"Jacqueline Koh
Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting around for somebody to give you flowers"
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Saturday, August 18, 2012 || 1:49 AM

Been a pretty long time since I last dished out a whole chunk of text. Usually it's just short snippets of my thoughts, but my gut feeling tells me this would be pretty long because this particular post will be a recollection of fond moments which happened about 7 days before. 

One of my new year's resolution was to abstain from my wanderlustic love (sigh, lust and love should never be used front and back) for traveling. Working isn't draining - (far from it actually), but the soul gets weary after clocking in from 9-6 for 5 days every week, so i decided to trade the meatpacker district/ white walls for refreshing crashing waves and sparkling glitters in the sea. Singapore's birthday was well celebrated; friends posed with the Malaysian flag hanging from walls with someone shouting the question 'How old is Singapore today?' 

So, lots of thanks to the people who made this trip possible.

1.       Jeff (My childhood buddy whom I know since I was about, 7? I was a HUGE bully as a kid, kept demanded that he passed his pencil-case to me and I’d steal all his fanciful mechanical pencils. Funny thing is, he is twice my height but was too afraid to say anything. Muahaha! Somehow we lost contact at age 12, but hooked up with each other again at age 16? He then became my rockclimbing buddy, and now, possibly traveling buddy but he has to slave for the country soon.) 

2. Jie Ying and Cheryl (Slept, washed, shopped, ate every single day for 90 days together. Sat on wet piles of laundry, got heavily judged at whenever we spoke a word of english in the trains of Shanghai. Bended over illegally reproduced books stacked tightly in wooden boxes, picking the best titles out - walking side by side with glorious rain dripping down on our shawls while inhaling in the northern hemisphere gust of winds)

3. Clovie and Charles (Clovie is my best traveling buddy EVER. As i always tell friends who asked about previous trips with her; we complement each other. I take care of the finances, all she needs to do is to yell 'Gimme the money, I want a beer!' while trudging behind me while I hit the malls. And all i do, was to climb up the cliff and she will wait very very patiently at the bottom, while sweat seeps out of my palms at the never-ending stretches of ocean; front, left, right.

Malacca is supposed to be a food paradise and food glorious food did the stretches of Jonker Street offer, but what was more etched in my puny Alzheimer brain was the rapping on a forest-themed guesthouse’s door, after hostel hopping. The yam chicken rice balls definitely masqueraded a pleasing entrance to our tastebuds, but having a lovely cosy rest-bite to recline into and a good conversation with two other travelers (the only other two) from France was enough to nail the trip. So anyway, when we checked into the guesthouse, (checking in as in jumping on the teeny weeny stone plates like a frog in the middle of a little 'river'), nodding in approval on the sight of the jungle themed open-air bath, and used my backpack as a makeshift pillow while i read) - we totally ignored the cosy little huts we were supposed to dump our stuff in, and just had a few quiet moments in the recreational area. 

And also, we slept in the recreational area too.

 Until I couldn't take all the mozzies sucking on my blood, and until I heard a loud thumping on the metal roofs. Monkeys, cats. Very jungle-ish, really. Never knew I could find something like this in Malacca.

So the itinerary we had in plan; 1d1n in Malacca & 3d2n in Tioman Island. Nothing too amazing about these places. I mean, there's no Arizona waterfalls. Neither are there stretches of golden sand with exotic camels, but like what Jeff says 'It's the unexpected people you meet and the conversations you have when you're on the move, which makes traveling awesome.'

And upon a conversation with the two French ladies, I realized that the owner of the guesthouse, whom they have only met for a few hours, had to leave for Singapore and he/she entrusted the entire place to the two strangers. 
'The owner told us that we could stay for as long as we wanted, and that we didn't have to pay a single thing. We just had to look after this place for him. And if there's any travelers who wanted to stay, we could say either yes or no.'

And yes, they said, to us. Thankfully. 

