Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bali and Malaysia, part 3

Day 6: Surfing and fever

Klaus leaves for Sydney and I head down to the beach and rent a surfboard. The surf is quite bad, probably no more than 3 ft, but I have some fun. In the evening I don't have so much I am attacked by some kind of evil mix of fever and sunstroke. Later, I realise that I have caught some stomach bug and I spend the next two days being sick.

Day 9: KL

I wake up feeling hungry. What a great feeling! The rest of the day is pretty much spent booking, taking and leaving our flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur, where we arrive sometime after 10 pm. Lucky for us, this is surely not too late for a meal, but the middle of prime time of KL's brilliant night markets. One of the biggest turn out to be only a few hundred metres from our hostel. Our hostel, called "Classic Inn Budget Hotel" or some generic name like that, turns out to be a brilliant place as well; really friendly staff and a great place to meet fellow travellers. Anyway, the night market is a fantastic and chaotic sight. A thick swarm of people are walking around or stitting down eating at simple plastic tables covering most of a wide street lined with a swarm of open air restaurants where another swarm of people are frying crabs, frogs, chickens and noodles and about a hundred other things. All of this exists in a beautiful and chaotic mess. As for the smells, the mix is even more beautifully messy, if possible. The smell of roast chicken, fish and fried spices is mixed with that of exhaust fumes and the rotten smell of those disgusting durian fruits.

Day 10: Drifting around in KL

During the impressive hostel breakfast I make aquaintances with Alberto the Mexican and Scottish Chris. This duo, who are in fact having their last couple of beers as I eat my breakfast, is quite entertaining and we have a long talk about diving, Scottish rock groups and whether it is a good idea to sneak into Petronas Twin Towers impersonating a mysterious Mr. White and his photographer, as Alberto suggests. The reson for this idea is that we are much too late to grab one of the few daily tickets to go up to the viewing deck of the towers' bridge, issued at 8.30 each morning. Me and Ali decide against it, in favour of just heading up the KL Tower.

Having consumed the view of the city from the KL Tower, we drift around Little India, the Colonial Quarters and Chinatown. However, we move at a snail pace and have to stop several times to cool down from the tormential sun. The first stop is in great Indian vegetarian restaurant where we are served way too much food on pieces of banana leaf, to be eaten with the right hand. The second stop is in some famous mosque, the third is the most desperate one where we run straing in to the first open building nearby that turns out to be a library, and the fourth is in the not-so-special Central Market.

A strange event occurs to us on our way home. A woman of heavy stature, possibly transvestite, stops her car and offers a ride, wavinve wildly and tells us to get in. We decline and walk on. When we over an hour later get out of the monorail station and cross the street heading for ou hostel, the very same woman drives by and honks her horn desperately, but this time she cannot stop. This mildly mysterious event was never explained, but it scared Ali frightfully for reasons that I do not fully understand. He tells me that he still has reoccuring nightmares about it, but hopefully he will recover one day and look back at this day as a happy one.

Anyway, in the evening we head back to the same night market for dinner, together with Alberto and Scott the Aussie. After feasting on crab, chicken fish and different stir fries, washed down with generous amounts of Tiger beer and coconuts with rum, we hit the town, or more precisely some place called the Beach Bar, where Jack Sparrow works as a bartender. By this I mean the actual Jack Sparrow and not just some guy dressed up like him.

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