7 Nov 2007
Bukit Bintang,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3° 8'52.08"N 101°42'46.80"E


We've just spent 5 days in Klang. Yep, there is a place called Klang. What can you say about it? Well, I had very poorly feet and Peter got caught up in a Police raid, but that's about it. Just a regular week, really.

On our first day we went out exploring, thinking there has to be more to this place than meets the eye. We could see the town centre from our hotel room and decided to do a circle to it. Ended up on a motorway, which we walked down for a couple of kilometers (attracting very strange looks from the motorists zooming past us). When we got off the motorway we were on a bit of a nature walk before finding ourselves at the back of the stinkiest wet market I've ever experienced. Realising we were a bit off-track, we headed for tall buildings. Big mistake. Back on the motorway. Then we decided to try go the other way, and after a couple of hours ended up back at our hotel.

We did a circle all right. We'd actually been within 50 meters of the town centre not once but twice - we circled the town centre as well as greater Klang. Bad enough, but I was breaking in new walking sandals, which turned out not to be walking sandals at all. Just ask my feet. The blisters knocked me out of action for the rest of the week and the sandals went the journey. Straight in to a shop selling orthopedic shoes when we arrived in KL and ker-ching (but I don't care - I can walk in them). On the second night in Klang we could hear drums. Not regular drums, but those big Chinese type. Peter went out to investigate, and found a group of young boys at the Hokkien Association next door to the hotel practicing for a big event the following night. On his way back, he detoured into a bar and as he walked in he was followed by about 10 police who blocked the door and wouldn't allow anyone in or out, although they didn't stop the staff serving beer. A local said to Peter not to worry - "narcotics" - and told him to settle in for a while. Well over an hour later the police left having satisfied themselves that nothing untoward was going on. Everyone seemed oblivious to a troupe of heavily armed police blocking the doorway. Such is life.

On our last day we walked through Little India which was amazing - all of the shops and market stalls were decorated ready for Deepavali and I tried one of the beautiful looking brightly coloured sweets they were selling. It was like eating a piece of a highly sweetened, brightly coloured foam pillow. We've been forewarned about the "tooth-breakers" too, so they needn't think they're going to fool us into those. Klang has Malaysia's longest Indian Street and I'm glad we saw it at the best time of year. Can't really think of any good reason to visit here otherwise though. The event the boys were practicing for was some Chinese celebration which involved lion dancers and we got up close and personal with them, but couldn't find out what the celebration was.

So here we are in KL. We're staying right in the heart of Bukit Bintang which makes us probably in the best location in the whole city. My feet are better, but Peter has come down with a head cold so we're not going to be getting out much. Our one disappointment with the apartment is that there is no satellite TV - Peter solved that one by leaning over the balcony and watching the football on the giant screen at Planet Hollywood downstairs. After a while he got sick of not being able to see properly (we're on the 20th floor) and went downstairs and sat on a nearby wall along with a couple of Malaysians. Last night he did the same thing with the Motorbike racing, but tonight he's feeling a bit sorry for himself and getting ready for an early night. Hate to say it, but my nose is taking on that "been to the swimming pool" kind of feel. Peter being out of action though means I've been able to trawl the shopping malls (looking for a bag and a skirt) without him dragging his feet behind me saying "Can we go home now?" As long as I bring an ice cream or a lolly back with me he's happy.

Fame at last! A couple of weeks ago I got my hair cut at a charity cut-a-thon and my photo was in the paper today. Could have used the photo AFTER all the dodgey dye had been cut off.

Last night we couldn't be bothered and ate at the food court in Times Square, the second newest and second poshest shopping mall in the city. Squeaky clean counters and tables and floors - not quite what we've been used to. Not quite what our stomachs have been used to either. It's incredible that the only time in Malaysia that we ate somewhere with good visible hygiene we both get crook. Go back to the scruffy dirty places we usually go to and no problem. Goes to show you don't always get what you pay for.

KL has been great, but it's so noisy. The traffic and the sirens and the roadworks and the construction seem to be never ending. It also seems to be a lot hotter here - concrete holds heat and there's not much opportunity for the breeze to get through. I've enjoyed it, but I think I'm over it. Get me back to small towns and villages.