now don’t get me wrong; I like Sebana Cove Marina.  Lots of nice, friendly cruisers, great places to bike and walk and time to read, paint and just be lazy. There are monkeys and monitor lizards and bright colored birds we won’t see in Singapore except in the Zoo or Bird Sanctuary.   Almost all of our day to day needs are easily met with the trips to Sengai Rengit or the occasional longer trip to Kotah Tinggi.  Marina fees are very reasonable.  The marina is very well protected from weather.  When we go home in the Spring we will more than likely return here as a good place to leave Doramac.  But there are no book stores, libraries, museums, or real art supply shops.  Some boat supplies are available here or in Kotah Tinggy, but much more is available in Singapore.   If you add the cost of several trips to Singapore, it just seems cheaper to move the boat there.  So that’s the plan.

We had the name of several marinas in Singapore so a big part of our visit was to visit and chose one.   You can’t tell from a website how rolling the slips, noisy or crowded, so we had to go see for ourselves.  Good thing.  One marina was too rolly, one too dreary and unappealing, one way way too expensive.  One was booked up through mid-January.  But that’s the one we hope to move to when they have an opening.   “One Degree 15″   http://www.one15marina.com/new/index2.htm  is on Sentosa Island which is a separate part of Singapore.  We took the Sentosa Express light rail and 2 different busses because we didn’t know there was a shuttle bus from the mainland over to Sentosa that actually stops at the marina on its circuit around the island.  I sort of had the sensation of being at “Disney Singapore” because of the buses that take you around the area; the friendly helpful staff everywhere, the several resorts on the small island, and just because it seemed slightly unreal.  We did check out the marina and speak with Carol in the marina office.  The visitor slips looked a bit rolly but not too rolly. There are shuttle buses that take you to a large shopping center with an MRT connection.  There is wifi.  I’m only sorry it isn’t plop in the middle of Little India where we stayed during our visit. 

I didn’t take lots of photos because I knew this was just a quick visit and stopping to take photos takes time.  But I did take a few.

We stayed in the part of Singapore called Little India.  I’ve never been to India so I can’t tell you how similar Little India is to the real thing; but to me it felt like India.  Indian  temples, shops, restaurants, sounds, smells… It was great.  And very safe.  After dinner one night I went walking by myself mostly on the main street but also around corners and down side streets.  It was only just starting to get dark and there were lots of people about.  No begging either which gets really depressing when you have to deal with it all of the time as we had to in the Philippines.  Actually Malaysia and Indonesia had almost no begging either. 

clip_image002  Broadway Hotel where we stayed on Serangoon Road. It was your basic room but comfortable and it had it’s own bathroom.  The budget type hotels often have shared bathrooms in the hall.  So we splurged a bit to have our own.  Our friend Marie Louise had told us about Broadway where she stays when she goes to Singapore.

It was $70.62 U.S.  I don’t know what that amount of money would buy in parts of New York or Boston.  But most cruisers seemed to think that was on the high end of things.   The couple who ran it were Chinese but there were 2 Indian restaurants just next door and out front.  We ate twice at the one on the left side of the photo.  Quite good food.  From the hotel it was a 5 minute walk to the MRT (Mass Rail Transit) or a 15 minute walk to the Sim Lin Tower or Sim Lin Square where you can buy anything electronic there is to buy. 

clip_image004 I thought this was pretty funny. I know folks take small things.  I would guess they would notice if you walked out with the TV.

clip_image006  We ate a mutton dish, green peppers stuffed with veggies and something creamy that was wonderful, mixed spicy veggies and great garlic bread.  Randal ate the left-over bread for breakfast.  We sat outside and watched the street life go by.  We went back the next night just for the peppers but they were different and not as great. 

