Lawatan Jejantas Udara Menara Kembar Petronas

Trip Start Aug 25, 2008
Trip End Oct 17, 2008

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Flag of Malaysia  , Wilayah Persekutuan,
Friday, September 12, 2008

I took a $2.50 taxi ride to the Petronas Tower at 0620 minus my friend because it was too early for him.  I had read many places that even though the ticket office for a visit to these skyscrapers opens at 0830, if you aren't in line early you won't get in.  They only issue a couple hundred tickets a day and once they are taken, that's it.  Also if you are in the back of line, your visit time may be later in the day and who wants to fight your way back here?  Only groups of twenty at a time are allowed to go up.

So off I went in this tiny little Proton taxi cab with a driver telling me can take me to the airport when I am ready for 90 Ringit.  That's about $30 in our money and I told him no thanks, I am taking the Air Asia bus.  He said that is a mistake because the bus sits in traffic.  My mind isn't the sharpest at 6am but I was quick enough to ask him, "doesn't your taxi sit in the same traffic?"  He had no reply and we drove on in silence to the towers.   At the end of the ride, he tried once again to get me to use him for a lift to the airport and the price had dropped to 80 Ringit because in his words I was a nice guy and he liked me.  He had about one more block to make the sale and it wasn't working.  At 6am when I am tired and hungry I am just not in the mood, and on top of that his fare was about $28 more than my ticket on the bus.

When I got to the ticket office there were only about ten people ahead of me.  I was so close to the actual lawatan jejantas udara menara kembar Petronas I could taste it.  For those of you who haven't taken the Rosetta Stone course in Malaysian yet, that translates into Petronas twin towers skybridge visit.  I had two hours to kill now so I just sat on the cold, white marble floor with everyone else and read my newspaper.  A sign next to me reminded us visitors that the skybridge is of course closed during prayer times.  Yes, Allah indeed reigns supreme over these two towers that reach up towards him.  He may not be able to control the consumption of food and drink here during Malaysian Ramadan, but he sure can control the flow of tourists skyward.

My newspaper and hours of waiting made me think of this next paragraph which has absolutely nothing to do with my visit to the Petronas Towers but it will add some spice to your imagination.  Keep your vision of two towers reaching up to Allah during Ramadan alive though because I will get back to them in a minute. While killing time on that hard floor, I came across an interesting article that said that because inflation is running at about 37% in Cambodia, villagers are eatings rats.  What we read in Muong Lao magazine a few days ago and we held as suspect has been confirmed to be true now if it's fit to be print in a newspaper, right?  Rat meat is the hot ticket now since regular meat is out of reach for the average person.  Rats are running for higher ground due to flooding in the Mekong Delta and the villagers are picking them off.  As you chew on this mental image, keep in mind the name of the article was Chewing on Rat Meat.  Yum, yum.  Eat up.

As I was reading about the delicacies in rural Cambodia, I was snapped back to reality by vile gaseous odors coming from a guy sleeping in line nearby.  Man oh man what do the people eat over here?  Some Japanese people looked at me like I did it and I shook my head no.  I am convinced they were thinking whoever denied it supplied it like we used to say when we were kids and they kept staring at me.  Yes, blame the only non Asian guy here!!  One of the security guards wasn't having it though and knew the truth so he woke the guy up so as to (hopefully) cease his nocturnal emissions.

Soon enough another security guard asking everyone to stand up since the place was finally coming to life.  There had been a newspaper on the ground between a Japanese guy and me and I just figured it was his and didn't touch it.  Well out of nowhere 10 Indian guys appeared to claim their place in line where the newspaper had been laying.  Evidently Indians think queuing in line involves leaving a paper and going off for almost two hours.  Oh hell no!!

If the rest of us had to squat for two hours on that hard marble, so should they and I let them know they were not getting in front of me.  They insisted they were and it was ten against one.  One of them even wagged his finger in my face and told me, "You are a very, very rude man."  He sounded just like Apu from Seinfeld if you know who I mean.  Final Score?  American guy 1.  Indian men 0.

And the final score for having to get up early, have a guy fart all over us in line, battle Indians who came out of nowhere and wait two hours on top of all?  Definitely worth it!!!!  I'd do it again. The buildings are 88 floors and you visit the skybridge connecting the two on the 41st floor.  All of Malaysia was stretched out before me and I got some great pictures of the city and the Petronas Towers architecture.  These buildings were constructed in 1996 by Petrolium Nasional Behas or Petronas which is the national petroleum company of Malaysia. 

Architecture and skyscrapers are a huge interest of mine so if you share the same passion, here are some interesting facts about the buildings.  The design of each floor is from taking two squares and laying them on top of each other at angles so you now have eight corners.  Then in the crux of each corner you lay a semicircle.  That gives the buildings their angular and rounded look.  The eight corners are based on Islamic geographical forms.   Remember what I said about Allah reigning supreme over this place? 

Not only does the geometric architecture take into account the Islamic principles of "unity within unity, harmony, stability and rationality" (I will keep my thoughts on this to myself here), but it increases the amount of rentable floor space on each floor.  Allah values tradition but seems to be a practical guy, too. 

There was even a small area with displays and I stood in in a device that measures your height and lets you know how many times taller the towers are than you.  I am six feet tall and the towers are supposed to be 225 times taller than me according to the screen. 

There is truth to that old adage that the early bird gets the worm.  Those people that showed up at opening time weren't in line early enough for a coveted ticket.  Also, if you are in the back of your line, your visit time may be in the afternoon resulting in a return visit later on after having waited.  I am just sorry the pictures I wanted to share with you from the 41st floor are stuck on my camera card and not uploadable for some reason.  I went back out and took a few of the outside though so I hope they help fill in the blanks where your imaginations leave off.
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