Up, up and away

12 May

Walking…so much walking…

Went off to the Petronas Towers yesterday to go and get tickets for the Skybridge so splashed around Kuala Lumpur and found this nestled between the skyscrapers on the way to the train station

We got the train to KLCC – a clean, airconditioned journey that would put the Tube to shame – but found that the tickets had already gone so had to book in for the next day instead. We had lunch and I unfortunately had a toilet drama whilst in the shopping centre…went to the loo and of course, they had three toilets for women on the whole of the ground floor. So there was a massive queue as usual. A cleaner came in and opened a fourth one, but it was a squat toilet and no one wanted to use it, prefering the three western toilets. It finally became my turn…only I found that the woman in front of me left the seat up because she had put her feet on the bowl and squatted over the toilet?? Why not just use the squat toilet in the first place? Anyway, I used the loo and stood up, only to realise that it was an automatic flushing type. It flushed and I had one more piece of paper to put in the bowl, so I sat back down again. Nothing happened. I tried waving my hand in front of the sensor…nothing happened. I noticed there was a knob next to the loo so thought it must be the manual override for the loo so turned it. A massive jet of water shot out, at waist height (what on earth could that be for washing?!), soaking the cubicle and me from chest to knee. I tried mopping it up as best I could but eventually had to do the walk of shame past thirty smirking Malay women who were waiting for the toilet, dripping wet and blushing furiously, so I could wash my hands with my best ‘I totally meant to do that’ face on. Craig thought I had fallen in when I got back to the restaurant!

Once I’d dried out, whilst we were in the area, we stopped off at the aquarium to have a look at the cool fishes

It was really well set out and had loads of amazing exhibits, including a walkway underneath the aquarium like the Sealife Centre in Birmingham, with huge sharks, turtles and manta rays. We spent a couple of hours there, and then went to the cinema to see Safe as it was the only thing on at the time. We went to see The Advengers the other day which was fairly harmless and amusing, but this was very violent and I spent most of it watching through my fingers. It was a good story but I didn’t want to have nightmares :D We wandered off towards home to get some proper Indonesian food (having succumbed once more to junk food – this time Pizza Hut. And I wonder why I haven’t lost any weight :I) but ended up getting massively lost. We were literally on our last legs when Craig spotted this place in the middle of a carpark for an insurance firm

It led to a long tunnel past signs for banquet halls which made us think perhaps it wasn’t a restaurant, but we got to the end of the tunnel and found the most gorgeous place to eat

It was an Indian restaurant and had a live sitar band and the food was served on banana leaf plates

It was so delicious. If anyone’s over this way soon, make sure you visit it – it’s called  A Passage Through India but I couldn’t describe where it was to be honest! Such a lovely meal. We promised ourselves we would definitely try Malaysian food the next day…

But first we wanted to go to the canopy walk in the nearby forest reserve. We thought we’d get breakfast on the way, but got the station far sooner than we thought so we just got the train (with complicated instructions from the staff about how many changes we needed to make). These turned out to be for the city forest, not FRIM like we asked, and the train system here is so complicated – there are three types of train and some stations have all of them, some two and some one – we gave up and got a taxi. The taxi driver told us off and said it was much cheaper to get the bus, d’oh!

We decided we’d have lunch once we found the canopy walk, which was no mean feat considering there were no signs so we first walked a kilometre in the wrong direction and had to retrace our steps :/ The information centre was another couple of kilometres away, and then we found we had to walk for half an hour up an incredibly steep hill to where the canopy walk starts. So by the time we reached the top we were completely knackered and very sweaty. We joined a long queue of people (they only let a couple on at a time) and eventually stepped on to the boardwalk, 30 metres up. I am petrified of heights but felt the fear and did it reluctantly

It was a beautiful view from the platforms…I had my eyes firmly fixed on the treetops until I got to those as if I had looked down I wouldn’t have been able to take another step!

I am glad we did it even if it was terrifying. It was another hour’s walk down again and through the arboretum, so we were fairly tired but had to give lunch a miss as we needed to be back for the towers, and then every taxi we approached was full so it was even further to the main entrance before we managed to find one. We flopped into it and the taxi driver insisted on talking to us, even though I really just wanted to stare out of the window and let my bones rest. But I am glad he persevered as he was a very interesting man – he had an out of body experience, his head was ‘broken’ by someone throwing a stone at a bird and hitting him instead, he saw someone on a motorbike being sliced in half by a truck the other week, his brother stole his inheritance, his other brother made him pay for a truck for him, he earns £20 per day working 7am-1am as a taxi driver (despite having excellent English and a degree in sound engineering from a Singapore university but there are no jobs in KL for him) and he is going to the seaside tomorrow to buy a fish because they’re cheaper there…I honestly considered lying about where we were going so we could stay in the taxi longer as he had some very unusal stories :) But all too soon we were back in Chinatown for a quick shower and then back to the Petronas Towers for our Skybridge tour

It was so cool. You go up in the lift to the 41st floor and the lift has tv screens showing you what you would see if the lift was on the outside of the building, so you can see yourself rising above the other KL buildings. It goes at between 5 and 6 metres per second, so in no time we were there. We got around 15 minutes to take pictures and to see the tiny ant-like people scurrying around the city. The weather was much better than the other day so we could see for miles. The bridge weighs 750 tonnes and somehow it magically stays up in the air (I’m pretty sure it’s magic anyway). Amazing. It’s also double levelled so that the people who work in the towers can use the top level and the tourists can use the bottom level. It’s also a safety measure in case of fire in one of the towers. It was absolutely fascinating and despite being 170 metres up, it wasn’t that scary as everything was so small it didn’t look real.

Next we took the lift to the 83rd floor, and then a tiny lift to the 86th floor. Now that was scary! It was so high I had to hold on to the walls to peak over the edge at the view

It was incredible though and much better value than the other tower we went up as the tour was an hour long and we went twice as high. But I am glad to be back at ground level now! We did finally get the chance to eat and taste some Malaysian food

I went for the rendang, mainly because I wanted to see whether it was better than the one I make :) It was delicious but quite a bit saltier than mine so I am going to declare it a draw because I do mine how I like it. We also tried a nice starter of boiled egg, curry and little crispy things which was also very nice. I did get a bit cross with the waiter though whilst we ordering because he kept saying we should have one thing between us – we hadn’t eaten all day and I didn’t want half a starter and half a curry! Give me fooooooooood!

So after all the talk of being back at ground level, this is only temporary as we fly tomorrow…to Australia. We decided that we would like to get back into earning some cash as our attempts at budgeting have been non-existent, but hopefully we can take a couple of holidays to Indonesia, the rest of Malaysia or somewhere else accessible from Oz during our breaks from work.

Australia – we are coming to get you!


2 Responses to “Up, up and away”

  1. thomas peck 12 May 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Awesome toilet drama in front of the locals. Hilarious! Enjoying your trip very much!

    • toaustraliathelongway 12 May 2012 at 11:37 pm #

      Somewhat less awesome if it happened to you! I had to walk through 2 floors of the shopping centre back to the restaurant too. The shame.

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