clip_image008  We came to Singapore for books and bought several.  I had read a review of the Widows of Eastwick but had never read Witches of Eastwick so got both. (The next day at the Bras Basah Complex I bought more books, one for 1 Singapore $ and one for 2 Singapore $$ and some art supplies at Art Friend.)  We walked all the way from Little India to Takashimaya Shopping Center to go to the Kinokuniya Book Store.  It probably took a half hour with a young local man leading us part of the way.  What a book store!   43,000 square feet and over 500,000 titles on the shelves!!!   I think I read that it is the largest book shop in Southeast Asia.  You could have spent a week there just beginning to browse.  We spent about a half hour.  Luckily they have lots of helpful staff and we had specific titles we wanted.  Then Randal went to the coffee shop to rest his feet and I went to pay for the books.  There was a really huge line waiting to pay, but somehow I came at the register from a different direction so didn’t see the line.  No one said anything; not the cashiers or the folks in line.  After I paid I saw the line and was really embarrassed.  I apologized to the clerks and to the line and no one seemed to get upset, except me.   We walked outside to get a taxi but the line was longer than in the book shop.  We started walking back towards Little India looking for a taxi but had no luck so stopped at a Starbucks for a rest and for Randal to check his email.  He had lugged his computer to Singapore and everywhere we went.    Notice the Santa Fe Tex-Mex food in the background.  Before we left we went into the department store across from Starbucks to use the rest room. On our way out Randal found the exact perfect shorts with 6 pockets with Velcro tabs so he bought 2 pairs.  When we left we found another taxi stand with a short line so caught a taxi back to our hotel.  We ate our first green pepper dinner but it was so filling I had a hard time sleeping even with all of our exercise. 

One of the things I loved most about Singapore is the diversity.  People from everywhere so cultures from everywhere.

clip_image010  This is the David Elias building built in 1928. It is located near Little India.  Of course I noticed the Jewish Star because there are so few in Asia where we have been. 

There are 2 synagogues in Singapore. The Magahin Aboth Synagogue was established in 1878 and is now the oldest in East Asia. The oldest Jewish cemetery is next to one of the oldest Hindu Temples. 

clip_image012  This Muslim building was also near Little India.  Of course there were Hindu temples too like the one that I photographed in Johor Bahru. 

I do hope to explore lots more of Singapore when we live there.

Singapore

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick email.  Randal and I took the 40 minute ferry from Sebana Cove to Singapore on Monday.  I love Singapore.  It’s like a more diverse Hong Kong and less crowded.  It also has the largest book store in Southeast Asia.  I’ll write about our visit when I get home.  We have come here to check out marinas.  Another interesting story. We’ll move mid January as things look now. 

There is great public transportation here and when you look lost, someone asks if they can help.  We will stay one extra day than we had planned and return to Sebana Cove on Thursday.

At this moment Randal is getting a shave.  I am at the internet cafe attached to the barber.  How cool is that, as Rachel Ray would say.  She is on Channel 5 here and it’s the only channel we can get.

Will write more when we return to the boat. 

Ru

Misc. Photos

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick email.  Randal and I took the 40 minute ferry from Sebana Cove to Singapore on Monday.  I love Singapore.  It’s like a more diverse Hong Kong and less crowded.  It also has the largest book store in Southeast Asia.  I’ll write about our visit when I get home.  We have come here to check out marinas.  Another interesting story. We’ll move mid January as things look now. 

There is great public transportation here and when you look lost, someone asks if they can help.  We will stay one extra day than we had planned and return to Sebana Cove on Thursday.

At this moment Randal is getting a shave.  I am at the internet cafe attached to the barber.  How cool is that, as Rachel Ray would say.  She is on Channel 5 here and it’s the only channel we can get.

Will write more when we return to the boat. 

Ru

Johor Bahru

Sebana Cove

Malaysia

So we’re still here at Sebana Cove.  Monday we met a couple who have been here for 10 YEARS!!!!!  Yikes!!!  Randal asked if they had connections to the Mob in New Jersey, so that tells you what he thinks it would take to keep him here that long.  Of course, we spent almost a year in Subic Bay so who are we to talk.  Everything cruising just takes longer, or you find paradise and stay, or you paint your deck and 2 minutes later it rains really pissing you off about the entire place so you leave 2 days later as happened to our friends Elizabeth and Patrick.  Oh, they were planning on leaving soon, but rain on his painted deck just pushed Patrick right along. 

Other than finally getting back on our bikes and riding several times each week,  taking the marina van to town 2 or 3 times a week, or our occasional trip to Kota Tinggy we really don’t do anything.  Really.  We read and walk a bit, less now that we bike, and Randal bakes apple pies.  There is truly not much else to do.  Actually, right now I am watching people walk back from the pool because there is a man wearing the tiniest bathing suit I have ever seen that isn’t on a woman.  He is our age too!  I must say from my very unscientific study that Americans and Asians wear the most bathing attire and Europeans wear the least.  Very unscientific study.

