Trip Start May 13, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Saturday, May 26, 2007

One....two....three...four....that's how long it took the immigration officer at the Malaysian border to realize something was not right about the passport he was holding in his hands. He stood up and approached his supervisor. Yes, the passport was Colombian. You could tell David started to get nervous and adding on to that, three of us where already across the border. The two Americans went across without problems and the Guatemalan went through without a blink. (Seriously, our passport should say, "treat as U.S. or European passport"). David and Juan Pablo got sent to this little room within immigration (Dad, do you know what I am talking about, right?), we where hoping they could come up with a way to talk themselves into Malaysia but that didn't happen. Both of them are Colombian. My detained friend's ordeal did not end here. Junaid, who is Pakistani, also had to join them in hopes to issue a rightful on-arrival visa he was entitled to.
After waiting for about 20 minutes, the final verdict was that the Colombians were not allowed across the border unless they arrive through an airport. Junaid's case wasn't any better; his visa was to be issued at an office 45 minutes away on taxi. So there we where, three of us across the boarder in Malaysia and the other 3 detained at immigration without permission to join us. We had to decide to either stick to the plan and head up to Kuala Lumpur or cancel the trip and go back with our deported friends. I told David and Juan Pablo they should start applying for a visa to the moon. You know, just so they can get a head start. Jack and Dominique, the two Americans that did cross the boarder with me, decided not to continue and to head back. Junaid said he would get his visa and come with me, but the whole procedure to get his on-arrival visa was not worth the hassle.
So there I was; having to make a decision to either go back into Singapore or straight into Malaysia. I am telling you, its quite discouraging when your traveling crew of 6 gets reduced to a simple solo. But hey, you guys know that I am never alone and when it comes to traveling, there is so much more to adventure than anything else. So there I went, on a one-man adventure into Malaysia.
Crossing the border was a feat in itself. I have to admit it has been the only time I have felt so unsure about crossing into a country (I guess all the indecisiveness of everyone else got to me) but things started to look better by the time I got on a taxi to the bus terminal. By bus, Kuala Lumpur (KL) is 5 and half hours from Singapore and given the restricted budget I'm on, bus it was. The taxi driver had a newspaper article taped on his dashboar. It featured him as an "Honest Cabby." He had returned a woman's purse after she had left it in the cab, it didn't say anything about returning it with everything that was inside of it, but that's a start at least. Point to be made: it made me feel much better with my decision of venturing into Malaysia. I tipped my driver fairly well. It was the appropriate way to thank him for the advice on how to get a bus to KL. Once at the bus terminal, I felt as if I was back home. The bus terminal was just as the ones you find in third world countries or to be more precise, in Central America. The buses were just as good or even better than the usual Greyhound Bus or the local Pullman Tours. I was on my way to KL...
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azrulazmie on

interesting stories... but without any ending... what happened to your friends... the pakistani and the colombian?

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