We have had 3 lovely days in Singapore, staying at the YMCA …highly recommended. Got to go to the Museum of Singpore , Asian Civilizations Museum , shopped and ate. We applied for our Indonesian Visa for the Anambas and Natuna Islands and had it timed to pick up our visas at 2:30 pm and head straight back to the border and back to the boat at Puteri Harbour in Nusa Jaya on the Malaysian side of the Johor Straits, before the rush hour. Each day 200,000 Malaysian cross at Tuas and Johor Bahru to commute to work.
It all started to go to custard when we realised that to get our visas/passport back we had to have the receipts which we had all left back at the YMCA. Bryan was also not admitted to the Embassy as he was wearing shorts. He tried to bluster his way in but “No bermudas, NO bermudas! ” so he taxied back to the Y to get receipts and long pants. Catrina and Brendan were able to prove identity with their Tasmanian drivers licences. Go Tassy! We then taxied back to the Y to pick up our stuff then on to the Tuas Crossing Immigration. Well, we discovered that although you can taxi on the Malaysian side right to Immigration, you have to catch a bus on the Singaporean side……but not until the taxi driver realised he was not permitted to drop us off there and left us on the freeway to walk. ” You just walk up there, can do” he said. Laden with luggage , we sweated our way to where the buses entered, to be told by the border guards NOT PERMITTED GO BACK. At that stage , we realised that the new charts eastern Indonesia that Brendan and Catrina had so carefully transported from Melbourne, were missing. In the taxi? Back at the Y car park? Who knows? Fortunately , a bus did arrive after half and hour to transport us to Joo Koon MRT station but buses across the border didn’t leave from there , we were informed , by a bus commandant who nearly doubled over laughing when he heard our tale of woe. The only thing to do was to go to McDonald for a coffee and mentally regroup. When Bryan tipped the $1.20 soft serves on the floor and we all fell about laughing hysterically, it must have been perplexing for the locals. Beyond caring at that stage. Onto the MRT, to Boon Lay, into the queue waiting > 1 hour to finally get on the bus to get to Singapore immigration, wait in the queue for another hour to leave our finger prints in Singapore, back onto the bus, a cross the bridge, wait in another queue at Malaysian immigration another hour, then get through to find “No taxis, must catch bus” but bus to Puteri Harbour “finished” 10 mins before. The bus men felt sorry for these bedraggled, sweaty, foreigners so a bus was arranged to take us to Legoland which , when we got there was closed ( I didn’t really want to go) and not a soul , let alone a taxi was in sight. By this time it was pitch dark. Catrina charmed a security guard who got us a taxi , two turned up, we put our stuff in one then realised it was the wrong one and reloaded, and the towers of Puteri Harbour came into view. Beer…..that’s all I can say.