After 3 days of bumming around Singapore and enjoying each other’s company, R and I finally made it to Tioman. Well, we made it to Mersing first, then Tioman. It was my first time to Malaysia by public bus, and his first time to a Muslim country ever. After working/ sitting in the office for 3 hours, R proudly announced his arrival “I’m here but I’m wet” where he was sitting at the reception at my office. After a few quick errands, we were both off to paradise. Rushed to catch the bus to Johor, before realizing that we weren’t going to make it for the early bus to Mersing. Somehow we killed 3 hours at the bus terminal. Ate lunch, drank teh terik in comfortable silence and walked the entire market around the station very very slowly. After a super long ride for just 134 km because of the traffic, we finally reached Mersing at almost 9 pm. Luckily, we had a nice room with a comfortable bed, and that was all I needed. It was so long-awaited, and I couldn’t help but let out a smile while we were kissing. I sneaked a few peeks at him and caught him smiling blissfully too. That’s all that needs to be said. It was a great start to the weekend.
The next morning, we caught the one and only ferry to Tioman and were pleasantly surprised with great weather. It had apparently been pouring the past few days and I was almost prepared to spend the whole weekend chilling in the room (which I wouldn’t have minded honestly). The sight of the crystal clear waters with a crazy blue gradient greeted us once we got off the ferry. We had our first priority sorted out, i.e. ice cream, and walked through a slippery forest with monitor lizards scampering across our paths before we made it to the first beach for snorkeling. I never knew that corals and fishes were so close to the shore, and it was literally a whole new world under the water. We got tired after an hour or so, and just chilled on hammocks for a bit before being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
With not much planned for the rest of the afternoon, we took a leisurely stroll along the shore, talking about the most random stuff and watching life on the island. It always feels so comfortable with him, we could be just doing nothing and I’d be really satisfied without getting the need to fill the silence or entertain him. Halfway, we stopped near a diving school with a platform near the shore, and randomly decided to swim to it just so that we could dive into the water. R was getting squeamish about swimming along side the fish and it was rather funny. Came across a restaurant offering a thanksgiving dinner, as it was the last weekend they would be open before the monsoon season started, so we knew we just had to go there. Because free food. It was a long wait, and it seemed like the whole village was coming to that restaurant. Thankfully, the food more than made it worth while. Buffet style homecooked Malay food at its best, it took all my willpower to stop at two plates. Just as we were heading back, it started to drizzle, and within minutes it turned into a huge downpour. Ran all the way back to our hostel which was a good 15 minutes away. Totally drenched, we watched part of a movie before finding each other better entertainment.
The next day, we lazily rose at noon after an awesome lay-in. As all the tours left at 10am, we were lucky to catch a water taxi to a nearby village to explore it for a bit and chill on the beach. Didn’t bring much ringgit, so our choices of activities were rather limited. Nonetheless, one just can’t get bored with such good marine life to snorkel around. That evening, we caught an awesome sunset with a few beers in hand, before splurging a little on some seafood and banana cake. The night ended perfectly, with the rain battering down just as we reached our room.
The next day, it was a loong and tiring journey back to Singapore with lots of waits. I got reminded why I never wanted to go to Tioman – the effort to get there cheaply just wasn’t worth it. Still, we ended on a high, with a damn good Peranakan dinner near his place. He asked me what the highlight of my weekend was, and I lied a little, saying it was the snorkeling when in fact, it was him. Our goodbye was once again abrupt, with me walking one direction and him the other. Sadly, I think this is the last I’d see of him for at least a year. Hopefully, the memories will be enough til then.
I hope R realises how special he is. There are few people in the world that I’d take leave for when I’m not planning to travel, and even fewer people I’d spend money on the way I did with him. After this short week, I think I’ve gotten over my infatuation with him. Deep down, I know it is just lust and I feel so strongly about him as he is my only escape from this shitty mundane routine of a life that I have right now and other than being travel/fck buddies, our personalities just aren’t compatible. Still, I love him dearly as a special friend, and can’t wait for the next time I get lucky with him again.