Finally. That's all I feel I need to say. Finally. But, just for you guys who actually read this, and give a damn, (mom and dad), I will write a bit more.
Like I've said a hundred times, Malaysia is where it's at. I love it. Happy, friendly people, warm weather, and beautiful beaches. Unfortunatley, the diving was not so good due to the monsoons, but it'll improve, and I'll come back.
Tioman is an island off the east coast of Malaysia, close to Singapore on the map, but worlds away. As soon as I got there I knew it was the right place to be. Everybody actually smiled and talked to you, at random. I met a Malaysian, Izwan, on the boat who happened to work at the only dive shop that was currently open. Convenient. He showed me around and I found a place to stay. My private little cabanna, steps from the ocean and dirt cheap. The toilet only flushed when it felt like it, but I barely noticed. Once settled, I went down to the dive shop to arrange some diving and get the low down. Izwan was the first guy I met and one of the friendliest, happiest dudes around.
The following 6 days included 2 dives, 3 amazing traditional Malay massages, reading my book from beginning to end, hiking, snorkelling, swimming, going to a Muslim wedding and laying around doing nothing. AAAHH. Definetly the best week yet.
Everybody I met on the island was worth keeping in contact with, and I will make an effort to do just that. Even though I'm generally useless in that category. Such a great group. It's really amazing when everyone just clicks like that. It's kinda like one big family, sharing stories and advice, drinking beer and relaxing. Man, I miss it already, and I just left.
Uman is the malaysian guy who gave me the massage. He had studied under his uncle and did a top notch job. It hurt like a bitch at times, but in the end I felt completly renewed and revitalized. Good enough to feel like giving a massage, and that's been pretty rare lately. On my last day I gave Uman a massage, to show my thanks and because I know how much it sucks to always be giving and never receiving. In return he took me out for the most delicious fresh fish dinner and then we ended up at the bar. It just happened to be Izwan's birthday, so a few drinks were had, but thankfully, more by Izwan and the bartender than me. As a result, I was able to wake up and enjoy my last morning on Tioman, barely able to resist the urge to miss the ferry, taking me back to the mainland and reality, of sorts.
I had already made plans to meet up with James ( an absolutley amusing english guy) and travel together up to Tasik Chini. So I had to continue on. And that's a whole other story.