Cockroach Karma and the Demon Barber of KL
Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog› entry 47 of 115 › view all entries
After the tranquility of Juara, jumping off the bus in Kuala Lumpur (KL) was an awakening ruder than one of Snoop Dogg's soft porn music vids. The street was crammed with queuing buses and cars crawling past, everything spewing out engine noise and fumes. Little motorbikes and scooters weaved their way through the larger vehicles, buzzing past pedestrians struggling to cross the road. It was kind of like a real-life version of the 80's computer game Frogger. It's similar to Lima, only less polluted I thought as I heaved my backpack from the murky luggage compartment underneath the bus.
It was then that I spotted that an unwanted freeloader had scuttled aboard.
Lee, Lex and Bill looked on bemused whilst the local taxi drivers took their opportunity to attempt to convince us into an overpriced ride to a nearby hotel.
Later in the day, after finding our hotel and settling in, I decided that my hair, not snipped since before my birthday in March, required a damn good cut. I said back in March that, due to my receding hairline, the next trip to the barbers may necessitiate a full blown shaving.
Instead, the weighty curls of my bird's nest barnet were scissored away in short order, and he scraped meticulously around my neck with a razor blade. Thinking that he'd finished, I made to stand up. No such luck; he motioned that I should stay where I was. I stayed and he rubbed some lime-scented soap into my neck telling me it was from India and very popular over there. How pleasant I thought, as he finished with the soap and positioned his hands on my shoulders.
Then, without warning, he grabbed my head and forced it sharply to the left, I felt and heard the bones in my neck pop. He backed off grinning as I shouted a profanity and gave him a reproachful glare. This didn't stop him coming back for another go; once again my head was grabbed and wrenched, this time to the right, neck bones popping and vision momentarily blurred. Allowing no respite, he then pummelled the top of my shoulders into submission as part of some bizarre kind of pugilistic massage. Finally, mercifully, the ordeal was complete and I paid up my RM10 (USD 3.40ish) and slunk back to the hotel, rubbing gingerly at my neck.
Next time I'll walk past the Indian barbers thanks very much.