My time in Malacca passed quickly and soon Joe, Rina and I were off to Melaka Sentral bus station. The Taiwanese friends were heading south to Singapore and I was going north to Kuala Lumpur. I couldn’t wait to get there as I’d finally see my friend Voon again. She is one of the two Malaysian girls I met in Rotorua, New Zealand when we worked at Crank Backpackers. It would be a wonderful reunion, and I looked forward to catching up with her and find out what she’d been doing since we’d last seen each other.
I booked at bus to Kuala Lumpur (or KL as the locals call it) but had to wait a few hours before it departed. Joe and Rina’s bus left within the hour, and despite only meeting them a day or two ago, I was sad to see them leave. You’d think I’d get used to how ephemeral travel friendships are, but I seem to meet very nice people who make parting more and more difficult.
The bus ride from Malacca to Kuala Lumpur was long but uneventful. I was just happy it was air-conditioned the entire way and not full of passengers. I read e-books the entire time and managed to finish a couple. When I arrived at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, a gigantic transportation interchange, I was glad to get out and stretch my legs. The place was huge, but I just asked for directions to KFC, where Voon and I were to meet.
KFC was up several levels and in the food court, but I found it easily and only waited a few minutes before Voon arrived. She came straight from work dressed in business attire. I’d never seen her dressed this way because no backpacker carries around a blouse, slacks and heels so it was funny to see her dressed up. The more I looked at it, the more I dreaded returning to corporate life again. I only hoped I could prolong my travels to avoid such a fate until I could figure out what to do.
After catching up over dinner at KFC, Voon and I headed back to her place where I’d be living while in Kuala Lumpur. I really appreciated staying with her for so many reasons: 1) I’d be able to catch up with her and would have an excellent point of reference to answer any questions that I had about Malaysia; 2) I’d experience what it was like to really live in this country; 3) I’d have my own personal foodie tour guide because Voon promised to expose me to all the authentic Malaysian cuisine she could think of; and 4) I’d save on accommodation costs and avoid having to live with strangers at a hostel. It was a winning situation for me no matter how I looked at it.