Come to Kualaaaar Lumper
Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
46Trip End Sep 29, 2009
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Its been a strange few days, we said our final farewells and hit the road to London for the start of a journey of buses and planes out of our control. I suppose I should confess I am a bit of a control freak and the though of relying on others to complete our journey with various connections is enough to send me into a state of panic. We have had it all our own way in the van and it was daunting carrying on our travels without the safety of having our home and comforts with us.
But I needn't have worried, the buses turned up on time and we made our connection to Stansted, though I did loose a tooth cap chewing on a toffee at the time I thought it was a bad omen, something else had to go wrong, maybe we would miss the plane maybe the cheap plane would crash, maybe we would be abducted by aliens and be held accountable as a human being for all the Barry Manilow and Cliff Richard albums ever made
Well I can happily report the flight was fine, the flight was comfy and 'flew' by (boo) Air-asia staff were friendly, the food was very edible the only luxury missing was the entertainment, but bringing your own was a much better option than watching Miss Congeniality four times! I think I will become a AA ambassador, as its probably one of the best budget or regular flights I have ever had. I only have to think of the hysterical scousers (Resident of Liverpool, England, heavy accent) barking at you on Ryan air to think how it could have been a 10 hour living hell, its proves budget flying doesn't have to be as uncomfortable as extracting teeth with a spoon.
As we drove to the hostel with a bit of jet lag and aftershock from being flung into the depths of asia after our cocoon in the van, I couldn't help but compare our new surrounding to Europe, it was dark outside but Malaysia is openly international on a global scale, I guess there tiger economy is based on collaboration with the west and there ability to mix Asian and western influences. All the posters were in English or the close cousin to English where they use there own spelling, which from my point of view as a crap speller is very refreshing, I hate being pulled up by the grammar police and this proves to me if you can get the massage across what does it matter. The housing estates and flats have a very European style, sat in our room looking at a building uncannily like a bank in Manchester I was starting to question my sanity.
But the next day on the hustle and bustle of the streets certainly confirmed where we were, the baking heat of the sun and the bewildering mix of nationalities certainly pulled us into focus
On the first day the heat was so intense and mixed with our jet-lag all we could was climb into the twin towers shopping mall and cool down, its not hard to see why its the first port of call, you can cool down and see a major landmark in one easy step, we weren't fit for much else.
On a lighter note I seem to look like someone famous over here, three times I was asked for my photo with random strangers, maybe Malaysians suffer from our perception that all foreigners from one nationality look the same, or maybe I look like the king of the freaks? You tell me, they never told me who they thought I was and they actively kicked Sharon out of shot, I was to polite and amazed to say no, it was very surreal and funny!
So its gone pretty smoothly, we love the food and to be able to talk to the people cooking who have brilliant English skills, with all the various food on offer its great to be able to get exactly what you want and actually talk to people rather than just point and smile
I even managed to visit a dentist to fix by broken cap, hearing stories of people traveling the world for dental treatment has always left me curious as to the level of service you can get for such a low price, in my mind I probably thought they may do it in a shed with garden tools, but not wanting to fork out hundreds of dollars in Oz I thought it best to get it looked at now. I can again happily report it was one of the most pleasurable dental experiences ever, Dr Verghese was helpful, professional and immediately assured me he war the man for the job. I can confidently say I will be back when I finally need my remaining teeth pulling out with old age and vow never to use a robbing western dentist for major dental work ever again.
The only thing left to do was actually make some sort of plan to get to Oz and decide what to do in Asia, the shear amount of choice was proving to be a burden and people who know us may think we are mad not to plan our journey beforehand as we are the worst people in the world for making decisions! But after many hours of checking flights, connections and routes we have opted to stay in Malaysia until the end of the month and fly direct from KL to Melbourne. We are sticking with AirAsia as the flight is about three times cheaper than any other company, its a real shame we can't see more of Asia but we are dying to see what Australia is like and its all on our doorstep now. Malaysia seems a nice enough place to relax, hit a beach or mountain trail, meet people and enjoy the huge range of food on offer, We may not seasoned cultured travelers just yet but that will do us nicely.