Johor Bahru, Malaysia

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Last time I wrote, I was just about to leave Melaka after a rest day but I actually ended up staying a day extra. Magnus and his girlfriend Olya, who have been following the-walk online got in touch with me and were catching a bus to Melaka the next day. So I stayed.

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Not only was it great fun to meet them, it also ment that I got to have a walk around the proper night time Jankers Market which is only open thursday to sunday.

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There is so much happening on a market night. Food to eat, stuff to buy (or not if you have to carry it), and plenty of people to observe.

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But the next morning it was time to head south again. One thing that I have been seeing along the road here in Malaysia is lizards. Huge lizards. Luckily they seem to be more scared of me than they think I am of them. Which is just as well, some of them are more than large enough to scare me!

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It’s always interesting to observe the differences between countries when you travel and because I have spent a lot of time in different motorcycle workshops through my life, I always look a little bit closer at those.

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This one was actually quite orderly compared to many I have seen…

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It’s very green here and I have managed to walk along some smaller paths in the last couple of days. Great variety and I don’t miss the traffic!

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But it has been very hot and humid. Not as hot as it was in parts of Texas, but the humidity here is close to 100% and it feels way hotter. I took this selfie during a break one hot and humid day, you can see the sweat-drop hanging of the tip of my nose.

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Which brings me to the subject of portraits. I was challenged by my friend Robert to post 5 photos in 5 days on Facebook and he also gave me the theme portraits. That meant that I spent a bit more time concentrating on close-ups of people and it was actually a lot of fun. People are very friendly and easy to approach here in Malaysia and more than just once they stopped me to take a photo themselves.

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I have been caught in a lot of afternoon thunderstorms, it is sort of unavoidable this time of year. Most of the time I find shelter in a bus-stop or under a tree but, because there are so many of them, I can usually find a small restaurant to get a coffee in while I wait.

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Sometimes it turns out to be a 2 coffee storm, but there are usually interesting people to talk to.

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Yesterday, just outside Senai, I ran into a long distance cyclist. It was the wonderfully crazy frenchman Olivier who is out on a round the world trip, alternating cycling and sailing. He has been at it for 6 years so far! Impressive…

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On my way into Johor Bahru I walked past Danga Bay which at the moment is a big construction zone. There are thousands of luxury apartments and shops planed in the area which is being built to compliment (or possibly compete with) Singapore. Be interesting to see what it looks like when it is finished.

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Anyone who has been to Asia knows that the whole economy is carried by thousands and thousands of small motor-scooters that zip by all over the place. So it’s not all that strange that some owners have started customising their ride…

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So, here I am, on the southern tip of Malaysia, and my plan all along has been to cross the causeway into Singapore. But today I decided not to, but to take the train back to Kuala Lumpur without entering Singapore. By not doing that now I will save both money and time and as Singapore is going to be starting point for my continued southern journey when I am finished in Thailand, I will be returning there anyway. Just later.

That said, it was a difficult decision. Standing looking out at the causeway and seeing Singapore just a stones throw away made turning my back and heading to the train station to buy a ticket very confusing. But not to worry, as somebody famous once said, “I’ll be back!”