A tale of two beds
21.05.2012 - 27.05.2012 29 °C
Day 235: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 21/05/2012
Up around tennish, a spot of toast, a look online and we are soon on the bus for KL, after riding the rustbucket local bus where the back seat has sunk through the decaying floor. On the bus with a shedload of sweets and the two hour journey to the capital is easy enough before jumping on the train downtown. Jump off when we see a hostel name we recognise, then have a hunt for a room. Not the easiest hunt thus far - some real shitholes. Try one last one before a cab to one we saw online, and it's a good one at a good price. We take.
A quick look around our immediate neighbourhood - Chinatown and environs - and check the market out. Lots of buzz about KL, lots of places to eat and a real lively atmosphere. Good dinner. Retreat.
Day 236: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 22/05/2012
A fitful night's sleep before I am awoken by Gemma in our unnaturally dark room. I take this opportunity to go for a run and despite it being just after ten, the temperature is ridiculous. Huge sweat. Then off for a haircut, where the poor woman doesn't want to touch me for all my perspiration. The haircut is horrendous, compounded by the fact the owner wants a picture for his catalogue to attract more western clients. Don't think this particular chop will endear anyone to step foot in the shop again but I willingly scowl for the camera.
Do some laundry in the DIY machines at the guesthouse and after lunch we go to see some sights. Visit the I ♥ KL museum, which is disappointing, photo opportunities apart. Stumble across Little India, visiting a Hindi DVD shop in search of Billa 2. Search for the Petronas towers and with the weather looking more than ominous we head back to the hostel and watch a film in the common room. A really weird Jordanian guy is staying - think body odour, zero social skills - who earlier interrogated me on my family, all whilst giggling away to himself. Oddball that he is, he decides to just fast forward the bits of the film he doesn't like despite the other viewers.
Leaving Borat to it, we get the latest country tats, have a spot of tea and buy personalised keyrings. Cultured.
Day 237: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 23/05/2012
Watch breakfast and watch a film in the common room. Watch the Jordanian guy write a full letter, two sides of A4, again giggling to himself, before he rips it up. Take this as our cue to leave. Shower then head out for lunch and see some more of KL. Lunch is down a back alley then we head off for a walk. We take in a forestry department exhibition (poor), sit on KL's biggest sofa and then get up close and personal with the Petronas Towers, formally the tallest building in the world.
Head inside the Petronas mall and it is nice to get into the safety of the air conditioning. Take a walk around the park here, where there are lots of people jogging. Talking of which, my legs feel adequately sore after yesterday's half hour excursion. Agony.
Head back to the central market for another personalised keyring then tea and bed. Somehow, I manage to put my foot through the wall whilst writing in the diary. Quick exit needed...
Day 238: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 24/05/2012
Lazy morning, breakfast then leave before a surveyor can check the walls in our room...Sad to be leaving the strange Jordanian behind, lunch at the same place we have been frequenting on the street. Then upwards and onwards to stay with some expats (friends of Paolo's) so on the LRT to Bangsar, where Bev and Mark live. Not sure what time to expect them home (should have read the email) so sit on their front step before we head for a quick walk, whilst parking our bags in the cosy little cupboard set into their perimeter walls (it's for the dustbins). Get back and before long Bev arrives, lovely woman, and before long we are sat having a cold drink. Lovely home - great place to stay for a couple of days.
We head out for dinner after a couple of drinks and find ourselves down the entertaining Bukit Bintang, which is a circus of great street hawker food stalls. Have frog, fish, chicken and Tiger and head back to find poor Mark locked out as we are out so late. Sorry.
Day 239: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 25/05/2012
So after a few drinks and the comfort of being in the first proper home since leaving the UK, we are terrible guests and stay in bed a bit later than we hoped and are down for a very late breakfast. A cup of tea and a round of toast and we are back at the LRT station (after a very cheap cab ride). Head back to the Petronas Towers for photos (no camera last time) and Gemma masters the art of perspective and photos (ask her about the Statue of Liberty episode). Then head back downtown to satisfy our need for walking miles a day.
Head back about sevenish and Gemma wants to take full advantage of a house kitchen so we run out to the most pretentious supermarket ever. I mean calling itself and an 'Urban Gourmet Hub' and having a car park full of Lamborghinis surely indicates the price point but in all fairness homemade Spag Bol is amazing.
Day 240: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 26/05/2012
Up a little earlier this morning (not hard) and we are soon out with Mark and Bev who take us to see some more of the sights of KL. We visit the Batu Caves, a huge cave complex with a Hindu temple built into it, with massive stalactites and stalagmites, lots of steps and some great views of the city, as well as lots of resident monkeys.
Head back to the city centre from here, where we are taken to experience some more great views, having a cocktail overlooking the Petronas Towers from the bar at the top of the Traders Hotel. A couple of Mai Tai's and some great photos later we head back down, go back to Mark and Bev's and enjoy some early evening drinks at theirs before heading into Bangsar village itself for dinner. A rather nice neighbourhood, a great city and we will certainly miss the home comforts we have been treated to here...