Into Malaysia

Trip Start Nov 29, 2008
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2
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Trip End Jan 18, 2009


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Flag of Malaysia  , Johor,
Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On the evening of December 2nd, five of us made our way into Johor Bahru. I met Sam K, Bob Linn and his wife Gail, teammate Albert Hahn, and Amit at Bob's hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, at 7pm, where Michael Tang had arranged a car to take us into Malaysia.

Like most border crossings, it had its share of bumps. We had to fill out the forms in the car while it was moving. Bob and Albert had the additional burden of luggage on their laps. At the causeway crossing, the line for motorbikes was absolutely astonishing. Hundreds of them lined up waiting to cross back into Malaysia. Lots of Malaysians work in Singapore because of the higher wages, but what a hellish commute every day! Our crossing was relatively quick, although one official had to come out of his kiosk and walk around the van to get a good look at me, because I was obscured by the pile of luggage sharing the back row with me.

Michael had informed us that the area around the hotel wasn't that good, but that there was hardly any reason to leave the hotel. He was right. The Zon is actually connected to a mall and a port. Various shops in the mall, combined with the three buffet meals a day (plus a snack at tea break!) was plenty to keep me fed and busy throughout the tournament.

The tourney itself was very smoothly run and quite enjoyable. I'll include details about actual games on my Scrabble blog at meezerman.livejournal.com, for those of you interested in such things.
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