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December 22nd 2009
Published: December 22nd 2009
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Gosh, who'd have thought three months would go by so fast? Also, who'd have thought I could accumulate so much stuff in such a short space of time? Honestly, even with posting things home along the way I find I have had to purchase a rollie suitcase thing in order to transport all my gumpf home. Ack! A backpacker with a rollie suitcase, what is the world comming to?

Anyway, my last two days have been spent in Kuala Lumpur, a city I was not expecting to like (on the advice of fellow travellers met along the way) but it's actually alright here. Big bonus is that the city centre in quite compact so you can traverse it easily enough by foot, the traffic is a bit hairy (3 months and I still haven't mastered the nonchalance required to cross a busy SE Asian road) and the humidity's a bit of a killer but aside from that walking is a definite goer here.

Yesterday I went to the KL tower, at 276m high the viewing platform gives a fabulous view and your ears pop several times on the way up. I recommend it. Forget the free audio guide though, the background chatter is so loud you can't hear the thing (and from the small amount of information I was able to gleen it's not that interesting anhyhow), and simply wander round in your own time. The ticket in is quite steep at 38RM, but for that you also get free entry into the animal park, a pony ride and a go in an F1 simulator. I chose to forgo the pony ride (for the sake of my dignity) and the f1 simulator (I'd had a large breakfast!) but happily ventured into the animal park.

It's not much of a park, more of a large room. Initially I quite enjoyed it, there are some enormous snakes at the entrance, always fascinating to view (when they're safely tucked behind a glass wall that is). I even took out my camera to take a photo of one (he was very impressive) but alas, now I am reduced to using the camera's built in memory and I found it full, with one photo (clearly the built in memory is not large) of Alana sporting a knotted t-towel on her bonce. I have no recolection of taking the photo although vague memories stir and I strongly suspect Auntie Cate was behind the t-towel nonsense. Anyway, couldn't bring myself to delete Alana in favour of a large snake and so put my camera away.

My actions had been spotted though, the the resident snake handler proceded to drape a snake around my neck and offered to take my photo for $5. A ricktus like grin on my face (there were children present, I felt I must act responsibly and not run away screaming like I wanted to) I watched in terror as the snake slowly raised his head up until he was facing me eye to eye. He was I suppose beautiful, in a snakey sort of way but I wished to blazes he wasn't so darned close (a nice glass wall would have been good here), don't get me wrong, I've handled snakes before, but they were small green and skinny. This thing was large and fat and moving ever closer to my face. I wanted to ask the handler to remove him but for some reason I simply could not summon the words, or any words for that matter, I was I'll admit, a little terrified right then. All of a sudden the snake broke eye contact and was off (lightening fast) to explore underneath nmy t-shirt, this broke my trance for sure and my high pitched squeel seemed enough for the handler to realise I was not keen for a photo and, thankfully, he removed the offending animal before he disapeared entirely beneath my clothing.

I made my exit toot sweet after that I can tell you. Next to the snake man was a sign inviting customers to purchase food to feed the animals with. Some of this food came in the form of live mice, rats or chickens. the mind boggles, what sort of person whould pay 20RM to feed a live chickjen to a snake. Who'd enjoy that sort of thing? Clearly the animals habve to eat but even so. By this point I was simply intent on making my way out. On the way I passed the monkey cage (not enclosure, this was definitely a cage) where bored monkeys alternatred between trying to break out and begging for food. None of the animals had sufficient space to live and move about, it was fairly distressing to see. All in, a highly disapointing experience and I strongly discourage others from going there.

The rest of the day was spent wandering round china town where magical things happen. I could walk up roads that were perfectly straight and still end up right back where I started. Getting into China Town was easy, getting out took me a good few hours. The trick (I eventually dicovered) is to ignore all logic. The obvious turning is always wrong, one must walk as if trying to return to their starting point in order to escape this maze of morphing allyways.

Day two was going to be spent at a local park but, yet again, I got lost. This time however it was in a shopping mall. I took a short cut through the mall in order to avoid the horrific traffic and it took me hours to find my way out (not a mistake I shall make again). It was worse that China Town the previous day but I was determined not to stop and ask directions, I was in a mall for heavens sake! I did eventually manage to get out (turns out the ground floor here is not actually the ground floor, the ground floor can be found on the lower ground floor, easy eh?) but was quite exhausted and simply cafe hopped for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow I fly home. The BA strike is off (phew!) so the only thing likely to disrupt my flights is the weather, now what's the likelyhood of that in the uk?

See you all soon and I hope Santa is good to you all, even those of you who may have been just a little bit naughty this year (I'm thinking specifically of those who ventured to Crieff here!).



29th December 2009

Welcome back jen. see you at work my lovely. time to make some money again and rejoice in the wonder of ward 17.

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