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Published: February 14th 2011
St Kilda Festival
The crowds were massive...
St Kilda Festival & New Travel Buddies
Well I have finally landed in Kuala Lumpur after a very long 24 hours... It started at 5.30am Sunday morning, when I was up getting ready for my 7.50am flight with Jetstar.. All was going very smoothly... I got to the airport with plenty of time, grabbed a Chai Latte and was relaxing at Gate 25 waiting for boarding at 7.20am.... At just after 7am I heard them call the flight.. Jetstar to Melbourne now boarding at Gate 25... I was thinking 'wow thats a little early' but threw out the rest of my Chai and got in line... I got to the gate, they scanned my ticket and as I put one foot down the ramp they suddenly went 'ummmm excuse me but you are on the WRONG flight'... I was SO embarrassed and slinked off to a corner confused.. it was at that point I realised that Jetstars 650am flight was actually boarding at the SAME gate LATE! Slightly confusing, but I did feel better when I saw 3 other people attempt the same thing! LOL A few minutes later, some chick up the ramp off the plane crying
Ah welcome back
dirty filthy SE Asia toilets.. how I've missed you!
and sat near me crying for the next half hour on her phone.. not sure what that was all about!!!
I arrived in Melbourne about 45 minutes late and was STARVING having only had the Chai... I checked in my luggage to day storage then waited for my lovely friend Chelle to pick me up... first stop was Macca's drive thru.. I couldnt wait any longer for food.. it was a guilty pleasure eating Macca's after not having had it for at least 6 months...
Once at St Kilda, we scored a great carpark..about 500 meters from the restaurant (which was a miracle considering there were approximately 300000 people down in St Kilda for the big 'St Kilda Festival' that day! We lunched at Republica with my other friends Lynn, Steve and Nikki and drank a few ciders over ice... The main stage of the festival was right next to Republica so we were treated to live loud music all afternoon... We finished up just after 5pm and I grabbed a chorizo sausage from the Spanish Food Stand on my way out... full of greasy goodness!
Chelle dropped me back out at the airport and I had
It was 'okay'
a snooze in the middle of the Virgin domestic arrivals hall while my phone charged up at a random power point.. I am sure people probably thought I was homeless as I was literally in the middle of everyone checking in on their flights asleep! Hehe... My friend Damien came out to the airport about 8.30pm and we had beers and dinner at PJ OBriens... I dont know how I ate what I did yesterday... it was disgusting... Maccas, Chorizo Sausage, Pizza and Twice Cooked Pork Belly!!!! I could hardly move afterwards...
Once Damien left, I headed to check in... I was standing in the line when I noticed a cute boy standing behind me.. He was only wearing a tiny backpack and had no other luggage... Conveniently I struck up a conversation about his lack of luggage.. He looked like the typical SE Asian backpacker with a small day pack of nothing on his back and the quinessential tattoos everywhere! We chatted in the line and it turns out his name was Mick and he was a remedial massage therapist in his last lifetime but had just had a career change to mining... 6 weeks on, 3 weeks
Noodles with the duck
Much nicer than the duck...
off... and this was not only his first '3 weeks off' but it was his first trip to Thailand.. Once we checked in we caught up in the departures lounge and he got the full 'Reetys tips to Thailand' treatment.. He took notes so I am sure he wont go wrong now! LOL ...
Once on the plane, I decided to be a big girl and NOT take my valium.. takeoff was really smooth (nice work Pilot) and I settled in to a restless sleep. About halfway we got some pretty bad turbulence.. there were some big drops felt but I just kept making myself pretend we were on a bus! It worked and we eventually landed in KL!
