Visa run.

20th February 2015.

Woke up 0330, dragged my sorry arse, love that Fay, out of bed and gave Jen a kick in the guts, Pete rocked up in his dinghy, light rain, it has been pissing down all night which is well needed, made for a hooting sleep, drops us off on the beach where Wit’s scooter awaits, rode to airport in light drizzle, found a parking spot, locked bike, then headed for the Air Asia departures desks.

We waited patiently in line but then realised we had already booked in on line, bargain, guts starts rumbling, Tom Yum Goong spicy will do that to you, hunt out the dunnys, its one of the holes in the ground jobs and it doesn’t look real user friendly, it is not, slipping in my flippers but manage to do the squat thing, no paper, horror, no going back though, horror. Touch the hose thing, revulsion sweeps over me, then remember the roll of bum fodder in my knapsack, unfold out of the squat with a big slip but joy to the world, job finished.

Head back out to go to customs, knocked back, paperwork needs stamp, back in queue, about ten back from where we used to be but wait patiently, offer the big stare to a couple of would be queue jumpers, amazingly it works and they move off to the back of the Queue, we wind our way through the barriers and finally get the all important stamp, now we can proceed through customs, immigration and the duty free shops, then wait, then board, arrive in KL, 0840.

When we purchased the airline tickets, they were 800thb each way, each, came to something like $270.00 AUD, couldn’t believe it then but now understanding it, it is Chinese New Year, 2015 is the year of the goat and today is the big day. Everyone is celebrating not flying.

Our mates Brownie and Leanne grow goats down in Pemberton, good goats, probably a good year to have lots of goats, not sure about eating them though, a bit of a doublewammy there.

The city of KL is closed, the bits we want to go to anyway, Amberon SDN.BHD. our Malaysian Iridium dealer and Hempel Antifoul, so KLIA2 is it for us, I had wondered why the plane was only half full, not a normal occurrence for Air Asia.

KLIA2, as I have mentioned in a previous post, is huge so it can’t be too hard to find stuff to do. First off we hit the grocers for some chili oil, then Dim Sum On The Go, the king prawn dumplings are great, kailan and oyster sauce also, the rest is average but edible and a perfect way to celebrate CNY, as it is advertised all over the place.

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For some reason the keys to Wit’s bike drifted into my thoughts, more to the point, where did I put them, check pockets, empty contents of knapsack and replace, check Jens bag, re-empty my knapsack, check freezer bag, look in my knapsack again, Nah, spew. Go to ring Wit, no service, text, same result. Finish up breckie and go in search of phone shop, Hotlink won, the guy just used scissors to trim the chip to iPhone size, now ring Pete, can’t get him, leave text for Wit. The bike is amongst about a thousand others so finding it is no walk in the park, and explaining where it is proves to be a high jump, I sent a photo of a map to Pete and he has got it through to Wit. I have done all I can, now we have to wait.

All this stress has made me hungry and what better than a Whopper, yeah, Burger King is just there. Bloody good burger and the best chips, sorry French-fries, they were so good Jen, who only wanted a Whopper, ate half of them. A deafening boom boom boom and a crash of cymbals arose and look over the edge of the balcony, it’s the same guys dressed like a dragon, jumping from platform to platform, that we had seen at Straits Quay Marina in Penang. They were the stars that night at the Raja Muda presentations. They are rippers. Another couple of hours gone.

We then go for a wander, Jen’s got her ideas I had mine but finally we start looking for a product that suits us both, thongs, neither of us were successful but we tried heaps of them. Pete got back to me, I owe him 400thb for the locksmith, they had to make another key, oh well at least he reckoned it was an interesting process unlocking the bike and making the new key, another couple of hours gone.

All the walking has my feet aching, especially in my poxy Flippers, so we go hunting for a Thai massage parlour, Thai Odyssey, and both get a foot massage, it was unreal, bit of a wash first then some tea, then more tea, then it starts, thoughts of the last time come crashing to the forefront of my memory, but it isn’t so bad, almost tickled a couple of times and only felt real major pain twice, but he stopped pretty quick when I started kicking. During the massage I had to fight to not fall asleep, pretty good value I reckon. I heard myself snore and Jen jumped in and told the bloke to pinch me, don’t let him fall asleep. Another hour down.

Went and checked the planes taking off and landing, watched one of the A380’s land and taxi to the terminal, huge is not the word, their wings kind of hang down when they are on the ground, makes you wonder how long they will last, all that flexing. Best go on a new one. Another hour down.

