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Published: January 14th 2013
walking to work in KL
The day after the last entry, I headed off to Kl and was met at the airport by Omar, the driver that had taken me to KB just a couple of weeks before. He greeted me with the words "welcome back to civilization". We drove into KL and discussed all my new insights into life in the north-east, which basically consisted of Omar laughing and saying "told you so". He also informed me that if a monkey looked left and right before crossing the road, there is something seriously wrong with the monkey. Though, this was completely at odds with all the monkeys we had seen sitting happily at the side of the road while he was driving us up there!
Helen and I spent the christmas period living in china town, a wee side step out of 5* living .. but like the chamelon I am (put me in a conference for a week and I think I live there), I adapted quickly 😉 We did touristy things, made the reggae bar our local and became acquainted with the city. Plus, Helen introduced me to the luxury of foot massages!
Before I left, Buzzby and I were discussing
christmas and her reflections on christmas in Italy ... (obviously said in a pure glaswegian accent) .. "you know, the problem with christmas in reggio calabria is that they've forgotton the whole commercialization side of it!". There's not that problem here. To find christmas in malaysia, you've just got to head to your closest shopping centre to see it in its full commercialised glory. So, we celebrated by going shopping, seeing the acquarium, getting a foot massage and treating ourselves to a very lush dinner in an italian restaurant.
By the time new year came around, we were back into nice hotels, I was back at work and Helen was in the midst of her induction. We spent the evening with the new trainers, none of whom, like me, had expected to be seeing in 2013 in Malaysia! We watched the fireworks from the open air lounge of the hotel and had our bags packed for an early exit in the morning.
What an exit it was! I'd obviously overexaggerated my concerns about how much space the trainers would need in their mini-bus, what with all their luggage and teaching materials. So, in the morning, we walked out
Christmas in KLCC
to find, not a mini-bus ... but a full on coach. Not just a coach, but a full on "luxury" coach, with reclining chairs and footrests! It was
comfortable, but also embarrassing pulling up at our destination in a massive bus, with only 5 of us getting out! Bunch of bloody lushes!
The next week in Kuala Terengganu consisted of meeting the ministry folk, getting trainers set up and reaquainting myself (and introducing the others) to the wee few things I'd found in KT in the couple of days I'd been there. One is Uncle Ng restaurant! We're greeted by big smiles from our waiter when we walk in, he's always careful to make sure our food is vegetarian, and he knows we want a carlsberg as soon as we arrive 😉 He checked we weren't paying too much for our taxis back to the hotel. But, the other reaquaintance was Ali, the taxi driver .. that has never overcharged us, much to our waiter's delight. And, on Helen's birthday, when we relayed the story of losing her birthday balloon, he arrived at the hotel with a birthday cake and a whole bunch of balloons for her. He, along
Clothes made of bark in the textiles museum
with people at Uncle Ng and a couple of other people we have randomly met, have all actively been looking for a place for Helen to live ... and it seems they won't give up until she's found the "right place"!
Just another wee example of how people are involved here, and really help out where they can. The bartender at our pub in KB even gave us a lift home yesterday, so we didn't have to walk.
I've been back in Kota Bharu for a few days now. Moved into a flat and am now adapting to my new surroundings and loving having a washing machine again! Yesterday, Brian and I went on a wee adventure to see the "highest waterfall in south-east asia"! Not sure if it really is or not, but Kelantan is a remote area, especially in monsoon season, and so we had the luxury of being the only people at the waterfall and just listening to all the sounds of "the nature"! It was a really peaceful outing and good encouragement to explore the rest of kelantan and terengganu.
I'm living on the 13th floor (in apartment number 13, in 2013, so
Coconuts in china town
expecting a good year ahead!), which is too high for creepy crawlies and mosquitos, much to my delight! I'm also close to one of the many mosques in Kelantan, and so get woken up to the call the prayer every morning at 6.30 am, but I like it. It's already becoming a familiar sound and a wee reminder in the day that I'm somewhere new.
It's also nice to be spending a bit more time in KB, as despite it's where I'm living, I'd actually spent more time in KT until now. KT is much prettier than KB. KB is full of rats! (well, in one particular block!) We figure they come through the pipes from the river, to have a bit of an evening feast, and you can literally see loads of them scrambling up the rubbish bins. But, they generally stay on one side of the road, and so I generally walk on the other! But, we have a river and a pub and one booze shop. We've just found out where there's a karaoke place and one guy I was speaking to had spent a year in Stafford and lamented that there was more to do
Helen joining in the christmas carols
here! Coming from Balclutha, and having spent a year in Minle, I second that! 😊
By the way, per l'italiani qui .. I can get barilla pasta, lavazza coffee e parmigiano! 😉 On that note, I'm off to cook dinner! 😊
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