Malaysia... The Jury Is Out So Far
Once I got into the airport I exchanged some money and first stop was Starbucks for a coffee.. I was thrilled to see they had caramel lattes so ordered up.... After the first mouthful the whole thing was in the bin.. It did not have any coffee in it at all and the milk was sour.... Maybe a caramel latte is different here?!?! FAIL
I made my way
To die for.... Yummmmm
over to the Air Asia bus to head to the city and the bus driver was standing next to the luggage compartment. I said I wanted a ticket and he grunts at me that I need a ticket.. Thinking 'no shit Einstein' I then said 'yes I need to buy one' and he goes 'hrmphhhh' and gives me one... He then throws his head in a rude nod towards the luggage compartment suggesting I put my luggage there (well I am assuming that is what he meant)... I struggled to get it off my back and throw it in the compartment and before I knew it he was grabbing it out of my hands to put it in there (guess he figured he could do a better job after all!).
The bus trip was non-eventful and as I made my way to the monorail I stopped at a random convenience store that was advertising SIM cards with internet... I bought a SIM card which was normal size, but the man assured me that it could be cut to fit in the IPhone micro sim card holder... SIM card in hand, I jumped on the monorail before attempting to walk
to my guesthouse... I got lost (missed a turn) and tried to ask someone only to have them grunt at me (I think he said something about having to go to work)... So far KL people are not getting any points for friendliness!!! Deciding I had gone too far, I turned back and had a kind man offer to help me... right on the corner I was meant to have turned down! I eventually made it to the guesthouse (and saved myself $30 in taxi fares) hot and sweaty... My room wasnt ready but they were kind enough to let me use another room for a quick shower (it had been a good 24 hours of sweaty journey so they probably thought it was in everybody's interests I shower!)
After a shower, I attempted to set up my SIM but it was a massive FAIL... I then got some instructions on finding the shop front for the SIM company... After a hot 15 minute walk I was informed I had the wrong SIM card, and it would cost me another RM10 to fix the sim I already had plus RM20 for a micro sim (I really need two SIMS
for one phone?!) .. or the other option is pay RM8.50 for a new sim plus RM 20 for a micro sim... BUT I had to have photo ID... GREAT all my ID was back at the guesthouse and having not eaten since 9pm the previous night (15 hours ago!) it was at this point I gave up! No internet on the phone for Malaysia! Too hard, and I will just have to get lost instead of be guided by google maps (which only works with internet... not off Satellite like someone mistakenly told me)
I went in search of some lunch and was disappointed that all the places I wanted to try were not open Mondays... I thought about heading over to i-Dragon at Pavillion shopping mall (where I always end up eating in KL) but I decided I had to be adventurous so I stopped at a place that LOOKED yummy the 3 times I had walked past it today... It was called Dragon View and was a chinese restaurant with ducks hanging in the window and HEAPS of Malays eating there (I was thinking this HAS to be good)...
I ordered a fresh lime juice
(which was AMAZING) and the duck with dry noodles... I was somewhat disappointed when I realised the duck was cold (obviously just taken from the window cold and chopped up) .. but the noodles were pretty good and I was enjoying it until 4 cockroaches started crawling all over my table.. first it started with baby roach, then its big sister got in on the act and then Mum and Dad turned up and my stomach was churning at this point... By the time I asked for my bill they were making headways on my leftovers! Urgh! FAIL!
Disappointed by my first KL dining experience of the trip, I headed off for the guesthouse... just around the corner I found a massage place, and thought, bugger it, I'm treating myself! They were trying to get me to do the RM108 2 hour body/foot massage but I asked about the special that was advertised for the exact same package at RM80... "oh me sorry me no speak english" HOW convenient when you are trying to rip me off... I then pointed the rather large advertisement spashed across their front window for RM80 "ah yes, happy hour... yes you come...." AH
yes happy hour was just about to begin!!!!
I had an amazing massage and had drifted off as she massaged my stomach, only to be woken by her asking me something about a jar of cream she had in her hands and saying something about 40 (using her fingers as sign language) .. at first I thought she was asking if I wanted to buy the cream she was using for RM40 so I said 'yes' in a disorientated state.. I thought 'oh bugger it, the day can't get any worse.. whats a jar of cream to take home' .. the thought was cut abruptly short when I realised she had in face just upsold to a scrub on my stomach and boobs for RM40! Nowhere else on my body.. just those two areas... I must say my boobies are very smooth and silky now... Pity I am alone on Valentines Day! Haha!