A week ago, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, Randal and I took the bus to Johor Bahru just to have something different to do and to go book shopping.  It’s a very easy trip.  The marina van takes you out to the main road about 8:10 am and you wait the hour for the bus to come from Sengai Rengit on its way to Kota Tinggy and then on to Johor Bahru.  Since once or twice the bus has come by at 8:30, the marina trucks you out there really early.  You can gamble and go later, which we did on our second trip to JB today (another story.) In our experience the bus comes right on time at 9 am.  The wait feels like forever because there’s no place to sit and no shelter from the sun; luckily we haven’t had to go in the rain. 

clip_image002  Randal at the bus stop.  You just flag down the bus and they drop us off here when we return. 

The only thing to do while you wait is stand around and watch for the bus,  stand around and try to read while you watch for the bus, or stand around and watch the monkeys run in and out of the road for reasons only a monkey could know since no human watching has been able to figure it out. 

The bus ride itself is very pleasant with roomy comfortable seats, air conditioning, no overcrowding and the buses are clean.  The ride takes about 2 hours. 

When we arrived at the bus terminal in Johor Bahru we checked on the bus schedule home and the Maraliner agent wrote out the hours for us and a scrap of paper.  Then it was a quick lunch at McDonalds where they have grilled chicken “cutlets” on pita bread.  At a bus terminal it is often wise to stick with what you know.  While we were eating Randal called to see if our friend Jerry Wallace was still in Johor Bahru.  Jerry lives in Zhuhai, China and we know him from our boat yard days.  He was our host for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years while we were in China.  Jerry was still in JB (work related) so it was fitting that we would be with him again for Thanksgiving.  Though it wasn’t our usual budget type hotel, since Jerry was staying at the Puteri Pacific and helped us get a better rate, we stayed at the Puteri Pacific www.puteripacific.com   The best part was that we got to spend time with Jerry and that was the best part of our visit.  Jerry is in the boat business so he and Randal had lots to talk about and I could tune in and out without insulting anyone.  The taxi fare from the bus terminal to the hotel was 10 ringits.  Everywhere it town it was 10 ringits, just like in Kota Kinabalu.  I don’t know if all major Malaysian cities are like that, but so far the 2 we have been in have similar policies.  Jerry met us in the lobby and we sat and had coffee and chatted for a bit.  Our room wasn’t ready so I left my pack at the front desk while Jerry took us to the 2 large malls closest to our hotel.  We had told him we wanted to buy books so he showed us the 2 in the mall.  Then he went off to his work and Randal and I spent some time browsing.  It wasn’t a huge selection, and I hate to pay much for fiction, but we did come away with several books each.

clip_image004Randal writing his name, date  and Johor Bahru in all of the books he bought.

What Randal bought:  1.The Edge of Evolution by Dr. Michael J Behe because it was the only thing he could find about Darwin.  He had just finished Evolution’s Captain about the captain of the H. M S. Beagle who had invited Darwin along for the ride.  2. Mayflower A Voyage to War by Nathaniel Philbrick because we had liked Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea.  3.The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester because it was written by Winchester and because it was about China.  4. Memo to the President by Madeleine Albright because he had read her memoir Madam Secretary.  5. The Souvenir  A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War by Louise Steinman because it was about WWII and I had read it years ago and liked it.  I bought The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch the Professor who died from pancreatic cancer but gave this one last lecture,   Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell who was Bronte’s contemporary.  I also bought  What Came Before He Shot Her an Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley mystery because it was only 17.50 ringits and I like her writing.  I have already read it and passed it along.

We returned from the mall, checked in and around 6:30 met Jerry to go off for dinner.  We went off to George and Dragon run by Brits because Randal wanted BEEF!!!  I had fish.  Then we returned to the hotel where we had dessert in the restaurant.  I had pistachio cake!

Wednesday morning we met Jerry in the hotel dining room for breakfast which comes with the room.  There was enough food and variety of food to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner no matter if you were Americans, Asians, or Indians.  I tried to be good, and actually had a made to order omelet and some guava juice and tea.  But there was spaghetti, salad, food you would find at a dinner buffet in a Chinese restaurant in the States.  You name it, it was there.  Breads, pancakes, pastry, fruits…..The second morning I had some wonderful bread, some sweet green stuff to spread on top (along with peanut butter) and more juice.  Lots of tea. 

