So how can I say this?
Crab Island, you are an amazing and strange beast filled with many gifts.
Let me go back to the beginning to explain as this is one weird and odd story, however it all began so unassuming and harmless. We left our room at ~10:30am and headed for the monorail, which in KL is fantastic, I cannot recommend it enough for reaching your must-see tourist destinations. It took us to Sentral(sic) where we made the change to the komuter(sic again) trains which were fast, clean and efficient, which pretty much sums up KL to a T. After a short walk we then boarded a ‘ferry’ which looked like it belonged in the scrap yard. The view out the window would have normally been amazing if we could have seen out them in the first place so instead we amused ourselves by staring at the fake flowers lining the roof.
Crab Island itself was very picturesque with all the buildings on stilts about the mudflats which when we arrived were submerged from the tides. We didn’t get to see much of Crab Island before we reached our purpose for visiting – the seafood restaurant situated at the end of the pier, SO HANDY!
We sat down and ordered mud crab of course, steamed! Plus some chilli prawns which we recommended to us. Excellent choice. The sauce they were in were amazing! So much so that we found ourselves scooping up every last drop. Then came the mud crab! We didn’t really specify size or amount, just mud crab please! And wow, what came out was a platter full of bits and pieces of steamed excellent! We counted all up what would have been 3 and a half mud crab.
After an epic lunch we sat back and enjoyed our beer and revelled in the location. That was when we were approached by a Malaysian fellow by the name of Thaba who asked us if we were Australian and to join his group who also were Australian. Suddenly we found ourselves talking to Australian Apex volunteer workers who had just completed building a shelter for the disabled. They continuously filled our glasses with beer as the shared their stories and the wonders of Apex. We were plied with much beer and odd desserts.
We attempted to leave many times citing that we had not yet seen the island, that we had to leave soon as our ferry was about to leave, whatever we could come up with. The only answer they had for us was more beer. They then offered us a lift on their boat which we humbly accepted and we set off down the pier for the boat. By this stage the tide had subdued and we could see the mudflats complete with tiny crabs running about. You kids will grow up to be a tasty treat one day!
To get to our boat we had to climb across the old rickety ferry which we had no problem saying goodbye too. As we passed the entrance an English girl by the name of Rachael popped her head out to which Thaba instantly encouraged her to join us with her friend Kelly. The Apex hospitality machine keeps on turning. Thankfully we weren’t the only ones roped in on this wild ride.
The boat was fantastic, a lovely modern fishing boat complete with esky fully stocked with beer, which unsurprisingly was offered to us at any opportunity. The ride was a far cry from the ferry we arrived on. We relaxed on the rear deck of the boat with the sun shining down, cool beer in our hands and amazing scenery flying past, life was great. We arrived at our destination just beyond the port at a yacht club where they gave us and the English girls more free alcohol and generally outstanding hospitality. Then all of a sudden there were speeches being given applauding the work that the Apex volunteers had done when all of a sudden the speech was turned to us. Turns out that the global pacific leader, the Australian leader and the Malaysian leaders for Apex were all present, and had all agreed to induct us as global members of Apex, complete with induction chanting, ceremony, and pin to commemorate the event. We were humbled and baffled to say the least. To make the situation even more amusing Rachael the English girl who we talked to most on the boat, decided to give an impromptu speech about the good that Apex was doing and her sadness that she could not join due to jurisdiction in the UK. Afterwards the four of us were quite amused Rachael’s sudden soapbox moment.
As if things couldn’t get any more odd, we then were driven to an exclusive club, somewhat like a country club for the rich and exclusive of Malaysia. Again there was even more alcohol and conversation, however it was interesting to see that Thaba was all of a sudden on his best behaviour, a far cry from his drunken antics earlier in the day. Unfortunately we could not join everyone for dinner in the members area due to our attire, not that we expected to end up in some rich kids club in the first place, we were just going to Crab Island!
One of the members, Melvin, had his own personal driver due to his dad being a fairly significant politician, and offered to drive us wherever we pleased. We were hungry so stopped for some excellent Chinese food whilst the alcohol started to really get to Melvin. We had intended to meet up with the others again except Melvin in such a drunk state, forgot where they were all going, and so instead offered to drive us home which we though sounded fine. That was until we hit the road. The driver was aparrently new and not driving to Melvin’s satisfaction, prompting him to order the poor driver to pull over. There was some concerning conversation in Malasian before the driver announced that Melvin wanted to drive.
Well you’ve never seen four people exit a van so fast in their lives! We pleaded with Melvin to let his driver continue, that he was too drunk to drive, and that yeah, we didn’t feel like dying just yet. Melvin gave in to our pleas and then we set off on our journey again, somewhat shaken by the prospect of what almost happened. Everything was good for about 10 minutes before a similar conversation brewed between our young Melvin and the courageous driver. Then once again the van began to pull over so that they could swap seats. Okay that was it, we pleaded for him to let us out so we could call a teksi (sic) but Melvin was determined to drive us home. After much negotiating we finally agreed that he would drop us at the nearest train station and be on our merry way.
We said our goodbyes and waved him off then promptly found a cab where the driver was sober and not very talkative. Excellent! The rest of the journey consisted of us talking about this crazy day and trying to take in all that happened. Malaysian hospitality is amazing and these people really showed us another side to the country. However I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to see that side again just yet.