After my body massage she put my feet in some water then upsold some crap that goes in the water for another RM13.. I was starting to feel jipped but went with it! I was just a little peeved when the foot massage lasted less
than 45 minutes! RM113 later I walked out half relaxed and half mad! Hehe... FAIL!!
I headed to the local supermarket called Carrefour for some water only to be dismayed all the bottles were warm to hot in the fridge.. Not being able to be bothered to walk to another shop I bought it only to have the check out chick GRUNT at me 'WHAT?!' when she saw me standing at the counter... Ummm I've been standing here 5 minutes waiting you rude bitch! FAIL!!
I paid for my water and headed back to the guesthouse defeated by day one of solo travel in Kuala Lumpur... When I got back I was informed my room was ready.. and my defeat turned to disappointment when I realised I had the shittiest room in the guesthouse... the one next to the communal kitchen that has all the upstairs bathroom piping bare on my ceiling (yes I've read the reviews of this shitty room on TripAdvisor)... I lay on my bed for about 5 seconds and feeling the loneliness creep over me, I was up and out the door... I did some blogging (as above!) then decided it was time to
stop feeling sorry for myself and find some comfort food...
I headed over to Jalan Alor which is really close to the guesthouse.. and right on the corner was a small noodle vendor.. I told them to give me their best dish and I sat at a little table to wait.. They bought me over Curry Noodles (Spicy) and I have to say, my faith was restored... It was a spicy Laksa soup noodle dish, with chicken, tofu and small clams... and simply delicious... I scoffed it down (and even pulled off eating the noodles with chopsticks!) before heading back to the guesthouse satisfied! It was really hot by that stage and I had been dripping in sweat while eating my curry! I stopped in at the 7-11 and bought some caramel chocolate... and have to say Malaysia does chocolate so much better than Thailand.. I can never find decent fresh chocolate in Thailand.. it always tastes different!
I ended up falling asleep on my bed after lunch and slept for 5 hours!!! I work up and it was 9.30pm! Yikes.. I may be up all night at this rate! Once awake I decided to tackle Jalan Alor
My little bedroom at Sahabat Guesthouse!
Apart from the pipes above my bed its GREAT
again and find some more good food! For those that don't know, Jalan Alor is an 'eat street' in KL... Restaurants and food stalls line the street and while I was expecting it to be tourist heaven, there were definitely more Asians than Westerners!
I finally decided on a restaurant and ordered a feast.. I am sure people were looking at me funny but too bad, I was on a mission to find GOOD FOOD! I ordered Sambal Squid, Marinated Chicken Wings, Char Siew Rice (pork over rice) and Beef/Chicken Satays... The dishes were all pretty average.. not bad food.. just not great food like I was expecting.. The chicken wings were probably the best dish... which is no surprise as they are a specialty in Jalan Alor.. I washed it down with a couple of JAZZ beers then got a takeaway dessert (an ABC) .. it consists of peanut, beans, corn (WTF! Yes really) and other assorted unknown food items over ice with coconut milk... Pretty yummy! Very similar to the 3 Bean Ice drinks in Thailand which I love... The weather tonight was amazing.. it was really warm but not humid at all.. very dry heat but
The dreaded noisy pipes
They did wake me this afternoon from my nap... we will see how they go overnight!
just the right temperature.. no sweating involved!
So that tops off my first 48 hours after leaving Sunny Adelaide.. Malaysia is slowly redeeming itself after a rocky start and I still have another 36 hours here for it to improve! I know it may sound as though I am whinging a little but I say it all tongue in cheek and have loved every minute (good and bad) ... This is what travel is all about.. Getting out of your comfort zone, realising you are a million miles from home and sucking it all up! The boom chicka wow wow music has just started in the bedroom next to the computers here so I think on that note, its time for me to head back downstairs to my bedroom... ALONE! Hehe
Love Reet xxx
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