This weekend provided another opportunity for travel, which we gladly accepted! Joe, Elisabeth and I headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday after school. We arrived without incident, and were surprised to find out that the airport is quite far from the actual city. It took us about 45 minutes to reach our hostel. Once we got there, we
were absolutely exhausted and went straight to bed. This was my first experience staying in a hostel, and it was actually pretty fun! Yes, it was a little dingier than a hotel. No, there wasn’t a maid to make our beds and give us fresh towels. No, the beds weren’t super comfortable. But, we had a private triple, we got hot showers, a towel, free milk and cereal for breakfast, and best of all, I paid about $25 for two nights. In the morning we woke up and headed out early… without much of a plan. The woman who works the hostel gave us some great tips, but we didn’t really have any idea what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go.
Following the advice of our “concierge”, we took the monorail to the Petronas Twin Towers. When you Google “tallest skyscrapers in the world” these towers show up as being pretty darn tall. It was cloudy and rainy, so we didn’t try to go to the top because we wouldn’t have been able to see anything. We did try to go up to the bridge that connects the two towers, but no dice. Apparently, you have to queue early in the morning if you want to go up because they only sell a limited number of tickets. At 10am, they were completely sold out! We weren’t too disappointed, though. We dinked around in the gift shop for a little bit to avoid the heavy downpour, and I bought a souvenir cup (what can I say, I’m a sucker for souvenirs), then we headed back out to see the city.
After the towers, we headed down some street that seemed like it would be cool. We figured out very quickly that none of us are the kind of people that like to wonder around without a destination in mind. After a little frustration (we didn’t really know where we were or how to get anywhere) we stumbled into the Central Market. We wondered around there for a while looking at various stalls that sold everything from clothing and fabric to souvenirs to jewelry to figurines. We ate lunch and went back out into the city. This time, we decided that we would visit the bird park and flower gardens nearby. It was nice to finally have a goal. As we walked, we came to a rather large hill. That’s part of being a tourist, I thought, sometimes you have to walk in order to see the things you want to see. It wouldn’t have been so bad except the sidewalk is made of tile–slippery tile. Don’t forget that it was raining. Here’s a simple math equation simple enough for everyone to understand: rain + tile = death. After several near death experiences, we finally made it to the aviary where we walked around and mingled with the birds. The birds aren’t scared of people at all, and they walk right up to you! We left the aviary and headed to the Orchid and Hibiscus garden nearby. It sounds lame, but it was actually very pretty and relaxing to walk through. The flowers were gorgeous, and while we were there, the sun started to come up. I had a good time playing around with the settings on my camera and ended up getting some pretty cool photos.
Since the sun had come up, we decided that it would be cool to see the city from high up. We headed to the KL Tower, which is one of the tallest communication towers in the world, and we got some great views of the city! The tower is very close to the height of the Petronas Twin Towers, and we were able to see pretty much everything—including the Twin Towers. As someone who likes looking at buildings, I really enjoyed myself!
Arguably, the best part of the weekend came next. We asked a guard for a dinner recommendation. He showed us to a street where we found tons of restaurants with all different types of food. We decided to eat at an Irish place. I know it sounds like a copout… we were in Malaysia, why didn’t we eat some Malaysian food? The answer is simple. We didn’t want to. I’m sure Malaysia has many things to offer in terms of cuisine, but in the 6 weeks that I’ve been in Southeast Asia, I have been pushed out of my comfort zone
the most with food. I think we all wanted something reliable that we knew we would like. The restaurant we picked couldn’t have been more delicious. The french fries were the best I’ve ever eaten–seriously–and our meals were to die for. Seasoned ground beef, perfectly cooked fried fish and a yummy club sandwich were just what the doctor ordered. The winning dish definitely goes to Joe’s cheeseburger. It was perfectly seasoned and juicy, but the best part was not the meat. On the burger, there was a fried egg, cooked over-easy. I’ve never tried eggs on burgers before, but it was so mouth watering that I will definitely be doing it when I get home!
Since I’ve been in Southeast Asia, I’ve been to Palembang, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur–all great places! This weekend we are headed to the region of Lampung, where white sand beaches and dolphins are the norm. Yes! I’ve been waiting for white sand beaches since I got here! After that, we have one more week of teaching, then we head to Jakarta for an international teacher conference where we will prepare a presentation. No pressure or anything…!^#%^!@#*?!&#$%??!… After the conference, we’re headed straight to Bali (YES!!!) and then home! Traveling these past two weekends has been a blast and I can’t wait to do some more!