Found a new section that we hadn’t seen before, MPH Bookstore was a winner, bought a Malay dictionary and phrase book, and a couple of others by Camilla Lackberg and Kathryn Bonella. The guys, who run the place were wrapped when I asked them to help me out with how they learnt Malay as kids, this led to us all going through each book offering this and that and we eventually came up with one called Everyday Malay. Tida apa, terimah kashi. You should get a pay rise guys. Another hour down.

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By now we had seen all there was to see, so we headed for gate L7, through customs then the walk to section L, then immigration, then hand over our chili oil and tahini, bloody terrorists have stuffed it up for all of us, at least we got to use some of the oil with our yumcha so all was not lost, still spewing a bit though. Walked our way down to L7, the place is chocker, so down to L10 where there is a food shop and a cappuccino is looking good. I reckon if you were going to own a shop in KLIA2 this is one of them, shit food, shit service, shit coffee but bugger all left, they are sold out, except for a couple of muffins, you even had to buy water in a paper cup for rm4 because they had sold out of bottles as well. People just kept on keeping on and the boss just rubbed his hands with glee, if he had any brains he’d have freezers and fridges full of shit ready to go, but hey I’m just a dumb lectrishn. In the end we got a couple of pissy little coffees for rm15, but we scored a table with a copy of The Straits Times which was just sitting there. Sat there and read it from cover to cover, it is always a good read and I couldn’t believe my luck, another couple of hours done and dusted.

Soon enough we are being herded onto our plane, back to Phuket, it is twenty minutes late and the pilot is on a mission to make it up, just taxiing felt like it was a rush, only just waiting for a bit at the top of the runway, lets just get this show on the road. Same with coming into Phuket, we slowed down when we reached the terminal, it was excellent, and in the end we were only seven minutes late. This is when I witnessed something I have never seen in Asia, not one person got up before the seatbelt lights went out, everyone was either sitting there shitting themselves or the pilot hit the button for the lights a bit early, it was like a new world wonder. Still had the argey bargey to get to the door, but then smooth sailing out of the joint.

Scored a taxi, which was passed down the line to Junior as we were such a small fare, 300thb, but Junior didn’t really give a shit and off we went to Nai Yang. Got to the Boss Bar, tried to ring Pete to pick us up, ordered a beer and a G&T, Pete rang back and heading in, Jen had to skull hers with a straw, they let me take my king brown stubby and holder with me on the promise that I will return it today, walked out onto the street and it pissed down. Hid under a Pandannus tree, Pete come and got us and dropped us at Boomerang, the rain stopped, we cracked a bottle of Frontera savy blanc, Chilean and not a bad drop, that and a big day had me nodding off in no time, well and truly rooted.

I don’t know if we chose the right option for our visa run but it certainly wasn’t boring. KLIA2 is an excellent airport, so much to see and good exercise thats for sure, only things needed are a pub and a cinema, then it would be winner winner chicken dinner.

 

Alcatraz the new Rebak.

20th May 2014.

Well as far as marinas go Rebak is a bit isolated but Moe’s description as Alcatraz is a bit harsh, I reckon its pretty good fun, yacht’ys bar, happy hours, pool bar, entertainment, big bar, more happy hours, dancing even and a ferry to get you to the mainland seems more like paradise to me.IMG_0066

Fish and chips was excellent, crumbed dory although not on the menu is becoming popular, Dylan the owner doesn’t think much of it but he was away so there were quite a few takers. The ride back to Cenang was incident free and Raffi’s was what I have come to expect, fun. We then hit Champor Champor for the last time as Theo and Uma are off to Europe for holidays. A couple more cohorts joined the gang this week and were pretty funny so I think the Friday tradition lives on.

Next day, my birthday and hung over and sorry for myself, it was time to shift out to the boat, still crap everywhere but liveable, the AC is cranking, we have gas again and the job list is deminishing. Sofea, my landlady for the last couple of weeks, bought me a birthday cake which was a really nice of her, I even got a hug although she wasn’t that keen, some religious thing perhaps. Once on Rebak we had a boat renaming party to go to, big turn out, the outboard man came and we decided the old outboard needs a new carburettor as the other one is rooted but it has to come out of America, 6 weeks, that wasn’t going to happen, so we are now the proud owners of a brand new two stroke 18 HP Tohatsu Ever Run. Hopefully get my hands on it in a couple of days, it weighs in close to 20 kg’s lighter than the oldy, that will make Jens end easier to lift.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Next went for a beer and a swim in the pool and then it was happy hour, Bloody Mary’s and frozen Margaritas for rm12, expertly made and very drinkable, we then moved down to the Dock Bar for tea and my birthday cake. This is where Moe called it quits, bad move as we all headed back up to the main bar where there is live music and happy hour number 2 was just starting, a Phillipino singer who dragged me up for a dance was a good looker and the other twenty or so patrons were clearly partying on. I guess 52 isn’t the age you slow down which is comforting.

