I know my area has roaming pickpocketers and small time crooks, and gangsters, but I’m the worse offender, and always leave my laptop and camera on the table when I go to the toilet. You have to have faith in an area and the area will have faith in you.

It really was time to get out of the area. I have my bearings now and I know where the Malays hang out. Just listen for loud music and you’ll sure to have found a market. If the music doesn’t catch your attention because you are deaf, look for the flashing laser lights.

I like hanging out with the Malays. They are different species to what I’m use to in Grunge Town. The market is always a family thing. Malays are no different to the Indonesians, and  love a good bargain.

Around the sultanate palace,  it’s lit up like Christmas. I keep on walking. I’ve stumbled into a dilapidated area with vacant houses. I continue, I need the exercise. Then I come across a large vast space that’s currently under construction. The poster says it will be a three building complex. Soon Johor will look down at Singapore with its skyscrapers.

There’s some big money in this border town and just walking around the construction sites gives you an idea that Johor has some wealthy backers.

The Johor-Singapore  charade doesn’t fool me.They are twin cities  built on mutual trust. If a Singaporean invests money in Malaysia, it knows that it’s going to get its dividends, and no questions asked.

The walk takes me back to the Indian mosque. An Indian says hello to me. I met him the other night outside the Chinese restaurant that doubles up as a knock shop. I’m glad he hasn’t read my last post yet. To cross the canal that’s under contraction, that separates the city in two, I navigate over some rickety boards. Johor has a bit of everything for everyone.

Luckily I wasn’t mugged or pulled over by the police on this late night walk.

Then an Indian She Male, I don’t really know what her sex is, apprehends me in Ladyboy lane.  “Only five minutes. I want to talk to you.” I’m busy and continue back to my hotel. It’s sometimes nice to have a quiet night in the room away from the pulse of the streets. Those ten hour or more sessions at coffee shops can really take a toll on you and make you jaded.

I’m back at my local for a morning tea tarik and roti. I think I was missed. The Buddhist monk stays well clear of me as I wave him away.  I don’t care what anyone says about Johor, but it lacks that hard nosed approach of Brickfields in Kuala Lumpur.

Johor has the 16th richest Sultanate in the world, and the locals are comforted in that thought.




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