And then, as the conversation went on, one of them said 
'We are traveling in Malaysia for 3 weeks, and I only knew her (referring to her traveling bud) on the day we embarked on KL.' So basically, I learnt that in their country, there is a website where they can look for travelling buddies, plan their route before hand and just, go. This sparked some negative responses, 'What if the other person turns out to be someone filled with scheming plans? What if she takes out a dagger and plunge it in your chest while you're sleeping?'

Yes to the fact that anyone can be a murderer. Exactly the fact. 
ANYONE, can be a murderer.
Anyone, honey. Anyone.
Too often it's the ones we think are best, they are the worst ones. 

While thrift shopping in Malacca, I came across this particular religious book which had a handwritten note dated in 1940s. I was so near to bagging it when one of my friend advised me against it. Thinking about it now gives me the chills. 

On our ferry to Salang beach, I went out to the outer deck and stood there for a near 2 hours. There was an englishman who stood beside me for 2 hours as well, and we started to have a discussion about water. He's a water engineer. He loves water and he loves with passion. I just, well, find the splashing of sea-salt water into my hair and body and eyes very therapeutic, and the oceanic breeze. And how all I could see was just stretches and stretches and stretches. I think i find comfort in seeing no end in such visual prettiness. Pitter patter...
'Raindrops keep falling on my head, they keep falling~'

I swear if the waters are less choppy, I would have taken out a yoga mat and did some yoga lovin'

I know it can be pretty psychotic, but whenever I see large amounts of fluid, I picture the entire process of the water cycle, and I think "Hey, this drop of water on my palm right now, it is somebody else's pee, or a process of a laundry's evaporation." Life really is a miracle itself, everything is inter-linked, without us realizing how connected we actually are, to others around us. Strangers, are they really strangers? 

When I went into the inner deck, I saw this Chinese lady carrying an infant in her arms. I love carrying babies, they are so warm and cuddly and chubby! And the best thing is, they are just all skin and no fur, no feathers, no scales! Just skin. I carried her for a little while, and started making conversation with the mum. She advised me that should I get married in the future, I should always 'nurture' my baby into a daddy's girl/ boy. Since young, if they want something, tell them to 'go to daddy'. If they cry or get hurt, tell them 'Go to daddy.' Her twisted explanation is that this will eventually lead up to a stronger bond between the kid and the masculine parent, and the dad will naturally harbour more responsibilities towards that kid, and will ultimately, love her more. 

Pretty selfish thoughts I'd say, if you have to resort to such extremes and if you're feeling so insecure about this, you probably aren't ready to start a family yet. Maybe even, the wrong dude married the wrong girl. Bonds and connections shouldn't be manipulated in such a manner, just so the wife can take a back-seat and have an easier life in the future. 

/ Anyways, just a random thought, creating a baby with someone you love is the most beautiful thing humans can achieve. 

I am a clumsy snorkeller, but snorkel i shall because after an hour of swimming in the sea is the resting on an isolated small little island, where we hang our gear on tree branches, and climb up huge rocks to see the sunrise, and fall asleep with salt slowly crystallizing onto our skins. I lick my own arms when the salt forms because it's saaaaaaaaaaaalttttt.

After sun set, is bar-time, where we played darts, caught up with the divers, table hopped to make friends with strangers. Funny German lady was telling me about her predicament -whether to accompany her parents to Asia for the first time because she knows that her parents will be complaining about the heat, and she doesn't want her eardrums to be drilled with unnecessary chaos. And another African man who very proudly invited everyone to touch his locks. His body language and expression is hilarious. 'OUR HAIR DO NOT GROW DOWN, IT GROWS SIDEWAYS! UNTIL SOMETIMES, WHEN YOU WALK ON A CROWDED STREET, OUR HAIR BRUSHES EACH OTHERS!'

/ I kept touching his hair btw.

And four of the pack went diving. I didn't, wanted to sleep in late. Thank god I didn't because Peck disposed her excrements underwater.  I know, I have disgusting friends. 

Ok, I shall stop here. Grey's calling for me. Ciao!