We slept in quite late and lazily checked out of the hotel before noon. We caught a bus to the “Melaka Sentral” bus station an spent over 45 minutes driving around through the city. It was almost a sightseeing tour.
At the bus station we found out that the next bus to Mersing was at 6:15pm so we had four hours to kill. We opted out to go to Tesco to stock up on food for Pulau Tioman (Tioman Island) as supposedly everything is expensive there. In the end we just bought some odds and ends and a bunch of alcohol. Alcohol is quite expensive in Malaysia so we figured we might as well save money in a way that is most effective. We continued to hang out at the clean and air conditioned Tesco and ate lunch at the food court while surfing the Internet on free wifi. Who would have thought that spending a good part of the day at a shopping center while traveling would be so pleasurable.
We spent a good part of the four and a half our long bus trip playing Trivial Pursuit on Paddy’s iPhone. When we finally got to Mersing, it was too late to catch a ferry to Tioman Island so we instead looked for place to sleep. Omar’s Guesthouse is what we chose.
When we went in, there were two Swedes hanging out and reading books and no sign of Omar. So as instructed by the sign on the wall, we took three beds and headed out for a late night dinner. After spending a few minutes in the middle of the street deciding whether we want to go to the Arab or Chinese restaurant — no Malay places were open — we opted for the livelier Chinese. And besides, they had beer. Notable quote from Tomek: “Too much noodles? There is no such thing as having too much noodles. Having too much noodles is like having too much money.”
When we returned, Omar was there. He gave us a good rate on the beds, since we were sharing them anyway. The hostel was dirty and grimey. The bed sheets and pillowcases seemed washed but were quite stained. Luckily we had our silk sleeping bag liners to insulate ourselves from the dirt. The night was tough. I felt as if all sorts of bugs were crawling over my shoulders. With the heat and the buggy mind tricks, a good portion of the night was spent laying in bed restlessly trying to fall asleep.