Ok, this is outdated - we took a day trip to Malacca on 31 May. My impression of Malacca wasn't the best after my first trip some years back but now, I think I will go back again.
We visited Sito's relatives - the house was super 懐かしい, reminding me of the one my paternal grandmother used to work in many years ago. They brought us to a little teahouse for breakfast - mee siam etc, spicy but good - before running some errands. The shopping malls were great and if we had more time, I could have spent some money :p
After lunch at a quaint little place whose name I forgot, Sito's cousins brought us to this Gi Kiat Huay for the yummiest chendol ever, topped with superb gula melaka. I will go back again even if it is just for the chendol!
Then more recently, we went to Surabaya at the height of H1N1. I have not taken a budget airline until 10 July.
Sito: How did you go places in Europe?
mf: KLM, BA, British Midlands, SAS...
Sito: ... How much did you save in those four years?
mf: Discounting the £500 I brought with me, maybe average of £100 a year..?
I know, I'm horrible! But my usage of the internet back then was different I guess.. And somehow, I was horribly disillusioned that STA was the cheapest for students. Maybe so for normal airlines but I could have got budget airlines!
Anyway, the journey was an interesting one. There was no food except for a cold muffin. We kept them. As we touched down, we saw a plane that was quite a wreck on the grass - rather scary but..
Sito: Maybe they keep it for the spare parts..
Then, we got off the plane and walked towards the arrival hall. There was only a handful of shops selling things so no shopping. Before we hit the checkpoints, we had to go through this machine. We were the first ones there and saw that the bags must go under this metal railing that didn't look like a scanner... But we just put through and guess what, the thing sprayed disinfectant on the bags!
And next to the railing was a doorway with a woman standing on the other side. She was speaking in bahasa but she was also pointing so I followed and put my hands into two black holes and pssst!! Then I was waved through and pssst! I was disinfected too!
Singaporeans don't need to be paranoid about H1N1 - other countries are more scared of us!
And along the way, I realised this was the first time I was in Indonesia Indonesia, not an Indonesian island :p
Outside the airport, we quickly found our meet-&-greet. But it took a while to wait for everyone - not too pleasant with smoke and a lot of people - before we got to this school bus - the seats were for tinier butts than ours *.* And it has no luggage compartment..
My seat's recline was spoilt and was almost horizontal if not for our luggage on the seat behind. Sito swapped with me so that I could sit upright but he had to keep his hands up else he had no room!
Hotel should be better...
And it was!
We got our room card from the dance competition organiser - oh yes, that was the purpose of going to Surabaya - and signed in for our number - 52.
Our room at Java Paragon was nice - at the 19th floor so we had a great view. The city looked nice and neat. We had a buffet dinner at the hotel that night instead of going to a welcome party by the organisers.
The competition was held in a convention centre some 30 minutes away, which was a bother. Although our competition was in the afternoon, we thought to make use of the morning practice slot for latin dancers to test the dance floor. So we woke quite early to pack our gear, do my hair :p
Results? We didn't make it past the heats this time. Waltz was slightly better; we went as far as the second round of heats. Oh well, we tried :)
So, we treated ourselves for our hard work with a dinner at Ah Yat, also in the hotel. Yup, we didn't venture out much :p We also had a massage in the hotel - turn this into a mini holiday, yeah!
We left on the third day, which was a very long day.. After checking in, we found the customs chaps on their lunch break, i.e. no one to process our passports! Isn't such work supposed to be rotated by shifts??
Before we left for the airport, we were just talking with some chaps from the studio that the Jetstar flight timings were better compared to SQ - we could get back to Singapore just before dinner time. But unfortunately, our flight was delayed for almost three hours, and the SQ flight took off first!! It was really irritating, cos there were only three shops in the airport! I really appreciate Changi Airport..
Took some photos in our room: