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Published: December 16th 2006
Petronas Twin Towers
The amazing view from our incredibly hotel room. It looks better on a sunny day, but you get the idea. The Petronas Towers look breathtaking at night, when they are perfectly lit.
Hello from Kuala Lampur! City of Lights and Entertainment.
Wow, am I enjoying this place! Kuala Lampur is much more in line with my visions of what a huge Asian city would be like. Massive highrises with incredibly architetural detail and bright, colourful lights all over the place. I must admit, though, that my high spirits are probably quite correlated with our new digs: the luxurioius Renaissance Hotel Kuala Lumpur. You've got to check it out at http://www.kl-hotels.com/renaissance/
I simply cannot tell you how nice it is to be able to walk into a bathroom (with BARE FEET!) and just drop your clothes on the ground without having to carefully pile them up on a towel rack, all the while avoiding them actually touching the wall, or anything else for that matter. A super clean place was really all I was hoping for, but we got much more than cleanliness! We got extreme luxury! Annnnnd a kettle in our room, so I've purchased some new Milo powder and have been enjoying my new favourite beverage as often as possible. Since we have actual A/C in our room, I can have a hot drink without fearing death from hyperthermia. And the
Oh Christmas Tree!
Ahhh a taste of being home for the holidays. A huuuge Christmas tree in the lobby of our hotel.
pool! Ohhh the pool is huge and fun and awesome, with lounge chairs available and a bar beside it (not that I've used it, but it's there if I wanted to!). I haven't been to the fitness center yet because I left my runners in Bangkok so I'm going to have to work at sneaking in with sandals, but Derek went this morning and regailed us with tales of incredible workout machines and the nicest changroom he's ever seen, upon his return. I'll try to get in this evening.
Although I would be perfectly happy to not leave our hotel at all for these three days, I've forced myself to wander out, and so far the results have been good. We're just a couple blocks from the famous Petronas Twin Towers, the once highest office building complex in the world, so that was our first sightseeing stop. They're really beautiful and impressive, especially at night, but I was even more pleased to find a great grocery store in the basement of the shopping complex which is contained within them. I'm always on the lookout for a good grocery store. Our room has a fridge (of course! It has everything!)
Another shot of the amazing high rises. I think that tower is called the KL Tower or something like that.
so I was able to buy milk and cereal, which I'm realllly happy about. Satisfying, but cheap, breakfasts have been pretty hard to comeby everywhere we've been, except for in Laos. I really appreciate being able to have a tasty bowl of cereal in the morning, maybe with a nice orange on the side. Excellent.
Oh! We went caroling today! Sort of. We were in this big mall, in the middle of a complex of a bunch of other malls, when we heard a small choir singing carols, with their song being amplified throughout the mall. I could tell it was live and my face immediately lit up, big time! Mark W. laughed as I rushed around trying to find the source of the singing. I was even happier when I found it, because one of the "Three Christian Tenors" was encouraging the audience to sing along. YES! So Derek, Erich and I stayed and sung while the others took turns wandering off into the the mall. I guess I haven't really mentioned it yet, but we met up with Mark Stephenson, Erich and Troy Nahser-Ringer, and Geoff Wilson yesterday, which was really great. Today at some point Angus, Warren, and Randy fly in, but we're not sure when they're getting here. It's been really nice to explore with some new people in the group, because they bring a fun energy and a different spin on things. It takes us forevvvver to go anywhere though, because with 7 people one person is always getting sidetracked by one thing or another. I can only imagine what it's going to be like when we have our full crew of 10. There was a point today when Erich and I got hopelessly lost, and wandered in to the KL bus station, but this taxi driver told us that he'd just seen a guy with a "Canadian" shirt (it was Mark S.'s Canadian beer shirt" so we knew we were in the right place. We hung around and eventually Mark came back and we rejoined the group. This continued with various people every 5 minutes for the entire day. But like I say, it was just fun and added a new dimension to our travels!
I'd read some less than kind reviews of KL through other people's travelblogs, but I certainly can't agree with them. People said the city lacked personality, but I say just the opposite! It's an amazing, incredibly diverse city with a mixture of muslim, chinese, and buddhist influences all over the place. We had some great Indian food from a stall last night. Mmmm. Most people we've come across speak really good English, too, which is always helpful, and almost all signs have at least some English on them. I think that's because with such a diverse makeup of people, English is a common ground that everyone can rest on. The official language, however, is Malay. We've yet to learn our essential "hello" and "thank you" phrases in Malay, but we're working on it.
Clubs here are sort of pricey, but they also appear to be really big, fancy affairs. I think we'll probably spend our last night in KL at one. I'm sure I'll spend a fortune, but you only live once, right? Geez, I better stop saying that or I'll be completely broke. I'll just have to continue surviving off of cereal and oranges.
I have a bit of time left so I'll tell you a couple of stories. The first one involves my first impressions of Malaysia. The airport is quite far out of the city, like 75km or something, so it is a lengthy bus ride in. I really enjoyed it, though, because it gave me a chance to see a bit of the less urbanized part of Malasia. Boy, was it lovely! Realllly nice, in fact. I'm not sure if we were driving through actual plantations of some kind, or if the palm trees just grow in orderly rows like they were, but everything just looked so neat and tidy and... tropical. Really quite jungley, in fact. Actually, at one point I remarked to Derek, "I really feel like we're in Jurrassic Park!" and then I realized that I think Jurrassic Park may have acutally been filmed in Malaysia? Theennnnn at night we all wanted to just lounge in one of our rooms and watch a movie, and guess what was on the movie channel? Jurrassic Park!!! And might I just add, that is one AMAZING movie. Seriously. I think it was the Jaws of my generation. Good thing I didn't have any dinosaur jungles growing up that I would be too afraid to go back in to. Every scene is amazingly well done, and the computer graphics are waaay ahead of their time. I loved it when I was little, but I thnk I appreciate it even more today. Ooooh I just checked and Jurrassic Park was filmed in Hawaii. Boo. Well, it looks like Malaysia, to me.
The second story is from way back when we were in Vang Vieng, Laos. It probably won't seem like much, but it was a big deal to me. When we were out at that wacked out Space Party with our friends from the organic farm, I was talking to a girl that I only sort of new from English class, and she gave me a HUGE compliment. I don't think she meant to, but I took it as a huge compliment. I think I said something about how I didn't realize I could pick out a Canadian accent from an American one until I went on this trip, but now I can usually tell when I meet an American that the're not a Canadian just based on the way they speak. And she replied, casually, "Mm hm. I normally have trouble telling apart Americans and Candians and Australians, you know, but when I hear you speak I go: 'oh yes. Now THAT'S a Canadian accent." I was unbelievably happy, for some reason! I have the quintessential Canadian accent? I didn't even know there was such a thing, but I was quite pleased, somehow, that I had one. Others agreed with her, and it only made me happier. I guess I'm prouder to be Canadian than I realized.
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