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Summer 2007 - Malaysia VI

The speedometer doesn't work....

-17 °C
View Summer Vacation 2007 on agc_cwm's travel map.

This was our last day out on the rig. We decided to forgo our last dives because by this point we were both dived out. Plus Andrew's ears were still sore and he had to finish some paperwork for his course. We woke up and ate some breakfast before talking to Joseph (the divemaster) for a while. He checked Andrew's workbook and said that he passed. Andrew felt like his course was sort of an afterthought for the instructor.

We packed our bags shortly thereafter, then ate lunch and hung out until our boat came along.

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Nobody really told us what was going on; we just got on the boat our bags were on, so wherever we ended up, our stuff would be with us. Our ride back was a lot smoother than our ride over.

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The bus met us at the dock to take us back to the office to square up the bill. Then they took us to the "bus" station to catch a bus to Lahad Datu. Well, it was a mini bas, which is a extended van, essentially, and they leave whenever they are full. Luckily we didn't have to wait long, because we were enough to fill it up (there were about 12 people in there already). As you go, you can get dropped off and picked up anywhere along the route, as long as there is space, so there is a fair bit of stopping. The ride was about 2.5 hours, but for some reason Andrew though it was only one hour. At one point a family got in with a huge durian, and boy was it smelly. We drove though huge areas of nothing but palm oil trees. As far as you could see, unless the hill was too steep, and sometimes even then .

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We should be used to driving in foreign countries by now, but I don't think we're totally comfortable with it yet. There's always a lot of passing on single lane roads. About 10 minutes in, Andrew grabbed my pencil and writes "the speedometer doesn't work" in my sudoku puzzle book. We just looked at each other and shrugged and smiled. What are you going to do? After driving for about an hour, we passed an accident scene (one truck's hood was totally crumpled, and the other car was in the ditch). I think our driver slowed down for a few minutes after that, but only for a few minutes. We eventually made it to Lahad Datu, but by this point all the other passengers save one had already gotten off.

We got out of the bus and tried to find our hotel. The directions in our book were OK if you knew the town at all, but were not very helpful to us. We started off in the wrong direction, tried to ask for directions, got a lot of stares and drive offers. Finally we had had enough and decided to get some reliable information. Well, the standard is the same anywhere in the world: lost and have no idea where to go? Ask the gas station attendants. And sure enough, the local ESSO workers were very helpful. They set us off in the right direction, and we finally reached the hotel. It has a nice view of this mosque.

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We checked in quickly and organized some clothes to be washed, then ate some dinner and talked for a while. After returning to our room, we played Scrabble and called it a night. I was happy to be leaving Lahad Datu in the morning.

Posted by agc_cwm 05:59 Archived in Malaysia

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