Despite Kuala Lumpur’s definition of being a muddy confluence, I would take it after the two lifeless days spent in the duty-free abyss that was Langkawi. Whilst heading to our accommodation, we headed through a rather large mall which looked like the USA had thrown up the entirety of it’s franchises all over the place. I tried talking to Phoebe – alas her eyes were glazed over with the vacant stare of someone possessed as she saw a takeaway pretzel shop.
We explored Kuala Lumpur over the next few days, taking it steady in a way that only two unemployed people can. After observing that Malaysian citizens pay a fraction of the cost of foreigners despite the fact that a fair number of them earn grossly large sums of money, we decided we would gain a win for the little guys. We scratched the expiry dates off of our student cards. Yes, that is correct everyone, Phoebe and myself are now criminals. If you see us in jail, you will now know why. We entered an aquarium (discounted) and spent an hour looking at otters because, and I quote, “they hold hands while swimming like little puppies in the water”. We went to look at islamic swords in a museum because after looking at otters, I felt I had to prove my masculinity by looking at long weaponry (not an innuendo).
No hugely miscalculated long time in Kuala Lumpur (8 days…) could be complete without a visit to the Batu Caves. These are huge limestone cliffs likely deposited in the Cretaceous period (100 million years ago) by the accumulation of marine life and which have slowly been eroded away (I have a degree in rocks; I’m a riot at parties). I love religion as much as the next guy, don’t get me wrong, but it was weird seeing fairy LED lights around plastic statues within this huge hollowed cave. There was also a strong odour of rooster and monkey wafting around the place. Oh, and a gift shop selling banshee-wailing, epiliepsy-conjuring but presumably useable plates. Furthermore, education in animal nutrition has apparently taken a hit around these parts – an elderly Chinese lady was hand feeding a monkey… “nuts?!”, “bananas?!”, “a highly nutritional mixture good for the monkey?!” – hush now, dear naive listeners. This lady was feeding the monkey mint polos, a sweet likely to give the monkeys fresh breath whilst causing stomach ulcers. A highlight was when she asked the mummy monkey, in English, to give it to the little baby monkey. I assume she was expecting a sage nod of understanding and a reply; instead the monkey growled and hissed while she dropped the minty sweet in surprise. You could say the monkey was mintally unstable I guess.
From Phoebe, Alec, three otters and a monkey with terrible indigestion.