I had wanted to try chicken (or other meat) porridge during my stay in Malaysia, but since Alice obviously didn't want to, I kept saying I'd go the next day. I had asked the porridge shop opposite our guest house if it was open today- they said it was, but I forgot to ask at what time- too late for me to get it before we needed to get the bus. So I made do with my free toast instead.
Very typically we waited ages at the bus stop to take us to Melaka Sentral (where our Singapore bus was leaving from), and so at a time when we thought we should probably find another means to get there we got a nearby hotel to order us a taxi. It went round the hotel so that it came back along the road we were waiting for the bus on-by the time we went past the long line of people who had been queuing were gone.
There was a McDonalds at the bus station, so I got my chicken porridge from there- it was actually rather tasty- it was made from rice and not oats, but was quite watery and wasn't very filling. We were disappointed when what we thought were yoghurt smoothies turned out to just be a very sweet crushed ice thing.
It took about four and a half hours to get to Singapore, and the bus conveniently dropped us off at a shopping centre so we could exchange our Malaysian money, which clearly needed to be done before we could do anything else! Jane's friend Alice had given us instructions on how to get to her apartment, so we got on the bus but got off halfway along the route at Little India. We think all buses should have electric signs telling passengers which stop is coming up next- it's so much easier!
Alice number 2 didn't get home until 6, so we attempted to walk around Little India, but with our rucksacks on, all we managed was to grab a coffee in an open beer garden/ food court, and then find the Tekker food Centre for dinner (although I wasn't feeling very hungry from our service stop on the bus- note to self: if you've got to kill a few hours, don't eat loads beforehand as eating or drinking is usually the best idea when you're dragged down by the weight of your luggage).
We quickly checked out the yoga shop, where Alice picked up a leaflet for free 7-day meditation courses- there's a centre in Sydney so maybe she will be able to do it after all! Then we got on the bus to Howa Chong Junction. We got off when the sign said we were there, but then the bus driver told us to get on again- feeling confused we did as we were told but then he told us to get out 2 stops later, which wasn't near the road we needed to go down, so we had to cross the road and get a bus back which was harder than you'd think as the two sides were 2 one-way roads, so had different names and thus different bus stop names. He must have looked at our rucksacks and thought we can't have meant this posh part we'd managed to land a free night in!
We chatted to Alice and her husband for a bit, but they went to bed quite early as they both had to be up early. His job is to travel around and rescue people in need of aid, which sounds really cool! She's an English teacher in the international school here- also very tempting after my conversation with the other international school teachers at the Chiang Mai cookery course. It certainly has landed her with a nice apartment! Having a hot power shower was a mysterious phenomenon not experienced for a while!
I received an email from a Cairns hostel who agreed to let us work for them for 4 weeks, in exchange for breakfast and dinner and accommodation. We only do 3 hours a day, so will be able to look for paid jobs whilst not eating up much of our savings by spending it on such living costs. We will either be doing reception, housekeeping, bar, bistro or driving duties. Very happy we managed to get something through helpx (the work for accommodation website that coincidently was also mentioned to us by the international school teachers from cookery course)!