Mother’s Day Trip

My mom and I had received a round trip plane ticket from a friend. We were so blessed to have 6 days break in the middle of May. We went to the airport by Xtrans travel from Cihampelas. It cost us Rp 105.000/each. We arrived to terminal 3 and there was problems with the mobile check ins, so I had to stay awake until 4am to manually check in.  We spent a night there and caught the first flight to go to Kuala Lumpur. It took almost 2 hours flying, then we arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. We took a bus to Kuala Lumpur Sentral, which cost 9 RM. The bus was full and we arrived to Little India around lunch time. We stopped at one food stall and had our first lunch there.

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A nice policeman lent me his cell phone to call my friend that I would visit. We went to a crowded train station and got tickets to Petronas Tower. It was so hot outside.  Luckily, they had planted a lot of trees, so we could sit down and relax while watching the fountains in front of us. We were in a rush to find the Puduraya bus station to go to Penang. There were so many men who offered us bus tickets with different prices.  Fortunately, I had researched the price and got a reasonable price of 70RM for my mom and me. Our bus was ready and we headed to Penang. In the middle of nowhere we stopped at a gas station. It was weird that we waited there for more than one hour. One of the passengers asked the driver and finally he said that the bus engine was broken. We had to wait for another bus to come and pick us up.

Thankfully there was a minimarket, so we could buy some food to eat before we hopped on to the other bus.  After 5 hours sitting on the bus, we reached Butterworth. A friend of mine was waiting for us and took us for dinner. We were not so hungry, but my friend kept buying me Chinese foods which were so delicious. What a treat J The next day, he took us to have Chinese breakfast called dimsum. We loved that place where we had so much good food. He drove us to Penang by ferry. It took us only 45 minutes and we got to Penang island. When we arrived, my mom was so joyful that she could attend Sunday mass in Cathedral. It was Mother’s Day, and this was what she wanted. The sermon was delivered in English and it closed with Celine Dion’s song “Because of Me.”   Tears came down on my cheek when I heard this song.  The priest spoke blessings for all the moms and moms-to-be in that church. It was a touching moment for me to celebrate this day with my mom.

You were strength when I was weak. You were my voice when I couldn’t speak. You were my eyes when I couldn’t see. You saw the best there was in me. Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach. I’m everything I am because you love me.

IMG_0658We had lunch after the service was over. We went to a food market nearby. We were strong enough and ready for a hike. We headed to Bukit Bendera to see Penang from the top. We had to buy a train ticket to go there. It cost us 30 RM for the return ticket. The train was so full of passengers. There were so many international tourist.  There were Caucasians, Chinese, Arabs, and local people. We were lining up to take pictures with Penang Island in the background. We could see the strait that separates Butterworth and Penang Island. There was a row of rainbow coin-operated binoculars which cost 1 RM.  I went to the secret garden and saw a Venus Fly Trap and some other rare plants. We went hiking to see around the park before we took the train back.

We had a traditional meal called laksa penang. It is a noodle and curry soup. It was so good and we had coconut water to keep ourselves hydrated. We ate some Indian snacks before we visited a Buddhist temple and explored a museum which cost 3 RM.  I loved that museum where we could see the cultural influences in Malaysia. They had acculturation from Indian, Chinese, and Malaysian cultures. Almost all the tools, foods, games that they had in the museum had similarities with Indonesia. We enjoyed driving around Penang Island which had a lot of old buildings and warm weather. We drove across a bridge before we watched a beautiful sunset in Butterworth. Local people were gathered and flew kites, played in the sand, and had picnics near the shore, where we could see the buildings on Penang Island.

We took showers and had dinner at Pizza Hut before we went to the bus station.  As usual, we didn’t know the real price, and each bus office had different pricing. I hoped they didn’t cheat me. The bus was late; an old grandpa was interested in the guitar I had with me. My friend had given it to me.  It was a nice of him, but he covered it with white cloths, so that everyone who saw it wondered what it was. This grandpa was so happy talking to me in Mandarin. I was speaking in my broken Mandarin. He was so funny and gave me his address so I could send him the picture I took of him at the bus station.

