Badminton and flowers in KL

Trip Start Sep 13, 2006
Trip End May 08, 2008

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Heading for KL for a 2nd visit, it wasnt the initial plan then agan any plans i had went out the window long ago. All my travels and destinations have been roughly made up as i have went along. Anyway i had heard that the Malaysian badminton open super series was on in KL the 16th till 21st of January and seen as i had the time i was really looking forward to watching it. I got back to KL on the 16th and checked back into the Trekkers lodge, up the following morining and a short taxi trip to Cheras where the KL badminton stadium is located..(a whole stadium just for badminton) So i bought all my tickets for the next few days , turns out i was really lucky to get tickets as by 11 in the morining they were sold out(stadium holds about 4000 i think) and you could only get them on the black market. Anyway the atmosphere for the games was unreal especially when any malaysian was playing. The fans just go nuts its brilliant. An official supported guy kept most of the crowd entertained while shouting every now and then over at a ladyboy on the opposite side of hall.. Shim was well able to shout insults back so was quite funny. Ive been up to watch the all england in birmingham a few times but it just dont compare at all. One of the 1st round matches the first day was the chinese world number one playing an indonesian who is olympic champ. When Taufik the indonesian guy just walked into the hall the whole place errupted and this was before he even hit a shuttle. There was massive intereset in this game and hundred's more people had turned up outside looking for tickets to get in.. appearanly some snuck in and there was nearly a riot so the officials had to stick up a load of tv's outside to keep them happy.  Anyway crackin game but the chinese guy won it.
So the badminton kept me busy most of the days and in between i had plenty of time to check out the times square mall which has a couple of good roller coasters inside it. I also went to the Islamic museum which i found really interesting  although i wont be converting anytime soon.
I had gotten to know some of the staff in the hostel quite well at this stage and when i came in one nite they asked me if i would help them out and walk in a parade repersenting their hotel organisation the next day.. i agreed even though i didnt really know what i had agreed to . Anyway turns out i was to walk 3km in a florathon parade.. now what the fuck is that? There were 4 of us walking jim and elle from england and rachelle from australia and we were each given a t-shirt with a letter on it which spelt out MBHA..Malaysian Budget Hotels Association. So that evening they brought us out to dinner and gave us a few more hazy details on what we were doing. We would also have to wear a hat they said.. Next morning we got our hats and they were these big kinda sombrero things covered with flowers... super we were aslo given 2 corsages to wear on our wrists. When we arrived to start the walk there were hundreds of people there and as soon as we got out of the car a load of photographers started taking our pictures so this was all a bit alien to us.
Turns out there was 1000 people walking in the 3km parade most dressed up in flowers and a waiter competition too. Some of the costumes were amazing and clearly a lot more effort was spent than throwing on a hat and t-shirt. We seemed to be the only tourists walking and joined in and had great craic along the way.. looked like complete twits but then again who didnt. When we got to the finish line we were surrounded by photographers for about 40 minutes, arranging us for photos and taking details etc it was crazy. This year is marketed as visit malaysia year and they are celebrating 50 years of independence from the british. So having tourists at anything like this looks good for them. At one stage there were at least 12 photographers in front of us taking our photo, so i took out my camera and took a photo of them doing this.. they thought this was great cos seemingly nobody takes their photos. I also ended up doing 2 televison interviews... they kept asking me the same questions so i just told em what i reckoned they would want to hear.
Denis the owner of the hostels was delighted with all the attention we were geting.. lol good advertising for him. Our photos ended up going into 2 chinese newspapers and the interviews went out on some news channels.(have attached the Star news interview and parade clip) There were also prizes going for the parade... and there was a tourist section and seen as we were the only tourists there we wound up winning about 600 US dollars between us.. Well we split half with the hostel and we got the rest.. also got a medal for winning and a bag load of free malaysia goodies so not a bad days We were then taken out for lunch which was well nice. Off then to the badminton finals for the afternoon and that pretty much completed my 2nd visit to KL.
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azrulazmie on

lucky you
having this kind of surprise thing sure made your day right. Remembered the most are things not in the plans... :)

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