Back at the boat we have put the headsail back on, I have cleaned, brightened and oiled the teak in the saloon which flogs you, hands and knees scrubbing and rubbing and more rubbing, inside is getting tidier with bits disappearing from table to who knows where but she is looking a bit more like she used too. We bought a thing you plug your hard drive into and then your TV, it is unreal, worked first time, Moe thought she knew how to scroll but didn’t, up the oldies, and we watched a pretty funny movie, the . Good call Murray I am impressed and so small.

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Moe has been to the big waterfall with Michael, all dayer, seen a few places and had a feed at Teo’s all aboard the bike, she seems quite comfortable on it now so not so worried anymore, she even hit the mainland herself the other day for some shopping and probably a few at Raffi”s.

Tomorrow its off to Klang for me, return airfare was rm162, but I have to get a cab to the place thats sells Iridium sim cards and spare minutes, he’s also going to set up the new computer for satellite wifi then we will be cruising. Its longer in the cab one way than in the air both ways, Air Asia are okay. I’m hoping for a talkative Indian taxi driver so we can talk about the cricket. They aren’t that cocky anymore after our last couple of test series’s.

The week has flown by, it is now Sunday, it is hard to remember what has been fit into the last 5 days but it goes a bit like this.                                                              Klang was a successful mission and we now have sat phone coverage all over the planet so hope it works in Indo, got a hair cut, asked for a number 4 got a 2, saw the results of 2 cars going to fast, horror crash, went for 3 light poles, thats how many were flattened, and took out heaps of armco rail down the middle of the highway. There was a traffic jam both sides, our side was due to all the people parked up taking photo’s. Boon, Iridium man, offered to take me back to the new airport, KLIA2, so made it back in plenty of time, had a good yack, nice fellow. He couldn’t believe I had flown to KL for a sim card, but sometimes the things you must do to get things done just make for an adventure and it is not as though I had something better to do. Back at the airport bought some steaks that came from Harvey, at the grocers in the mall, this is one hell of an airport, It takes close to half an hour to walk from one end to the other, just like going to the city with all the shops you can think off, unreal, and it was built to service Air Asia, Malaysian Airlines and some other orange and white one. I didn’t realise how many Air Asia planes there are, love their motto to, Now Everyone Can Fly, they are cheap and seem fine to me.IMG_0039

Next day back on Rebak we had happy hour at the beach bar, bloody mary’s and frozen margaritas, a going away party for Mike off Blitz, great bloke, from Townsville and a really good Joke teller, funny as. Moe somehow was in charge of the BBQ, probably in hindsight not the best choice although to her credit there was nothing left to eat. But we stood back in amazement as 2 of our steaks were ripped from the barbie, still rare and chopped up and the middle strip from both devoured, Jen came to the rescue and salvaged the remains and the one full one that was left. Sabina was hungry and it looked like it, Jen wasn’t backing down and a standoff ensued, I just sat back and watched in awe. We ended up with only one full steak and the remains of the other two, but the meat, the fatty bit which was apparently my bit, was beautiful. Homemade frozen margaritas and the Rolling Stones is about all I can remember after that. Woke up at 1030 with Noah sitting outside waiting to hoist me up the mast, took a couple of hours to get me up there, suffering big time and so was he. Dropped the new aerial as soon as I reached the top but other than that it all went to plan, although I changed a light globe that was probably OK, just got my anchor and steaming lights arse about, blurr.

We are now running in our new Tohatsu 18 HP outboard, it is so smooth and quiet, gave me back a pinch getting the old one off, Abu from the marina helped me, it is bloody heavy, the new one was a piece of piss to put on. The boat even looks lighter. Cant wait to see how quick it goes, Moe can drive it to Telaga on Tuesday when we leave. Moe and Michael have been touring Langkawi  on the bikes while we have been hard at it on the boat but Moe said, in front of everyone at Fish and Chips, that she would help polish the boat. Time is running out but it will be done, probably by me.  On the food side we have hit Scarborough’s again, same result, Jen and I hit Teo’s for lunch yesterday, we have had numerous meals at the Hard Dock Cafe on the island. Had a huge plate of fried rice at the Pier for rm5, didn’t need to eat anything else that day.

Went over and checked the swallows, there are only 3 now so perhaps LFB has died.

MOE POLISHED THE BOAT. All day job, sweating like you know what but it looks great. The outboard is a ripper and is almost run in.

All jobs complete on Sunday 25th May. Spent a couple of hours in the pool. Off to Telaga tomorrow for a fuel up, food shopping, some new fold up chairs and top up the drinks cabinet.

Seeya