Once upon a time Michelle thought it smart to finish an exam and take off on vacation the same day. It worked out in the end, but the expedition was a compilation of mishaps, misunderstandings, and misfortunes. With the positive outlook she possesses - it was a great experience.
FRIDAY: my last law school final exam was released online. 72 hours of bliss! Islamic law - 4,000 words - released 2:00 pm Friday, must be uploaded by 10:00 am Monday.
Saturday: had a fair chunk of my exam done, so went out to the music festival that was happening in downtown Singapore. Saw 3 American performers... haha, interesting to be in Singapore and hearing only American indie musicians. But it was good, except for seeing a my stolen sunglasses hanging on the front of an early 20's Malay dude. I was not impressed, but didn't do or say anything, b/c I could've been mistaken or something, but it was still unsettling.
Sunday: pumped out the 1000 words of my assignment and uploaded it. got packed and ready to head out Monday morning for Tioman Island in Malaysia. just a hop skip and a jump away.
We take a taxi to the border, and walk across the bridge to Malaysia. It began to rain during the taxi ride, but didn't think much of it. Walking over the bridge it is now downpouring, ... but we continue, but we're sure it'll pass.
get a taxi to the bus station, and in order to make it to the ferries in time, must take a taxi instead of a bus to the ferry terminal- 2 hrs away. The taxi driver was the most disgusting person I may have ever seen. but, whatever, disgusting or not, he was also perhaps the craziest cab driver I've ever had as well. ( and I can tell you I've had some really crazy ones!) I was sure we weren't going to make it to the ferry terminal, with the torrential downpour, his sunglasses, and windshield wipers that weren't fully operational - it was a miracle we arrived alive!
When we arrived we were told that the ferries had been shut down because of the weather. we were stunned! all this way, for nothing. We phoned the dive shop and they recommended we not come, the diving would be lack lustre if we could dive at all. So, we turned around, and went home.
Well, we waited for a bus for an hour, looked at the shops in Mersing, walked around, saw cat skeletons in the gutters, and hopped on the bus to head home. Oh yah, I forgot to mention, my travel buddy hadn't slept because he was writing the same Islamic law exam, and with poor time management had to stay up all Sunday night to be able to submit it before Monday at 10am. (and when I say poor time management I mean it as nicely as possible - haha)
So, we arrived back in Singapore, cold, tired, and hungry! Booked flights to Thailand to leave Tuesday morning, early, and crashed for a few hours.
got up stuipid o'clock in the morning, to catch another taxi to the airport. Had my swiss army knife and leatherman confisgated because I didn't remove them from my bag from the trip to Malaysia ... jeepers ... grrrr
but, we got on the flight, and arrived in Phuket. caught another taxi to Khao Lak and were finally on the beach in beautiful sunny weather.
We arranged for our Advanced Scuba cert and just chilled out on the beach for the day, ate, walked around, and then crashed early because we would have to be up early AGAIN tomorrow morning for our diving excursion.
We get taken out to the live aboard on a 1 1/2 hour speed boat ride to the SIMILAN ISLANDS - amazing diving location.
Get on the boat and get ready for our first dive. We did 4 dives on Wednesday, had amazing food and were completely exhausted.
We saw sharks, turtles, massive trigger fish, lion fish, tuna, massive puffer fish, moraes, great coral reefs, lobster, crab, and more cool stuff. The night dive was probably the coolest but scariest - I don't think I'll do that again.
We do 3 more dives and we are CERTIFIED! woohoo! the speed boat takes us back to the mainland and we chill around town. Well, we had some trouble with the dive shop, ie. 'the Visa machine is down'. So, this caused some problems, and when I say problems, I mean about 2 hours of mayhem. The shop owner threatened to call the police... we were pissed. But it all worked out in the end.
We ate, shopped, I got a Thai massage and foot massage, and then we had to get ready for our early morning AGAIN to catch another taxi back to Phuket airport.
.... arriving safely back in Singapore... right now, as I'm writing this I am procrastinating on writing my Corporate Tax paper, my last law school assignment, ever, but also preparing for my next excursion to Borneo to dive Sipidan... one of the top 10 dive spots in the world.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more