After a casual breakfast (beef noodles, spiced chicken, baked beans, sausage, toast and coffee), courtesy of the hotel, we took the opportunity to a look at Malacca’s riverfront for the last time, hoping on the way to find a restored heritage property we had missed the previous day. Unfortunately, being National Day it was closed. As Eric must learn ‘you cannot see everything’! Returning to the hotel we packed and checked out, recovering the 50RM note we had left as a deposit, which proved our only remaining Malay currency and vital to pay the taxi fare. The taxi arrived in good time, parking by the roadside and not blocking the one way street as on our arrival. We were swiftly transferred to Melaka Sentral, the bus station, and for the first time had problems in paying as the driver had no change. This was got by with help from his friends.
The print out of the booking sufficed as a ticket to ride and we spent the waiting time buying snacks and drinks with currency left at our disposal. Money cannot buy you love, but it can buy soft drinks and the local equivalent of Pringles. The coach trip to Singapore was uneventful, although again having booked the seats behind the driver the view out of the side window was blacked out. However the views were limited to forest and palm oil plantations with occasional groups of buildings so we did not miss much and spent some of the time snoozing. The greatest excitement came when we had to disembark, sans luggage, to traverse Malaysian emigration then 5 minutes later, having crossed the causeway to Singapore Island, we disembarked, avec luggage, to go through Singaporean immigration. Both sets of bureaucracies were very efficient and the only worry was where to find the bus the other side of the passport and customs’ desks.
We successfully found our coach on both occasions and very soon found ourselves at the Queen Street bus station. We have invited ourselves to stay with Becky Hall, Jenny and Ray’s daughter, and she left very clear instructions as where to collect the key and how to find her apartment. Armed with this information it seemed a simple job to finish the journey by finding a taxi to ride. Spotting the taxi rank we hauled our luggage towards the line of 50 taxis, only to find that these particular vehicles were heading back to Malaysia. However we were told that if we crossed the road and stood looking lost a taxi would come to us. At the third attempt a very cheerful and positive lady taxi driver agreed to take via the office building to collect keys and successfully navigated us to Becky’s wonderful 31st floor apartment, with spectacular views.
On Becky’s return she took us to Dempsey Hill, where the buildings of the British garrison have been redeveloped as restaurants and shops. After an excellent meal we returned to the apartment.