Escapade To Cameron Highlands Part 1

I’m a person who loves travelling. Admittedly, budget and time constraints mean that my trips are to nearby places. This time, I decided to travel to the Cameron Highlands – by driving up to it from Kuala Lumpur.

But being on a shoestring budget, I wanted to save every cent and when I realised I could save $20 by flying to KL from Johor Bahru instead of Singapore, I decided that this was the chance to try out the Johor Airport. Calculating for a 6pm arrival at Cameron Highlands, I knew I had to catch a 10am flight from JB.

Which meant crossing the Johor-Singapore Causeway on public transport during the morning rush hour. It’s reputation as the region’s busiest road, coupled with the fact that  during every family trip it took at least an hour to cross, got me worried. But I decided to try.

So I had to walk out of my university campus at 5.20am to catch the first bus from the main road. Eventually I reached Kranji MRT, where there were a selection of bus services available. You can read the full list here. I was initially waiting for the Causeway Link bus, but 15 minutes later it still hadn’t arrived. So I decided to forget the RM1 fare and boarded 170X instead, paying $1+.

It’s an express service that goes on to Larkin terminal near JB town, but I was getting off at the Malaysian CIQ. I crossed my fingers as we approached the causeway. There was a steady stream of motorbikes, busses and Malaysian cars pouring out from the checkpoint. Lo and behold, the traffic in the direction TO Johor Bahru was nonexistent. I had cleared both countries customs in a dizzying 12 minutes- on public transport!

Anyway, I made my way down to the bus terminal to catch the airport shuttle, operated by Causeway Link. The fare was RM8, and the hourly bus departed on schedule at 8am, but arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule at 8.30am.

Mind you, JB’s Senai Airport is small. And if you were catching a domestic flight, the queues at that hour were non-existent. You did have to go through a metal detector and a patdown, but the security personnel did not feel my diaper nor ask me to open my bag. This left me with 2 whole hours to do my work, before my flight. Having finally passed the security checks, I could finally pee.

Had a window seat to myself 🙂

We landed at KLIA2 – the budget carriers terminal, and once I had changed out of my soaked diaper, I made a terrible discovery – the car I had reserved was at the main terminal. I ran for the connecting KLIA Ekspress train, but discovered that I had missed it by 1 minute and had to wait half an hour for the next.

Anyway, I managed to get to the car, after a lot of walking. The signage in the main terminal was misleading – it pointed to an area in the carpark that said ‘car rental’ but that area was barren. After talking to a security warden who was unsure of the directions himself, I found the dingy dungeon where the car rental companies were operating.

It’s a far cry from what the operators in KLIA2 enjoy. Anyway, I picked up my car from Paradise Cars. After witnessing a Lebanese couple plead to the owner that they did not scratch the car they were returning, I was shown my car, and I was off.

You may wonder why was I so confident of driving off in a foreign land just like that. I had come prepared, with the Waze app preloaded and a phone holder and car-charger which I quickly installed. With my data-plan sim card that I had bought in JB, I as confident that I could make it anywhere without getting lost.

I had initially planned to drive into the KL City Centre for lunch and a spot of shopping. But the 45-minute delay meant that I had to skip that, in order to reach Tanah Rata in the Cameron Highlands before sunset. That meant an impromptu stopover. I recognised a Tesco on the map 8km away, and immediately set Waze to reach it.

But I should have known that the Malaysian roads were twisty and turny, and I drove for 15km, to reach it. To eat lunch at a KFC. At least it was stuff that I recognised, at a place that is decently clean.

Despite running late, I decided to take a peek in the Tesco supermarket above. I realised that the only Adult Diapers in this place were Tena Values. But the baby diaper aisle was full of some amazing-looking brands I had never seen. Alas a couple there prevented me from taking a picture. I stocked up on essentials such as water and some small munchies for the journey, before setting off.

The third leg of the day was the 150km drive up the North-South Highway – the region’s most famous road. Stopping just before the Tapah exit, I refuelled, conscious that I had made a severe miscalculation (I’ll get to this in a bit). Wearily, I pumped air in my tires, something I should have done before I set off, for it would have improved my mileage. The petrol kiosk attendant watched me struggle with amusement. On the last 10km or so, the front wheel started to rattle and it scared the wits out of me. Luckily I was wearing a diaper.

Anyway, I soon exited the highway and hit the mountainous road, just as it started to pour. I was really terrified and began to question what the hell was I doing? I knew that cars honked at each other at bends, but I’m sure many honked at me.

IMG_1230w

It was raining on the drive up.

I nearly got into an accident on the way up. I was distracted that the GPS and radio was not functioning and was prodding the radio while on the move, but on that curvy road, I quickly strayed onto the opposing lane. Visibility was bad due to the rain, and I must thank my lucky stars that the other car stopped in time. It could have been the fatigue, but it was not an excuse at all.