On Wednesday we just kind of wandered around.  We tried to walk over to the waterfront causeway that goes to Singapore, but there was no way to cross a major highway.  So then we walked back towards the hotel through the Indian section looking for an Internet Cafe.  We spotted one but was told by the owner that he didn’t open till 1pm.  It was just about 10 am. He told us City Center Mall had Internet access.  And it may very well have.  But after wandering through its 4 floors and asking several folks we finally found what might have been an Internet Cafe, but it too was closed.  We wandered some more and found a small Indian run mall and there was an open Internet Cafe.  I say Indian because sections are Chinese and some are Indian and some are Malaysian….

clip_image006  It was too sunny to get a good photo of this Hindu temple just down the street from our hotel.  You could see it looking out of our window on the 8th floor.

clip_image008  You can see the temple reflected in the shop window. 

Clothes in the malls were a mix of New York, Bombay, and fashions of the Muslim world.  I just wandered around while Randal opted to stay at the hotel and read.  That was fine since the mall was a 5 minute walk from the hotel and I could easily go alone.  I tried on a few things, but the dress didn’t fit and the skirt was too short ending just above my ankles; but the reject Crew t-shirts were just fine.  There was a shop that sold rejects or seconds.  My crew shirts were fine.  I had come with only sleeveless shirts and was cold so bought some really light weight t-shirts.  I could have shopped more and wish Randal had come; he actually does need some new shorts.  I never did find stores selling bathing suits though Jerry assures me one is there.  And though the clerk was totally patient, I gave up in the sneaker store. 

clip_image010  A man having his fortune told on the sidewalk. 

After Randal and I used the Internet we tried to walk to a different part of the waterfront, but it was rather derelict so we walked back to city center.  It was hot and I was thirsty and it was close to lunch so we ate in a Fridays.  Not great.  Then I wanted to see the Sultan Ibrahim Building which Randal had vetoed earlier in the day in favor of the derelict waterfront.  So I sent him back to the hotel to read and I went alone.  I knew I could get there because we had passed it and I could see it.  You know what this is leading to, don’t you?  I’ll leave you in suspense for the next email.

Ru

Johor Bahru part 2 The Sultan Ibrahim Building

Sebana Cove Marina

The Sultan Ibrahim Building

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The following article was on the web http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/JohorBuzz/Tuesday/Stories/20080818101359/Article/

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“Sultan Ibrahim Building — up high where it belongs”

Anis Ibrahim

TAKE one look at the Sultan Ibrahim Building in Johor Baru and you would never imagine it being the site of much plotting and scheming.

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BIRD’S EYE VIEW: The panoramic view from the top of the Sultan Ibrahim Building.

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STRIKING: Archways in the tower of the Sultan Ibrahim Building.

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INTRICATE: Rafters in the main hall of the building.

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DAMAGED: The brass plaque at the Sultan Ibrahim Building which was partly damaged by bomb shrapnel.

The imposing building, which stands majestically atop Bukit Timbalan, now houses the offices of the Johor government.
In the past, tourists were not allowed to enter the building but could only take photographs from outside.
From now on, they can make their way into the building and reach the highest viewing platform.

This was made possible following an initiative by the State Secretary’s office to open the building to the public as the latest tourism product in Johor.
To reach the platform, all one has to do is to get to the office at Level One. An officer will offer a guided tour by taking a lift until the highest accessible level, to be followed by a short climb.
The platform offers a panoramic view of Johor Baru. The main view comprises the Causeway, the Johor Strait and the city centre.
The square-shaped platform is empty save for a few birds which have built their nests in niches in the ceiling.
Spotlights are switched on in the tower from 7pm to 7am daily, giving the building a slightly eerie glow at night.
The building was used by the Japanese for spying activities.
When the Japanese conquered Malaya in 1942, the Japanese Imperial Army saw the building as an excellent spot to spy on the British in Singapore.
And why not, with its 64m-high tower, the building was the tallest in Malaya back then.
So effective was the tower as an outlook point that the Japanese attacked Singapore less than two weeks after they took over Johor in January 1942.
Within the next few days of their assault, the Japanese army had gained control of the island.
The building continued to be the command centre and fortress for the Japanese until their defeat in 1945.
Such a colourful history was never intended for the Sultan Ibrahim Building which, according to its tourist information centre, was only fully completed in 1942.
The building was constructed under the order of the second Sultan of modern Johor, Sultan Ibrahim, who intended to have all state government offices under one roof.
Made of concrete and reinforced concrete, the building was designed by Messrs Palmer and Turner Architects, and construction work was assigned to United Engineers and Ah Hong & Company.
It was an ambitious project for that time and the Sultan Ibrahim Building was seen as representing the golden era of modern Johor.
Apart from its historical significance, the Sultan Ibrahim Building is also interesting because of its design.
The building exhibits three characteristics: Malay art, Islamic design and colonial architecture.
While the facade depicts colonial characteristics, the intricate carvings on the ceilings and walls have Islamic art features.
Beautifully-designed ceiling rafters in the main hall, on the other hand, reflect the artistic tradition of Malays.
Foundation works began on Nov 7, 1938, when Tengku Mahkota Sultan Ismail officiated the ground-breaking ceremony.
A brass plaque marks the laying of the foundation stone on March 10, 1940, but ironically, part of the date is illegible — the building was bombed during the Japanese occupation and during the bombing, the plaque was cut by a piece of shrapnel.
A lot of the structures and items found within the grounds of the building have remained since its completion, such as the four cannons at the main entrance and the giant flagpole facing the Johor Strait.
Today, the Sultan Ibrahim Building has resumed its original role.
Where army officers used to work and congregate, the building is now home to 46 state government departments and offices, including the menteri besar’s office.
The viewing platform opening hours are from 8am to 4.30pm from Mondays to Saturdays (except the first and third Saturdays).”

