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Kuala Lumpur for one night of fun!

Written on: Thursday September 16th, 2010

We arrived in KL at about 1.30pm and opted for a more interesting route toour hotel, as suggested by the friend we were visiting (James Owen). Aftergetting some local currency from the cash machine at the airport we grabbedsome tickets and jumped on a bus to the train station. The bus was full mainlyof locals with a few tourists sitting at the back near us with suitcases takingup more seats than they were themselves – clearly not very seasoned travellersbut good on them for taking the this mode of transport! It was a basic bus,some may say a little more than rough around the edges, but for what we paid itwas perfectly ok for us and in any case we were up for some more adventuroustravel after taxi's everywhere so far, plus something tells me we need to startgetting warmed up for experiencing India! Our tourist friends beside us on thebus didn't look quite so sure, gripping onto their luggage and barely daring tosit down on the seats or touch anything that didn't belong to them. Perhaps forthem a taxi would have been the more enjoyable option?

Next the train was about an hour ride and was really pleasant and a greatway to see some of the life between the airport and city. It was an ultramodern train, putting ours in the UK to shame in fact and I enjoyed everyminute of it. There's something so relaxing about travelling on a train - maybethe noise and vibrations of the tracks beneath lulling us into a near hypnoticstate may have something to do with it? Anyone with me on that or am I justmad? On second thoughts . . . don't answer that! At the end of the trainjourney we found ourselves at a huge bustling station where I was struck with déjàvu and was pretty sure we'd been here before when we were travelling overlandthrough Malaysia in 2008, to get from Singapore to Thailand. James didn'trecognise it, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything as his memory is worsethan mine! I wonder if we ever have conversations that neither of us remembers?Could be interesting . . . but that we'll never know I suppose!

Whilst traipsing amidst the crowds in the waiting halls to find where weneeded to get a taxi from I realised that this was the first time we'd reallyhad to carry our backpacks and I'm not going to lie, I was struggling! Despitehow light my bag was (theoretically) it seemed stupidly heavy and probablydidn't help that I was carrying it like a holdall as couldn't be bothered toundo all of the straps to put it on my back! Glad to be in a taxi and no longerlugging my bag around I shut my eyes as we headed towards our hotel and withina few minutes I was snoozing, as was James beside me.

At the hotel we weren't exactly greeted with open arms as the lady that initiallyserved us (if you can call it served) wasn't the warmest character and didn'tappear to really want to check-us in. Luckily within a few minutes another ladyon the desk (Sharon) recognised that we were probably the friends of James Owenthat they were expecting and as James was living here at the time she calledhim down at the same time as taking over in organising our room and all ransmoothly from there. It was great to see James and whilst he popped out for hisfinal appointment we got freshened up in anticipation of our evening outtogether . . .

Before leaving the hotel that evening we joined James in his room for a fewbeers that he had kindly stocked up on for us, giving us chance for a good chatand catch up before hitting the KL nightlife. Once we'd finished our drinks wetook the monorail into the city centre and jumped off at a stop that once againtriggered my déjà vu as I was sure we were very close to the hotel that westayed at last time we were in KL. This obsession of mine about recognisingthings and not stopping questioning where from until I get an answer is anannoying habit, particularly for James who has to put up with it most of thetime! Just ask him, I'm sure he'll agree! With this in mind I didn't harp onabout it at this point but at any given opportunity did scour the streets withmy eyes longing for any memory joggers that may give me a definite answer. Itturned out that I was right in this instance as we discovered as the night wenton . . .

First stop in the city was a large shopping mall as I really wanted to getsome travel speakers for my ipod, anticipating some less well equipped hotelsin India. I was amazed at how busy it was here, full of teenage locals hangingaround and spending - seriously it was more packed than any shopping centreI've ever been to on a Saturday in the UK and this was a mid-week evening!These folks may not drink to have a good time but that sure as heck doesn'tstop them going out on a school night and making the most of what they do havearound them. There's a lesson for us all in there somewhere, particularly mewith my binge drinking habits! Anyway, we eventually found an electrical shopthat had the exact speakers I was after and at a bargain £8 I was chuffed tobits and very much looking forward to listening to heaps of music over the nextfew weeks. Next up was China town, where James took us to his favourite street restaurant and weindulged in Tiger beer and more chicken and beef satay than you could imagine - tosay it was delicious is an understatement, in fact when we ordered our meals(yep the piles of meat initially were just a snack with our drinks) my Jameswent for more satay. He said it was because he enjoyed it so much, but I'm notso sure that it didn't have more to do with the fact that he felt safe with itand would have been panicking about ordering anything else - sshhh I didn't saythat though! ;-) For me it is all about trying as much as I can when I go tothese places so James Owen and I shared some sweet and sour pork and blackpepper beef with rice, which was equally good and helped to soak up some of thebeer we'd been going through rather quickly!

After dinner we were introduced to the owner of a DVD stall just down theroad and bought a selection to enjoy when we get home. James was in his elementhere and if I hadn't have stopped him we would have probably had a suitcasefull, but as much as I love watching films I don't want to do it 24/7 thank youvery much! As we sauntered down the same street we'd eaten at we were luredinto sitting down at another bar and as they were offering a good deal onbottles of Heineken we thought it would be rude not to stop for a few . . .Then just as we should have probably been deciding we'd had enough we went tothe Reggae bar for old time sake (memories of a very messy night in here beforecame flooding back - let's hope the hangover is not as bad this time!) butsensibly we only stopped for one as wanted to see the Patronas Towers all litup at night. This was well worth leaving the Reggae bar early for as it was aspectacular view and I'm sure you'll agree that the photos of us in front ofthe towers look unreal - just a shame my camera is not a bit better in thedark. After our fun at Patronas we decided to walk back to see more of the cityand the boys thought it was a good idea to buy cherry cigars for the journey,as you do! Following one cheeky stop at a posh hotel to use the toilet andwalking for a good while we found ourselves back at the hotel where oppositewas a badly placed bar (well for us anyway as it meant yet more beer before bedand was surely the reason for the banging headache the next day!). It didn'tseem bad at the time mind and whilst we were supping our way through a few morebottles of Heineken the owners shut up shop around us, leaving us outside onone lonesome table surrounded by empty bottles and the chatter of our nowslurred conversation (well I can't remember if it was but by all accounts wemust have been well on the way by this point . . .)

We had a great night thanks to James O, despite the rat we encounteredbetween the bar and hotel - if my James hadn't have been tipsy he'd have beenup on our lonesome table like a shot, waving his arms around like a not somacho builder, but in this drunken case he was brave! Shame, as that would havebeen quite a site, particularly for the locals! 


From Kaori on Oct 29th, 2010

I've just looked at this blog again and no idea why lots of the words have joined together?? I wrote it in word pad one evening and copy and pasted to the blog and it seems lots of the words have cosied together! Doh!

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