Once I reached the first town – Ringlet – I reset my GPS and kept on driving. Left, right, left, right. That was the sequence. Perhaps a little more rights, but it was the sheer monotony of the drive that was beginning to unnerve me. Thankfully, I arrived in Tanah Rata soon enough. I did have to guess and drive around a little to find my hotel, but thankfully there was a parking lot available. It was 6.30, and I had made it before the sun set.

Once I got my room key, I turned my attention to the aforementioned miscalculation. I had left a RM100 note at home, meaning that I was severely short of cash – that was mainly to be used to pay for petrol and meals. I reckoned that I could survive on the 3 chocolate barsI’d bought earlier, but what would I do to return to KL? I had to catch that flight, I had school on friday afternoon!

So I activated my overseas atm withdrawal feature via iBanking (it’s something you have to do with Singapore cards), and began to try every single ATM in Tanah Rata. CIMB, RHB, Maybank, Agrobank, Western Union. But my OCBC Mastercard and POSB ATM card did not yield. I was trying their Cirrus and Maestro functions, things I never really paid attention to in the past. But now I was praying that they would send the money in my way. No such luck.

Having eaten a modest dinner costing RM5, I trudged over to the other side of the road to take a walk. There were a number of eateries and souvenir shops along the main Tanah Ratah shopping stretch, and after enquiring about some tour packages, I decided to head back to my hotel room to sulk and get some sleep.

Then I spotted a HSBC branch. It did the trick, using Maestro. To which, I’m true grateful to them. It took a global banking giant to serve this customer, when all the star-studded Malaysian banks couldn’t.

I returned to my room at my inn, washed up, and I hit the haystack early. It wasn’t a comfortable night, as there was neither a fan nor an aircon. The bedsheets were rough but at least they were clean. Either way, I was too tired to care and I sed into a deep slumber quickly.

Part 2 coming up in a bit.

– Selv

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My Drive-pered Escapade

This is going to be a long post. The diaper portions are little, but trust me, they are ‘juicy’, mind the pun. Think of this post as a story. You can read the diapered chapters only, if you so wish.

Chapter 1: Pick-up day

I’ve not had an escapade in quite a while as now I have better access to diapers since ORD. But I still longed for that freedom of being able to go wherever I want, being a tourist in my own country etc. Also, I’ve always wanted to rent a car and ‘just drive’, for the fun of it. And that’s just what I did. I even came up with 4 ‘modules’, just for the fun of planning it.

I rented a small car for my Escapade, a simple Suzuki Swift. And the pick-up itself was quite a mess! Their office was in an industrial complex, and the address that I received was unclear. Once I found the place, I was told that I had to pay the deposit in cash. So, I fumbled back down to the vast complex and had to find an ATM. It took me nearly half an hour!. But my ordeal didn’t end there. The guy led me to the car, and instructed me to get into the passenger seat. I assumed that he was going to show me the interior. But instead, he zoomed off to the neighbouring industrial complex! It was evening and he didn’t even tell me where we was going until I asked. Turned out that he simply wanted a ‘lift’ to the place since I had rented out their last car.

So there I was, in the middle of another, unfamiliar industrial complex. Gingerly, I drove out, and took a wrong turn… Had to stop to consult Google Maps. I had decided to go to Kovan for dinner, and to experience night driving at the same time, and I did. As I was approaching the carpark, it dawned onto me that I had forgotten to put in the Cashcard. Upon closer inspection, I realised that it was the ‘older’ Cashcard, not CEPAS. Luckily, the gantry opened. Heaving a sigh of relief, I went in and found a spot. Being a perfectionist, I re-aligned the Swift 3 times before getting out. And a homeless man watching that scene laughed. Walking away, I got myself a Subway sandwich, and a Cashcard. Drove home and parked in a multi-storey car park a little further from my house (for obvious reasons). The very MSCP that my dad proclaimed that was ‘very difficult to negotiate’.

Chapter 2: I need a toilet

The next day, I had planned to put on my diaper at home before commencing my driving. Then, my grandma decided to go walking that morning, and I knew that I couldn’t take any chance. I walked down, underwear on, diaper in my bag, greeted her, and walked on. At first, I wanted to put it on in the public toilet at the Community Centre. But they had just commenced cleaning. The nearby MRT Station was similarly undergoing cleaning. And as the clock had struck 9am, I decided to just move on.

I drove out of the MSCP WITH GREAT EASE (emphasis added), and drove on to East Coast Park’s Seafood Centre. I had chosen that carpark as it would be deserted in the morning, and it was. I quickly donned on my Softess diaper (horrible HORRIBLE design, but good absorbency), bagged my underwear (I’ll come back for this), and bought a lemonade before commencing some self-teaching, ‘skills module’. I taught myself to do forward-parking, and to reverse to the rear without looking at the mirrors. These things were not taught in driving-school, and I guess I’ll never use the latter, it is so silly.