Now you know as much about the place as I do since I never made it inside.  After I left Randal at Fridays I made my way towards the building though I wasn’t absolutely sure how to get there.  Unfortunately I saw a set of stairs leading to the fence that ran around the building’s perimeter.

clip_image012  There are 93 steps and I made the assumption if there were steps there would be a back entrance into the complex.  I walked up the steps and got to the gate and it was locked.  I could have turned around and walked down and around the block but again guessed that the fence would eventually end if I followed it along.

clip_image014   The stairs ended here at a locked gate.

I decided to follow the fence around the complex.

clip_image016  It got worse and hotter and there were more bugs and the fence never ended.  So I had the choice of trying to walk down a steep bank and then jump a good distance into the HSBC parking lot or walk all the way around again, down the stairs and around the block.  And so I did.  I was hot and thirsty and felt just a little silly for even attempting the “fence walk” but still I was determined to see the Sultan building.      

clip_image018  And here I am, smiling though I am pissed off, hot and thirsty.    I have on my longest “short pants, and a shirt with sleeves, but apparently that wasn’t good enough.  Maybe I needed socks and long pants and a long shirt.  I was just told no and waved away and I didn’t argue.  They weren’t thrilled with my camera either.  I didn’t argue because there was really no one to argue with.  The military guard just said no and walked away so that was that.  I kind man said he would take my photo on the steps but that perhaps it was the camera…. he seemed reluctant to tell me I was dressed inappropriately for the building.  It was the same clothes I had worn to the Mosque in Kota Kinabalu.  Well blah!  

The funniest part, the only funny part, is that when I started telling my story at dinner, Jerry said he had done the exact same thing.  He had found the steps tempting and walked up and then along the fence.  Jerry is over 6 feet tall so crouching through the trees along the fence must have been tough.  But he didn’t hesitate to go down the bank and jump down into the HSBC parking lot so he didn’t have to retrace his steps which was the really annoying part.    And he has been inside even taking his friend Natalie, who was wearing pants!  The nice man who took my photo drove me down the hill from the building to the main road.  He would have driven me back to the hotel but the hotel was actually just across the way so it was easier to walk than drive.       

When I got back to the hotel I told Randal it was his fault for not going with me in the first place.  He didn’t buy that story and though I would have liked to have seen the building it was good practice to do something on my own, cockeyed as it was.  Since Randal was more in the mood for reading or a nap, after I cooled off and rested a bit I walked over to the mall in search of sneakers and a bathing suit.  No luck but I did get my t-shirts.   And the view from our room was almost as good as the one from the sultan building.

clip_image020 Randal mapping a plan

Wednesday night we had dinner in the hotel and more dessert; this time creme brule’!    

Thursday morning we met Jerry for breakfast again and sat and chatted.  Then it was time to return to Sebana Cove.  It had been a lovely visit with Jerry and Randal and I both liked the feel of Johor Bahru. 

clip_image022   My new rejected t-shirt from J Crew and my new black glasses that I sort of like but are really too heavy for my nose.  And Jerry