25 Oct 2007
Sunway Lagoon ,
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
3° 4'18.10"N 101°36'29.04"E


So, being mouse-less lasted approximately a week. It was OK for most things, but editing photo's was impossible so I succumbed and bought one. It seems a lot more robust than the last one - it's already had several hard falls and isn't showing any sign of death. Yet.

After a couple of days in a budget hotel just outside Sunway Lagoon, we've been staying in the lap of luxury at the Sunway Pyramid. Of course, we had to go to the water park - I know we're too old for it, but that just means we're bigger than all the kids and can push them out of the way. Actually it was pretty quiet - I wouldn't want to be there on a weekend. We were there all of 5 minutes before I had to pay a visit to the first aid office after taking a chunk out of my elbow. That was nothing compared to the bruise on my foot after tripping up over a loose paving tile on the way out of the office. Later in the day I saw a lot of people coming down the same water slide rubbing sore elbows, so at least I know it wasn't just me. We went on a ATV safari, and I almost ran off the track watching a huge lizard. Peter just stopped short of T-Boning me, but he didn't see the lizard - he was the only one who didn't. It was incredibly cheap to get in - just A$13/£6.50 for adults and about two thirds that for kids but they made their money once you were inside, surprise surprise. Bags were searched and bottles of water and food were confiscated, although you could buy them inside at highly inflated prices (natch). Also, a bit strange, but you couldn't hire towels, you had to buy them and lockers were 80c/30p but you had to pay every time you opened them up. Still, a good time was had acting like children and working up an appetite.

Peter has had his big weekend out at the Malaysian MotoGP. He went to the practice session on Saturday and met up with a couple of Aussie's and a Canadian who were staying in KL so they arranged to meet up the next day and travel to the track together. They decided on a minibus to get back into town, which had a bit of a crash as they were exiting the motorway. Strangers don't know they should never travel with Peter. Things happen to him. When they got to the track on Sunday, Peter found out that the ticket he bought on Saturday was for both days. D' oh! He'd left the ticket in the room, and sure enough it said valid Saturday and Sunday. Anyway, on the way back to KL they all exchanged email addresses and he said to Claudette "Funny that. I used to work with a bloke called Grand-Court - your dad isn't called Claude is he?". Yep. He worked with her dad for years at 4n20. She phoned him and Peter had a quick chat. It really is a small world. Dennis, the other Aussie lives in Surabaya in Indonesia, which just happens to be on the list of places we want to go to, so we'll be looking him up probably next year. There wasn't a big crowd there, and hardly any Malaysians. In fact, Peter said there seemed to be more Aussie's than anything else - expats living in KL, Singapore or Indonesia or traveling from Australia specifically to watch the GP. Claudette was traveling on to Italy for the final round, lucky girl.

Before we left Seremban he had a big night or two. He proved the sole bloke drinking in a bar theory true, and spent a very long and boozy night with Praba and various other new friends. Praba has invited us to spend Deepavali with him and his family - it's the Hindu festival of light and the most important day of the year for them, and we're really touched that he wants us to be there. It'll be well worth doubling back on ourselves for.

We've settled in to a kind of routine, walking mornings, stopping for a late breakfast and not doing a great deal in the afternoons. It's so easy being here - we're not constantly on guard for scams or fighting off people who want to sell us things. Although not as friendly as in Seremban, the locals are great. Everyone here is in a hurry to get somewhere - one of those things if you live in a big city I suppose. After one venture into a bar frequented by expats, Peter crossed the highway and found himself a bar full of locals and enjoyed himself far more, picking up more new friends and invitations to parties and the like. We even got invited to a wedding by our new best mate Anthony.

Anthony is 72 - "73 very soon" and "wife number 5" as he (and everyone else) called her is less than half his age going by looks. Her son is getting married next month, but we can't make it. Shame really, because Anthony is incredibly interesting. He's lived and worked all over the world and has the most impressive vocabulary. How many people do you know who use words like cumbersome in everyday conversation? How many people for whom English is not even the second language but the fourth? His first language is Mandarin, second language is Hokkien, third language Malaysian (he left China when he was in his early twenties) and fourth language English. The only thing is, he had to say almost everything 4 or 5 times. He has the worst pronunciation ever, and only having 2 teeth seems to compound this. Added to that, he barks words rather than speaks them.

He couldn't get our names right no matter how many times we told him, in one of those classic it-could-only-happen-to-us moments. OK, so people have problems pronouncing my name, and I was content for him to call me Trash. But Peter - EVERYBODY can pronounce Peter. Except Anthony. He settled on Peesa. And every sentence started with "Peesa Trash, I will tell you this... ". Suppose you had to be there, but a few people around the table had wry smiles on their faces.

After talking to a lot of locals about our very loose plans, we've decided not to go to the east coast because of the monsoon. We're going to stick to the west coast and gradually wind our way up to Thailand in time for Christmas.

We're off to Klang in the outer suburbs of KL for a few days now, not sure why but why not?