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Saturday, 10 July 2010 10:30

2 As we still have to earn a living, sometimes in Singapore, Bali was not an option. We do not speak Thai; Sri Lanka was still at war; Canada is too cold; Africa is unpredictable in a bad way; I find the Aussie accent difficult. Singapore had changed drastically since the 1950s and ‘60s, but we found that Johor is similar in spirit and attitude to those golden days of our youth.

3 The food and fruit are familiar and cheaper here. We can afford to eat out every night if we choose to.

4 We thought we would fit in, with no real difficulties. So it happened, as the people kindly welcomed us. It is easy to make friends.

5 It appeared our money would go a much longer way, and it really does.

6 The stress of a crowded city was getting to us health wise: our stress levels fell about 80% in the first three months living here from not keeping up with Spore news daily.

7 We made do very well with no newspapers, but had the Internet and BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera. Of course good or kaypo friends would kindly keep us updated from time to time. We did miss a few funerals.

8 There are wide blue skies, square miles of green, infrequent traffic jams, rare crowds and quiet. Mostly no noise but birdsong, crickets at night, roosters crowing, a meow here or woof there.

9 Within 1½ hour we are at a stunning beach. The islands off the east coast of Johor are among the most beautiful in the world and a weekend or longer holiday is in RM$ and affordable.

10 If you are into jungle and rainforest, Johor has five vast national parks, all driving distance away.

11 A personal test of contentment for me: How is it when it rains? And we are just as happy (more so, since the garden need not be watered) in a storm or in sunshine.

Any problems? Oh yeah!! Since when is anything on this earth perfect?

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 16:43