An Asian Walkabout (Chapter 4)
Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
Sitting in the Petronas Twin Towerâs food court, with my belly filled, I decided to enjoy a chapter from my treasured book. The walk from the hostel to the towers was hot and humid, although milder than Singapore, and the air-conditioned interior felt like a touch of heaven.
It was mid-afternoon after I snuck in my second chapter and I elected to brave the elements. I roamed the park around the cityâs most prominent landmark and was rewarded for my courage. Flowing fountains and lovely landscapes were in abundance, but the best spectacle was watching the children play in the water. Itâs a cultural constant, whether the water is pooled in the street after a raining or itâs shooting out of the ground from a fountain, children will find it and merriment will ensue.
I returned to the atmospheric oasis and explored the below street levels of the mall. I found a fruit market, and in a moment of boldness, I bought some Malaysian fruit. I had been warned about the pungent durian fruit, so I stayed clear of it, but the âsweet and juicyâ sign of my newly purchased fruit bolstered my palate.
The fruit came in a bunch similar to grapes and were about double the size of regular grape. I peeled away the outer skin, which was thin and sturdy, and took a tentative taste. It was actually pretty good and I congratulated myself on a successfully completed baby step. Wow, less than a week into the trip and I was already trying exotic new foods.
I didnât want to wander off too far from where I could forage Jeff-friendly food, so I decided to catch a movie at the theatre within the mall and then grab dinner at the food court. I saw Kung-fu Panda and thoroughly enjoyed it! An interesting factoid about movies in KL is that thereâs assigned seating as if you were going to a theatre to see a play. Thereâs no price difference for the various seats â each is just under $3 (under $4 in the evening).
I finished the movie, grabbed some food, and took the metro back to my hostel. At the hostel, I looked through guide books, brochures, and talked with other travelers for ideas of what I might do tomorrow.
With my sleeping patterns still jumbled, I woke up early in the morning. To make a long story shorter, I didnât end up doing anything from the previous eveningâs list. At one point, while relaxing in the hostel reading, I actually thought, âOh no, I canât laze around for a whole day. Iâve got pictures I need to take to show everyone!â Hehe, it was a fleeting thought, and I promptly set about to continue my lackadaisical day. I was certain youâd all forgive me. :)
It was a nice, relaxing day. Another movie (The Incredible Hulk â not as good as Kung-fu Panda), food court, powernap, walk around the neighborhood, and chats with fellow travelers.
That evening, I was done with trying to let nature adjust my sleep cycle, so I resorted to chemicals. A nursing studentâs best friend, Benadryl, now became a travelerâs best friend. Benadryl was introduced to me by my pharmacology teacher (thanks, Samantha!) and has sedative properties in a non-addictive form. It also happens to be good for motion sickness.
After 100mg and 90 minutes, I not only slept like a baby, I didnât wake up until mid-morning. And when I did finally wake, I felt like a new man.
I opted for the Batu Caves, which are a bit outside of KL, as my excursion for the day. When I arrived by bus, I was impressed with the worldâs tallest âMuruganâ statue at the stairway entrance up into the caves. Another unexpectedly cool feature of the caves was the abundance of wild monkeys roaming around. I really like monkeys (maybe being the year of the monkey has something to do with it).
There were some guided tours that went into the âDark Cavesâ, which apparently went much deeper into the bowels of the Earth than did the superficial caves that I walked through. Unfortunately, the tours didnât seem to be running. There was a message over a loud speaker stating the next tour would begin in 30 minutes, but the same message continually played over and over again.
A funny thing happened on the way out of the caves. A sizeable monkey, with a bundle of bananas in mouth, was heading down the stairs with his prize. More specifically, he was walking down the side of the stairway with the handrails, which put him just a little below my eye level. My camera was in my bag, so instead of snapping some pictures, I just watched him cruising along and as he caught up with me our eyes locked.
The little guy took the fruit out of his mouth and held it in his hands as he continued to look at me. He had such expressive eyes and they seemed to be reaching inside of me for something. Then he did something totally unexpected.
Jason, do you remember the silly game we used to play as kids where you would feign hitting someone and if they flinched, you were allowed to sock them in the arm? It was a subtle upward movement of shoulders with elbows flaring outward slightly and the upper body moving toward the target in a quick motion -- your eyes always in full contact with theirs so you could be sure they saw the âattackâ coming.
Well, let me tell you, this little monkey must have played the game when he was younger. He dropped the bananas to the floor and made a lunge for my face â planning on gouging out my eyes, I was sure. At least, for a split second, that was the illusion his mock attack portrayed. Surprisingly, I didnât flinch, but he did have my attention! I broke eye contact and made a mental note to avoid such in the future.
I made my way back to old faithful â the Petronas Twin Towers. Her cool embrace welcomed me back once again. I ate, watched a movie (Hellboy II â another one overshadowed by Kung-fu Panda), started a new book (Kite Runner), walked around the park, ate again, and went back to the hostel.
On advice from other travelers, I decided to make my next destination the Malaysian island of Langkawi, which sits off its northwestern coast. I booked my flight through the incredibly inexpensive AirAsia airlines. The one-way flight cost me a little over $30.
I showered, packed my bag, and hit the sack. I enjoyed a restful night with sweet dreams.
I hope yâall have something fun planned for the weekend. If not, itâs never too late to throw something together! :) *hugs*
Follow your bliss,