Hello, Hello, I'm at a place called Vertigo..

Trip Start Jun 15, 2004
Trip End Jun 15, 2005

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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Wednesday 22nd September 2004
Arrived in KL at 5am, into a dreary bus station. Despite my map telling me Chinatown was about 750 metres away, where I intended staying, I couldnt work out which direction, so ended up paying a taxi driver 80p to take me a long way around to justify his fee.

Unusually for me, actually went to a Lonely Planet recommended place, which turned out to be quite good, and central, and managed to have a further sleep before venturing out. It was proved to be good when my laundry was returned later actually smelling persil clean (first time in months....)

KL is a city of contrasts - lots of skyscrapers, modern elevated trains, and very modern, right next to old crumbling buildings, though none of it is pedestrian friendly - the old streets get blocked pavements, and the new roads are for cars only.

Reach Merdeka (Independence) Square, which is close to the two rivers that gave KL its name - Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence", though on that basis, it should be renamed "city of two cement canals" as that is all thats the rivers resemble now.

Merdeka square is surrounded by old colonial buildings, including tudor style buildings, and the occassional very ugly skyscraper.

Then I meet George Baptist, homeless christian who hates the muslims in Malaysia! he was in fact very helpful, drawing on my map the places to go, and interesting to talk to, that is until he told me he had tuberculosis...at which point I gave him a few ringitt (malaysian currency), looked up the health part of my guide book, and hoped I was not about to start coughing!

Visited the National War Monument, then through the park, and onto the National Museum, who were of course celebrating.......Cuba, though on the Malaysia bit, It did teach me a bit more about Malaysia. Passed railway station that was built by the British, and looks more like a hugely impressive mosque, except the inside looked like a grubby railway station.

Thursday 23rd September 2004
Walked around KL in blistering heat and humidity, which eventually broke into a huge downpour just as I left the KL tower - a huge telecommunications tower you can go to the top and view all of KL.

You are all at this point thinking this is where the title of this section comes from........of course its not, I just had to get the new U2 song in somewhere, which thankfully, the internet delivered to me.

Couldnt be bothered to go to the Petronas Towers - you have to que for a ticket, with no guarantees, at 8.30, and only get to go halfway up.

Walking back. I come across a shopping mall, and do the Malaysian's like shopping malls! There's a scene in a Simpsons episode where Homer goes into a shopping mall, and every store is a Starbucks, well in KL, every mall has a Starbucks outside, and there are lots, and lots, of malls, virtually next door to each other, and huge (you occassionally see a smaller one of just 20 stores!). I must have seen 10 malls within a mile.
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