In case you are wondering about Malaysia:
Trip Start Mar 17, 2007
450Trip End Ongoing
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Did you know Boneo was part of Malaysia? I didn't!
AND: Brunei lies in the middle of Malaysia and has 2 pieces of unconnected land. The sultan has 274 toilets in his palace. You can add this to your: 'useless thing to know'-list.
Of the Malaysia's total area, which includes about 686 square kilometers of inland water, Peninsular Malaysia constitutes about 40 percent and East Malaysia about 60 percent.
Total land area: 329,847 km². Population: 27,496,000.
Climate: they consequently have high temperatures and humidities, heavy rainfall, and a climatic year patterned around the northeast and southwest monsoons.
The capital Kuala Lumpur, where we are now, is located in west-central Peninsular Malaysia. It is also the largest city. The city proper, making up an area of 244 km2, has an estimated population of 1.6 million.
The official language is Malay.
There currency is the Ringgit: about 5 Ringgit is 1 Euro
Malaysia is a multi-religious society and Islam is the official religion.
And we do see that everywhere. Veiled women. I do not dare to wear my usual mini skirt.
We wake up at 6. Get up at 7. After a very bad night of sleep. Jetlagged! Worse than ever. Weird breakkie. 90 percent eastern. NO pork. In the restaurant: no bare arm, leg or head. Although I wear MUCH more clothes than usual in these temperatures, I feel naked!
Our 'Footprint' guide says you have to be at the Petronas Towers before 9, to avoid the worse queue. We DO arrive at 08h40 and the queue is big. By the time it is our turn for our ticket, we get a 10 o'clock entry. It is free. Which is a bonus. The feet of the towers are one giant shopping mall and since we are awake from 6, we decide it is time for a beer before the towers' visit. But, we overlooked this is a Muslim country. In the whole huge building not 1 beer. Milkshake and diet coke: sigh.
We go back to the entry. IF we still had to queue for a ticket: come back at 16h!!!!
10h: useless propaganda movie about Petronas for 7 minutes. Then we step in the elevator to the 41st floor. 1 lady is even veiled in black, only the eyes visible. I do not understand and keep on asking Hubby questions: why, how, when? Like: they are veiled but beautiful high heeled shoes and perfectly made up. If they are veiled not to tempt the men, why can they do other things to be attractive? Dr T worked in Muslim counties with Muslim colleagues and even read the Koran! I am fascinated. Try not to stare but do anyway. The 'visit area' is not on top of the towers. The towers themselves are the world's tallest twin buildings. They were the world's tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004: 452.0 m, floor count: 88, floor area: 395.000 m², Argentinean architect: César Pelli.
'Only' 1700 people a day are allowed, a small group can stay for 10 minutes. It was great. A painter is hanging outside the 41st floor!
But I kept on thinking about the 'real' Twin Towers. And all the people who dead there and the one's left behind who suffered. And the hatred it caused. Sorry, Petronas, for me there is only one Twin Towers.
Afterwards, we took the hop-on, hop-off bus, which I think is great value in all big cities. We DID hop off 3 stops later at the, indeed: Hard Rock Café. To my surprise: no pork! But: if they want to be Islamic minded: why serve alcohol then??? After again a good meal, back to the bus station. Where we waited. And waited. And waited. Luckily we had some entertainment: a guy with only a short on came to sit next to us: no shirt, not shoes. And it was raining. He emptied his wallet with all useless items and tossed them on the street. Then he turned around and mirrored himself in the window of the bus area. He decided his hair did not look well. And started fiddling with it. For 20 minutes. A bus, normally arriving every half an hour, which keeps you waiting for 1h20min is still boring. I thought the explanation: sorry, traffic jam, was ordinary. One more hour of touring. No pictures anymore since the windows dripped with rain. We got of near our hotel and took an hour nap, I am ashamed to say.
It was time for dinner and we went back to our resto over the road. Their Tom Yam soup is to die for. A 'small' portion would feed my friend Springmuis and me and costs 1,5 Euro. It is filled with prawns, little shells and chicken and is mildly spicy. Dr T eats with sticks: who is the man? The total bill is 60 RM (including 4 diet cokes to take home) which is 12 Euro! This is a country without tipping: hurray!
Home: we install ourselves in our office and 'work' a bit till way after midnight.