Coconuts, pineapples and otak

[Warning: Very very very long post with mucho mucho pictures.]

Barely a week after our crazy dinner involving 7.5 hours of travelling and only 30 minutes of eating, the Goonfather made me go on another road trip.

But this trip was more interesting because the drive there was as much of an event as the planned activities. This time, we went in a procession! Seven Mazda RX-8s driving to Muar (little town near Malacca) together.

Yeah, I know the picture only has six cars in a row. But see the lonely red car at the opposite side of the carpark? Part of the group, too. I don’t know why the driver (very pretty lady) decided to be the odd one out at this particular rest stop.

Incidentally, she was also very late for the meetup. So the guys, faced with the prospect of a long wait (meeting time was 7 am, she only arrived at 8.30 am), did the only thing guys do in such a situation: admire each other’s car engines.

I will never understand how guys can stand around all day staring at car engines and talking animatedly about them. But then, they will never understand why I need so many pairs of shoes, so I guess we’re even.

Kind of.

I still don’t understand.

Women are more sensible.

They don’t need to stand around a bunch of tubes and cables to have a good conversation and are well-equipped to entertainment themselves anytime, anywhere, under the sun, which was incidentally very glaring, even at 7 am.

Very, very hot day.

When we finally set off, the journey was unexpectedly fun. I had planned to sleep during the drive (which I estimated would take over an hour) because I only had a few hours of sleep the night before.

But entertainment come in the form of a little blue gadget and threw all my sleeping plans out the window.

Each car was equipped with a comms unit, which was how we communicated. Driving single file, the leading cars relayed important information to the cars behind.

“Pothole on the right. Keep left, I repeat, keep left.”

“Clear for overtaking after motorcycle.”

“Big roadkill middle of road. Gross!”

“Major bump coming up. Please slow down.”

“Dead cat on road shoulder left.”

“Someone sing a song or something. I’m bored.”

Unfortunately, most of the conversation came out garbled. I don’t know if it’s because the Goonfather’s unit is lousy. Or the reception is bad at larger ranges. Most of the time, all we heard was “Zzzblppzz raaaar raaar raaar zaza graaaaaaar!” especially when people spoke too fast and too loud.

So I entertained myself by taking pictures through the widescreen.

Here’s our procession. We had five cars in front of us at this time and I managed to get a good view. I had to prop my camera on the dashboard and wait till the road curved so I could see all the cars.

We got to Muar in no time.

First stop (not counting a quick breakfast at a rest stop along the way) was this famous temple supposedly popular with many Singaporeans.

The weather was very, very, very hot. Hotter than before. We took refuge at a coconut stall after we were done with temple activities.

But it was still too hot. I was drenched in sweat by the time we got back to the car. Rare event, because I hardly sweat. Not even when I work out at the gym. The only times I sweat buckets are after one-hour jogs in the open.

I took a photo of my sweat-beaded cleavage because it’s so rare to see so much sweat form there, but the Goonfather says I can’t post that photo up.

Oh, well.

So, we went on to have lunch.

Muar is very quaint. It’s like a giant kampong. The two words I would use to describe Muar are “Green” and “Dusty”. The roads are dusty but everywhere else is green.

The guys found a whole stretch of green near the lunch place to park their cars. Managed to get a picture of all seven cars in a row, yay.

Lunch was at this place called Restoran Merlin.

It’s also supposedly a very famous place popular with Singaporeans, although I’ve never heard of it. There are pictures of Singapore celebrity Zhong Qin eating at the restaurant, as well as newpaper articles, plastered over one wall.

It was very, very crowded. We had to wait for a seat (Well, we did have almost 20 people) and then wait for the food.

I think everyone enjoyed their food, but it was only okay for me considering the hype. Maybe because I was totally not hungry, having had a nasi lemak breakfast only like three hours before.

Back to the cars after a very filling lunch.

And back on the road.

We were driving behind this white RX-8 when the Goonfather pointed out that something was written above the “Mazda”.

Hahaha. Apparently, one of the guys had finger written it when the owner wasn’t looking. Is Muar really so dusty? Or is it the owner never wash car for too long? Haha.

I’ve zoomed in and upped the contrast so you can see the writing.

Hahahaha.

The expedition leader took us to this very ulu place next. After winding through lots of dusty little roads and alleys, we finally came to here.

The general consensus was a resounding “Errrrrr….?”

“Bring us to construction site for what?”

We followed the leader into the madness, past the construction and delapidation and we came to…

Otak!

What a delighful place!

Another famous place. What an educational trip this turned out to be!

There was this old uncle and auntie couple selling frozen otak from their house. I think maybe they’re suppliers, because they didn’t flinch when one of the guys ordered 70 boxes.

Each box is only about the size of my hand, but 70 is still a considerable number. We had to wait for ages for uncle and auntie to pack them up.

And here it is. Phat lewt! OMG.

In contrast, the Goonfather bought this gimpy little bag’s worth. Hahaha.

And then, it was time to head home with our fishy spoils, but first, a petrol stop.

We totally owned the petrol station.

The journey home was nice because I finally managed to get some sleep. But halfway through, we ran into a torrential downpour, which woke me up. And visibility was so bad we had to drive at below 80kmh for a good long time.

But it was a great trip on the whole. Very fun, even though I didn’t know anyone apart from the Goonfather. It was my first time to an outing with his car forum friends. I didn’t talk much to anyone, but they were all nice and friendly people, so it was cool.

We brought a giant pineapple home! The Goonfather was worried about it along the way because it kept rolling about in the boot during the drive home. We kept hearing “klonk!” from the boot.

But it got home nice and safe. Phew.

Afterword: The otak from that funny ulu house is AWESOME, so spicy and fragrant and very chunky meaty. Now I know why that guy bought 70 boxes. I think the Goonfather’s gonna buy 200 boxes the next time we go there. Haha.

I hear there’s gonna be another road trip to other Malaysian locations soon, involving many many more cars. OMG can’t wait. But I’ll need to buy a straw hat or something to keep from being barbequed alive. Maybe a parasol.

Haha.