The Dip (Part 2): Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur (KL)
Ended up having to take a bus from Singapore instead of the train. Apparently, the train sells out days in advance, and since I didn’t know where I was going to be day to day, I had to book last minute. Long story short I took a 1.5 hour subway ride to find out that I couldn’t get a train ticket for Wednesday, the day I was leaving for KL.
So I got online and got a bus ticket for $25, 5 hour ride.
Of course, even this wasn’t without drama! The bus was leaving at noon, and I decided to just hang at Keith’s condo until 11, and get a taxi over there (it’s about 2 miles away), get there early and not stress. Wrong! Somehow, I didn’t leave the condo until 11:25, then the front desk called me a taxi, which came at 11:35. Well, it’s only 2 miles so I wasn’t worried. Wrong! Traffic! Lots of it. Still, I wasn’t worried because it was really close. Wrong! The taxi driver took a wrong turn at 11:47! He starts hitting the steering wheel and hitting himself in the head! Not a good sign. He’s trying to explain it to me in Chinese but I got what happened, just asked him if it would be about 5 minutes and he said yes.
We pulled up to the building where the busses were at 11:55. I didn’t count on the fact that there are like 7 bus companies! Ugh! I didn’t know which one I booked with. (Yeah I was thinking like we have Greyhound!) I walked into a couple places and they just said “what does your ticket say?” I NEED WIFI TO PULL UP MY TICKET! Anyway I luckily had the screen up on my laptop and found the place, the guy printed out the ticket and I quickly walked over to the bus and made it just in time!
Bus was fantastic! SUPER nice, way more comfortable than most planes I’ve been on, and I had a row (2 seats) to myself. The seats recline almost all the way back! I was able to sleep for a good amount of time. The ride was over before I knew it.
Lots of taxis when I arrived at KL. I tried my ATM card (I was able to activate it the night before), but, apparently wells fargo takes it upon themselves to change you PIN when they issue a new card…so no luck getting cash. Taxis don’t take credit cards. Here we go again! Luckily, this taxi driver helped me out. I gave him $50 Singapore and he gave me 100RM. At first I thought I was getting screwed but it’s not bad, and he gave me the idea of using Western Union to get cash, which I hadn’t thought of (and still working on).
My hotel is in Chinatown. This place is like 100 times more dense then San Francisco’s Chinatown! It’s literally wall to wall people, and lots of hawkers, on this one street. It was kinda weird walking through all of it with my bags, but my hotel was easy to find. It’s not bad either, although, their wifi was out the first day.
So, I’m in the midst of my dip. Today I bought a ticket on one of those hop on hop off double decker buses just to see the city….but I was seriously lacking motivation. Glad I did it but I was really tired on the bus and even fell asleep at one point. KL is modern, lots of buildings, clean, well-organized, and seems to be a lot of business going on. It’s not as high tech as Singapore but much more first world than Bali.
I was really sluggish and run down all day. Kind of at a burnout point. I don’t want to “tour”, but not feeling like cranking out a bunch of work either. The good thing is, my room is windowless (I know, I’m weird, I like that), and I can sleep pretty well in the pitch dark.
I don’t have a great feel for this place after being here a day. It’s definitely hotter than the other places I’ve been (mainly, more humid). I went to an authentic Malasian place for dinner tonight and had an amazingly good meal- some kind of coconut soup, and chicken with the best rendang sauce ever!
You definitely feel more of the muslim presence here. As I crossed the border in the customs area, there’s a sign that says “Drug Trafficking is Prohibited By Law and Punishable by the DEATH PENALTY By HANGING” and there’s a picture of a noose, just in case one doesn’t know what hanging is. Pretty sick stuff.
About 20-25% of the women here wear the traditional scarves to cover their hair.
Otherwise, just trying to just relax here and do work and blog, maybe upload a few more pics.
There’s a 50m pool closeby here, tomorrow I’m hoping to get in a swim.
Update- I woke up feeeling crappy and went down to the pool for a swim. It was nice, got in a grand total 800 yards! Water temp was about 87 degrees. Will upload pics later when I can.