From a letter home dated Friday 11-11-1966
This is the last letter you will receive from me abroad, and I expect it will reach you just one or two days before I arrive home by QF732 next Thursday morning. We came down to Singapore yesterday from Malacca. The long journey is virtually over; now it is just a matter of getting on a plane. That is still five days away, but already I am getting nervous and excited. I am looking forward to being home very much. I received your letter at the High Commission yesterday and am sorry to hear that Dad is not well. I hope my coming home will cheer him up. I expect I shall receive a second letter from you early next week, confirming that you have received the flight instructions.
I bought the slide projector yesterday. It is a Japanese one, a Cabin ‘Automat’, and it is a little beauty - fully automatic, remote control, the works. It cost me 135 Malayan Dollars, the equivalent of about $40 Australian. That is more than I wanted to pay, but I think it was a worthwhile buy, and certainly much cheaper than at home. Due to the extra cost of the projector I was not able to afford a suit, but am having a pair of trousers made and have bought a shirt and tie so that I can arrive home decently dressed at least. I have just enough money left to see me aboard the plane, if I don’t eat too much and if I don’t buy anything else.
We are staying here in a very nice place, a hostel not unlike a YMCA. It is clean and comfortable, with all amenities, and is costing $1 Aust. each per night. That is more than we are usually inclined to pay for accommodation, but it is the last few days and it is nice to end them in relative comfort. Singapore is a great place, full of life day and night. It is satisfying to be here again, as when the Galileo called here two years ago during all their Indonesian troubles, we were not even allowed ashore and did not get to see it at all. It is also very satisfying to think that we have done the overland journey across Asia twice and are none the worse for it. This second journey has been remarkably free of worries, and as smooth as we could have wished.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Malaya, as Ade knew several people there through friends in England. So we met and stayed with wonderful people in Alor Star, Penang and Kuala Lumpur and were shown all over. They were also very inexpensive days - fortunately.
Well the last two and a bit years have been a tremendously worthwhile experience and they have been harder work than you might think. Now it is all over and I am coming home to knuckle down. See you Thursday,
All my love, John
Sampans on the Singapore River
Singapore street scene, with the future on the horizon