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Malaysia Truly Asia

Malls, Modernity & Puppies!

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Our last hours in India were tainted by a couple of incidents. Firstly when we came to check out of our hotel the reception was being manned by two men we hadn't encountered before and they tried to charge us more money than we had agreed. I could see we were just going round in circles and as we were kind of on a clock, what with having a plane to catch, I lost my temper with them. I'm not sure how often women lose their temper with men in India, but they backed off pretty quickly and accepted the money we gave them. The second incident occurred when we came to get our tuk tuk to the airport. The first driver wasn't interested really and referred us to a second older gentleman but as we were getting into his vehicle another couple of men came over and an argument ensued. Perhaps there was some kind of queue that wasn't being observed but it was hardly the old man's fault and he certainly did not deserve the slap round the head that he received. The two bullies then made up some story that the old guy's tuk tuk wasn't working, even though it had been a second ago and we had to get out. In usual circumstances there is no way we would have gone with those two men but time was getting on a bit and we didn't have much other option as it was quite early, so reluctantly we let them take us to the airport.

It was a little sad that those two things had to happen on our last morning in India, but we made it to the airport on time and although the process was a little unorthodox in places we jumped through all the hoops and got to the departure lounge without too much fuss. The plane was only slightly delayed and soon enough we were waving goodbye to India and getting excited about arriving in Kuala Lumpur.

Straight away the contrasts between the two countries is evident, just from being at the airport it was clear. We had arrived back in the modern world. Although a lot of the charm of India is that it maintains strong links with the past, we were both a little starved of modernity and Kuala Lumpur appeared to be the perfect antidote.

We caught a coach, rather than a bus which was pleasing, into KL Sentral and then we jumped on the LRT (Light Railway Train). Which is one of the three train services which efficiently shuttle people all around Kuala Lumpur. As we walked the short distance from the station to China Town which is where we planned to stay, we saw about 5 McDonalds, 3 KFC's and many other fast food restaurants. In some places there are the same shops on either side of the street, for example 7 Elevens are everywhere, you are never far from a Slushy! Or Prune Powder, which Adam decided to try when he was feeling adventurous, safe to say he hasn't found a new love!
Once in China Town we headed to a place that Adam had been to before and got a room, a little pricier than what we had been paying in India but that was to be expected I suppose. After getting rid of our bags we walked round China Town a little bit and found some dinner in one of the many basic restaurants which line the streets. We traded curry in for stir fry and were both pleased with the change.

While wandering around we came across a pet shop which sold a number of dogs, most of them puppies and they even had one out for you to pet. I was pretty excited with this discovery and spent a little time getting acquainted with a Husky puppy. Safe to say I made sure we found our way back to the pet shop a few more times over the next few days! There is also a large street market in China Town and lots of “real copies” for sale, or so we were told, unfortunately we were both feeling a bit too sleepy to have a proper look and deal with the touts.

Even though Kuala Lumpur is only two and a half hours ahead of India it still made dropping off to sleep a little tricky, which meant it was a slightly drowsy start to our first morning in the city. I had also had another encounter with the infamous bed bugs and was once again sporting a lumpy exterior. Nonetheless we made our way over to the Monorail, one of the other trains which operates in Kuala Lumpur and rode it to Imbi which is where the largest Mall I have ever been to is located.
We spent a few hours contentedly soaking up the atmosphere and perusing the many wears for sale. I ended up joining Adam in his slight watch obsession and bought a couple for myself. After some retail therapy we visited the cinema and saw Wolverine, which apart from some slightly dodgy CGI in places was about what you'd expect from an X-Men movie, and was entertaining enough.

We then visited a couple of the other malls in the area, one of which is completely devoted to all things electronic. I have never seen so many laptops, digital cameras, and all the related accessories in one place, it appeared to almost be never ending and it was also packed. Gadgets and all the latest mod cons are big business in this Asian metropolis. After taking all that in we were both completely exhausted, and so decided it was time to call it a day and headed back to China Town.

The next day we continued the shopping theme and visited the Suria Mall which sits at the base of the famous Petronas Towers. We didn't go up the towers because you have to get there early to get a time slot for later in the day, so we planned to go the next day. The Suria Mall is where all the posh shops are situated, like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and so on. Being on a tight budget and already feeling the pinch just paying for the necessities in Kuala Lumpur we had to keep our wallets firmly in our pockets. Although I did splash out a little bit and buy a christening present for my nephew, which hopefully he will like. Escaping the lure of the shops we found safety in the cinema once more and saw Star Trek which I would really recommend to people. I have never been a trekky myself but I really enjoyed it and it didn't take itself too seriously.

After the cinema we headed out to the lake which sits at the back of the mall and I had my first close up glimpse of the towers.
They are really quite impressive and sit amongst a number of skyscrapers which puncture the Kuala Lumpur skyline. With the bright sunshine, clean lines of the buildings and neat and orderly landscaping of the surrounding area, Adam commented that it looked like something out of a Manga cartoon. This little snapshot looked like the city of the future.

The next morning we got up early and headed back to the Petronas towers to queue up for our time slot. However when we arrived we were confronted with a sign that informed us that the Skywalk viewing platform was closed every Monday. So our plans were well and truly scuppered. I wasn't feeling too hot so we decided to take it easy and went back to the mall we had visited on the first day and ended up going bowling. My performance was somewhat shameful but Adam seemed to have a some technique and got a good percentage of strikes over the four games we played. We spent the rest of the day just pottering around and slowly made our way back to China Town and visited the petshop for perhaps the fourth time and I got to pet an Andres puppy.

The following day we both woke up feeling a bit rough and Adam seemed to be starting a cold. We decided the best thing to do was just to stay around China Town and therefore we wouldn't be going up the Petronas Towers. We should get a couple of other opportunities though as we will be heading back to Kuala Lumpur a few times over the next 3 months. We spent some of the day mooching around the shops in China Town which sell all kinds of knick knacks, like little solar powered figurines which bob their heads and mountains of cuddly toys. By the fifth shop we were experiencing visual overload and had to go for a lie down. Later on we made it out for some dinner and although we thought we'd basically ordered the same thing just with different meats, we were surprised how different our dishes turned out to be! Still they were both enjoyable, even though we are still struggling a little bit to get our three meals a day, our appetites just aren't what they were.

We had to be up at 3:45am so we made sure we got an early night, we weren't helped out by our fellow travellers who decided to keep the noise levels up but we got a few hours sleep. We caught the coach back to the airport, checked in our bags and went through security, there were no problems apart from both of us feeling really under the weather. Adam's cold was much worse and I think the lack of food was starting to catch up with me.

Apart from this we had had a great time in Kuala Lumpur and were hopeful that the Philippines would have lots of exciting experiences to offer.

More Soon,

Laura & Adam

Posted by LauHot10 21:48 Archived in Malaysia Tagged round_the_world

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