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Finally our bus came and we hopped in. The driver was arguing with the passengers and the bus owner looked so angry at them. I think it was best that I closed my eyes and slept. Five hours later we arrived in Malaka. It was 5 a.m., it was dark and we saw McDonalds in front of us. We went there and had breakfast. It was so yummy. I looked for bus information to get to the town. It was raining when we got on the bus at 8. The city looked so empty; there was no one on the street. I looked for a room in the hostel area. Almost all of the receptionists that I met seemed unkind. I felt so uncomfortable to be there. Finally I met the owner of one hostel, named Lavender. He was so nice, he showed me the room, talked about politics and gave me a good price. It costs 50RM per night for bed and breakfast.

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We had a brunch of nasi lemak and fresh juice. We walked around to the old city. We went to a museum. We saw how they lived in Malaka, the kites and all the traditional games that they have. We went to St.Paul’s church and some historical buildings, and saw Malaka from the top. We could see the tallest tower and the sea. We were resting in front of an old church where there was a fountain and a miniature Dutch windmill. There were a lot of tourists in that area. The most attractive thing there were the decorated pedicabs. It was fun walking around the old city with my mom and sometimes stopping in a little café to have a drink or cake.

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It was so hot, but the river looked relaxing.  There were so many museums there but we went on the wrong day, as some of them were closed. We tried cendol durian, which tasted so good in our dry mouths and throats. We finished our trip that day with an early dinner of rice balls and pork ribs. I loved them I wanted to eat it over and over again. The rice balls were so tasty ;0 yummy….  We rested in our room and I went out to get some snacks for the next day. I took a 30 minute night bus ride through Malaka at night for 5 RM. It was so pretty at night, the government put thousands of lights there and the weather was so perfect that night.

I shopped before I went back to hostel and packed up my things. The next morning, we had breakfast and checked out and caught a bus to Singapore. It was a surprise for my mom. She knew that we would explore Johor Bahru but she didn’t have any idea that we were going to Singapore. She was so confused why the immigration officer asked for our passports. She wondered whether Johor Bahru is not part of Malaysia anymore. In the end, I told her that we would go straight to Singapore. The bus ticket was so cheap. It cost 21RM/person from Malaka to Singapore.

IMG_0939When we arrived in Singapore, I couldn’t find the hostel address and there was no wifi area nearby. The local people were not able to help me out. In the middle of distress, I hoped someone would help me to discover the address. Thankfully there were 3 guys hanging out holding their smart phones and allowed me to use one. We took the MRT to get to The Hive Hostel. The interior of the room was okay. We took the MRT again to Orchard Road and had lunch in a mall food court. We took a bus to China town, but were distracted by a 2 year old girl who kept playing with us. We missed China Town and ended up in Jurong. We were lost! But we were fine, we walked into the Jurong Mall and ate some really good food in the terminal. We took another MRT to go to Clarke Quay.

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The weather was so nice; the riverside was so wonderful at night. One Singapore dollar popsicle was perfect for that night. We went to the hostel and fell asleep. In the morning, we had breakfast and bought an MRT ticket to Sentosa Island. It was a sunny day. We prepared water bottles and sunglasses. We explored the tourist island and found the bird park which was so wonderful. We took a lot of pictures before we went to Bugis. We ate the most delicious fish cake and cold noodle before we shopped. We bought a lot of things, then we needed another backpack to carry all the shopping bags. We headed to the Merlion statue from the Esplanade building. The security guards were so confused when they saw us in tanktops and shorts, while the other people were formally dressed to watched a concert I guess.

We were waiting for sunset in front of Marina Bay and unfortunately we heard thunder rolling. We were running to the MRT station and missed exploring Garden by the Bay. We were trapped in heavy rain. Instead of going to the hostel, we went to the food market behind the train station. We ate fish balls, which is a perfect meal in bad rain. We walked in the rain and took hot showers before we slept.  On our last day, we woke up late. It was raining, so it was a good excuse to have cups of tea and a very long breakfast. I finished reading my book and donated it to the book shelf there. I made conversation with some tourists from Australia and Korea before I left.IMG_0950

We took the MRT and brought all the things we had packed to the airport. We were waiting in silence, keeping all the good memories from this trip in our hearts while waiting for the flight back home. All the backpacks that we brought, including the guitar, passed the security check. We had a long laundry time when we got home.  I can’t wait for another trip with my mom😉

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