After I was satisfied that I had mastered it somewhat, I decided to commence my ‘city-driving module’. But I realised that I should have awoken earlier, as most of the traffic jams had cleared by 11.30. I out of the carpark, kept to the service road and drove up Still Road, and down Changi Road, all the way to Bukit Merah before turning into Telok Blangah. Modest distance. I peed a trickle at some traffic stops, but nothing major.

I then stopped at a carpark, for another glass of lemonade. It turned out that I was in LKY’s ward, which meant that the place that I was sitting in was frequented by my grandmother, before I was born. A place which I had stumbled across by accident, an oral legend, since my grandmother moved out of the area before I was born. And I see if for the first time while I was wearing a diaper. Like it was meant to be… I wonder if the old ladies I saw still remembered my grandmother.

Sentiments aside, I commenced my ‘hilly-region module’. The route was simple; drive up and down Mount Faber’s steep and winding roads, loop and repeat. The valets at the Jewel@Mount Faber must have been wondering what in the world was I doing. Anyway, though some sections were indeed steep and winding, it was really nothing. I guess real mountain roads would be much more challenging. So, no driving up to Cameron Highlands for now. With that thought, I paused for lunch at the Harbourfront Food Centre.

Chapter 3: Don’t laugh at me!

After that, I decided to head down to the Australian Embassy. It took me a while to figure things out, but I drove to the Hong Lim Park Complex to park at the MSCP there. There, I would change out of my diaper, and walk downtown to do my thing. I set off. It was a simpler MSCP, so I parked easily. There I made a horrible discovery. I HAD LEFT MY UNDERWEAR AT EAST COAST! My heart was racing. I was wearing a diaper that seemed very heavy, and I didn’t know what was its capacity. My lunch-time deluge was on its way, and I had to face the prospect of walking 3 streets wearing a wet diaper, directly into the Australian Embassy. I was left with no choice. I started my walk. Along the way, tourists stopped me to ask for directions, I ran for the traffic light as my diaper crinkled audibly. And when I made it to the Embassy, I found out that I had ‘just’ missed the cut-off time for the day’s applications.

Sadly, I started my walk back. And as I was waiting at a traffic light, I heard laughing. I turned around and saw a group of three white men, with a deep accent (probably from the UK or Australia). Then one of them said ‘look at his pants’. And the three burst out laughing. That was when I realised just how visible the outline of my full diaper was. It was a real nightmare – I was standing in the middle of the CBD in broad daylight wearing a wet diaper with a visible outline, and people were laughing at me! I just changed direction and walked away from the junction as fast as I could go. I won’t comment on the likelihood of them being ABDL.

Chapter 4: Underwear Woes

I made it back to the car, and had a little scare when I could the car parked in a different deck. Almost died from the fear. I made up my mind to alter my route and go back to East Coast. I wasn’t sure if the plastic-bag was still there. But I had to try. 25 nerve-wracking minutes later, I had arrived. And from a distance, I noticed that people were sitting the seat I last remembered sitting. The whole place was still empty and they had to sit at that seat. My mind was a blank. I knew that it was game over but my legs just kept walking towards the table. And at a distance where they started to notice me, I saw it.

The white plastic bag was there, chucked aside into the nearby plants. As quick as I could, I grabbed the bag and walked away as quick as I could. But the moment I lay my hands on the bag, the group burst out laughing. I knew immediately that they were the ones who had moved the bag. But whatever, I never felt so glad that I was going to wear underwear! And so, I moved toward the very toilet cubicle where I had put on the diaper, and proceeded to pee out what little liquid was left within me that I hadn’t let out during the 25 min drive. I suppressed the urge to go #2, and changed out of my well-used diaper. With a tinge of longing, I threw the gleaming garment away, wrapped in the white plastic bag that had been holding a used underwear just minutes ago.

Chapter 5: No more diaper

With that, the ‘diapered’ part of my ‘Drive-pered Escapade’ had just ended. But up ahead lay my the part that I was looking forward to the most – the ‘long -distance module’. I had to alter my route due to the detour, and due to various delays it was going to be highly truncated. But I was determined to make to best of it. So I set off, covering half the ECP, before turning into the KPE, driving up all the way on to TPE, then the PIE till the end, east on AYE, up the CTE and back east on the PIE towards the industrial complex. I nearly missed a u-turn, but was able to make it back in time to return the vehicle.

At times, I caught myself wanting to pee. I sort of missed the way the diaper provided extra padding for me on the seat. I missed the extra comfort that was now gone. And, of course, the option of ‘going on the go’. But I realised that while the diaper had shaped my day, it was the driving I really benefitted from, yet was playing down..

Epilogue

I thank you for reading about my experience. I guess the one thing that I learnt would be that when you plan, always expect the plan to change. With that, I wish to announce that I will be going away on a holiday for 10 days. I’ll be backpacking to Australia, and if all goes well, I’ll be wearing a diaper for the very first time in a foreign country. No promises, but I’ll try to blog in that period.

Until then, take care.

-Selv