You know how you have times where you made a plan, but due to unforeseen circumstances, or in my case, just plain foolishness, it fell through and you are left with this gap which you need to fill up in another way. Well, my aim was to spend my time in peninsular Malaysia on the east-coast, because I hadn't seen that part yet. I figured I would go to the Perhentians and chill out there, do a dive and then move on down the coast, stopping in various little hamlets, go to Taman Negara and do a jungle hike, then end up on the Tioman Islands before flying on to Kuching in Sarawak. What I didn't check was what the weather would be like this time of year on that coast. As it turned out, this is when the monsoon is in full swing there, so I was left with an interlude which I needed to fill up. I could have flown directly to Kuching, but the weather wasn't and isn't great there either at the moment, so the wiser option was to somehow kill my time elsewhere for as long as I could, before taking the plane to Sarawak.
I contemplated going to Sumatra, but in the end I decided that if I went there I would want to do it properly and not as some kind of short interlude just to fill up my time. So, instead I opted to go down the west-coast and just chill out in the places I have been before. As such, I have spent a lazy week in Georgetown, another one in Kuala Lumpur and finally in Melaka. I have been to each and every one of those towns before, but luckily I like all of them and relaxing wasn't a chore. In fact with the great variety of food and with nothing better to do, I had the opportunity to sample Malaysia's finest, and fine her culinary delights are.
Now, the first week in Georgetown was actually not as good as it should have been. I managed to contract a nasty cold, and spent all of Christmas and beyond with a fever and sore throat, laying in bed and only venturing out to get fruit and water. Fortunately my room was nice, and there were some very friendly guests who gave me compassion as well as various drugs, both of
the herbal variety and the pharmaceutical kind.
By the time New Year's arrived, I was fit and well and already in another city. Kuala Lumpur this time. Most people don't like Kuala Lumpur, but as is often the case, I am not one of them. I find it a rather easy going place for some odd reason, and I happen to know, what I consider to be, the best Indian restaurant in the country. So, New Year's in Kuala Lumpur, viewed from a rooftop with some fine Malaysian Whiskey (Winner Whiskey, for winners!). And what a view! Nothing tops a rooftop when you want to see some of the fireworks that grace the night sky, exploding into a kaleidoscope of colours. I discovered the next day that Winner Whiskey might be for winners, but that it doesn't prevent you from getting a hangover!
Several days later I found myself in Melaka, eating in another Indian restaurant, and another Chinese restaurant and in another Malay restaurant, and hanging around on another hostel couch, surrounded by my fellow travellers. A new town, a new group of people, and more time to kill. Not for long anymore though, soon I will
be flying to Kuching, still a bit too early weather wise, but I feel it is time to get going and actually do something, the weather be damned.
I will finish this particular blog with random pieces of conversations from the backpackers I socialised with in the last couple of weeks.
"I have been travelling for the last 40 years, but nowadays I don't seem to be doing much more than moving up and down between Thailand and Malaysia. Maybe it is time for something new again.
- Robert from Canada -
"I'm looking for a job in Kuala Lumpur, but so far I have only met shady characters
- Lulu from S. Africa on finding a job in Kuala Lumpur -
"Toes are interesting things, I like to look at my toes when I wiggle them
- Michael from Poland on his toes -
"I have been a vegetarian for three days now, just to challenge myself
- Michael from Poland again, this time on his three day stint as a vegetarian -
"I never tell people my real name or my age
- Allen (not his real
Streets of Kuala Lumpur
name obviously) from England -
"I hitched a ride on a banana boat going from Dubai to Davao in the Philippines, but when I got to the Philippines they wouldn't let me in, so I had to return with the same boat back to Dubai. Luckily the company arranged for a speed boat to pick me up when we passed Singapore
- Kevin from Ireland, who is cycling around the world for a charity (if you are interested in the charity or what he does, his blog is www.influenceanaudience.com)
"Happy New Year!
- Ralf, from Holland, also known as His-Dudeness on this particular blog -
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