Sydney airportFebruary 16, 2015 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C
Here we go.
Here we go.
Having made a new friend on the plane, siyaam, who, coincidentally lives in a flat behind my hotel, i went out into the city with my 'lonely traveller' elephant selfie top on. Treated myself to a curry (i think today went pretty smoothly) and found a banana smoothie. Bingo. Time for trashy tv then bed i think.Read more
Committed the ultimate sin this morning... I went to starbucks for a coffee. I had to, there was no red coffee van at the end of the road, and this was the only option for a vanilla latte.
Went to mustafa's bazaar. Tacky shit, more tacky shit and some useful tacky shit, the latter of which i bought. I did manage to replace my ailing eyeliner.
After a couple of hours of retail therapy, I walked around the streets of little india and went to a hawker food centre. These places are a crazy myriad of smell, sound and sight. Follow the crowds for the most popular food or in my case, look for the best banana smoothie lookalike picture. I pointed to a banana lassi only to be told by the proprietor that they were 'out of banana'. I said 'ok thank you anyway' and started to move on only to be stopped by the other owner who said 'no, i go buy you a banana!'. 2 minutes later, i had an 'oh my gosh, that couldn't taste better' banana lassi.
This evening, i am going to dinner with my friend from the plane and her husband. I have no smart shoes. Bugger. Best go shopping. Bye
P.s. See the picture of the 'martin shuffle'. This is the singaporean sense of humour (yumour if you're kath) encouraging passengers to move along on train carriages. I'd love it if anyone could physicalise this move and send a video...Read more
Ice cream to rival monumental. Thank you siyaam and zak for a great evening of laughs, food and shopping.
Browhaus. Where brows go to ressurect...
Big day today. Navigated my way across singapore with 25kg of luggage (half my body weight) to bus stop. First overland border crossing. Got through singapore immigration with no hiccups... Then when we got to the malaysian side, we were all rushed off the bus and told to grab our luggage. Got to the passport counter and no passport. Oh bugger. I found the information desk and they escorted me to a stairwell where two policemen were sitting at a table playing on their phones. After some lengthy conversation on a walkie talkie we established that my passport had fallen onto my seat and was being delivered imminently. In the mean time, policeman number 1 had asked how old i was, if i was married and where i lived. When i told him my age, he exclaimed that policeman number 2 was also the same age and that policeman number 2 was also single. The passport arrived just in time and i went on my way.
6 hours later i arrived in KL.
I rather fancied the rather garish multi-coloured panda print on the bus seats. They reclined to nearly flat which was rather nice.Read more
It's rather late... I have been dancing in the rain at the rooftop bar of the hotel. I had sheesha (rather lovely strawberry flavour) and chatted and danced. Earlier in the evening i added another 'ex-world's-tallest-building' to my collection; the exquisite petronas towers. They are stunning.
After very little sleep I headed to breakfast and jumped on the coffee. A friendly fellow named victor started to chat to me whilst we ate and we ended up going to the Batu Caves together. The caves are a little crazy, full if Indians and chickens. The climb up to 'Dark Cave' was very steep and a bit of a bugger in the heat and humidity. After the caves I headed off on my own to Merdeka Square. This is the home of the Royal Selangor Club and the open grass area that takes up most of the square is where the British played cricket in colonial times. The name 'merdeka' comes the Malay for freedom which was chanted when the British flag was loweres for the last time in the square in 1957. I visited the Kuala Lumpur gallery which gave some history of the city and boasts a rather impressive scale model. Afterwards, feeling a little weary from all the walking, I headed over to the national textile museum for some lunch. The exhibits were very well presented and explained the various techniques and methods well. On to the central market (its amazing how well one can restrain oneself when one has to carry ones paraphernalia) followed by some batik painting. I just stumbled across a tiny gallery where you choose a pre-waxed picture and sit down with brushes and ink to create your picture. It was a very relaxing half hour.
In the evening I found Victor again... By the way, in his own words, he is the 'first black dude to swim the english channel'... And we went to a hawker street and sat on the street with the rest of KL to celebrate chinese new year with satay - yum!Read more
Sitting in the cafe of Campbell House, dating from 1903, having a coffee and resting tired shoulders. Left KL at 7am on the bus and arrived at Butterworth at 11am. Saw the aftermath of what looked like a fatal car accident, and a couple of near misses with out bus. This bus was super luxury and i could recline straight back.
At butterworth i had to get the ferry (feri in malay!) across to the island. This was an experience. I was one of two westerners in a sea of frantic malaysians.... It was packed. Qe queued, then got pushed and shoved through turnstiles to another holding area, then i was let through the disabled entrance (a 17kg backpack is a disability) to the ticket booth and then through to an even bigger waiting area. We were packed in like sardines. Then, a green lighy flashed and it was each man for himself - everyone shouted and started scuttling to the ferry. I just got taken with the flow of the crowd. There's no separate car and passenger section so you just stand around with the cars. I finally met up with the other felang (foreigner); an american from oregon, ex-navy and built like a ship. He was very interesting and we discovered a shared passion for kayaking. Once off i walked to my hotel, not too far, although by this time my
shoulders were very sore and i was drenched....
Hotel is great. It's in a heritage building and you enter it through a cafe... Perfect.Read more
Suffolk house was built on a pepper estate owned by Captain Francis Light, founder of the British port settlement of Penang. It was built in 1804 by William Phillips, one of the early governers. Stamford Raffles visited in 1818 and this planted the seeds for the subsequent escapade in Singapore. Very low key mansion with a distinct British Empire, East India feel about it; verandas, columns, cream walls, timber window shutters, chandeliers... And one of the best high teas i have ever had.Read more
Found THE BEST mocha this morning... Very happy.
Found the bus stop and headed off on the 204 to Penang Hill. I was told great things about this hill at over 800m with a funicular taking yo to the top. However, the view from the top was not as spectacular as i had imagined as it was hazy, and it was rather disneyland-ish. And i hate disney. The sort of place where you can get your photo taken in front of a blue screen and buy it later.
I then walked 20 minutes to the temple area. Most people seemed to be getting taxis but i like walking... If I hadn't I would have missed the sugar cane juice lady.
The temple has to be one of the most exciting places I have ever been to. Built in 1890, it is the largest Buddhist Temple in Malaysia and it is huge! You start by navigating through a veritable warren of stalls, like a souk, past a turtle pond and into the temple complex qhixh in itself is a maze of shrines, temples, pagodas and more shops. The view from the main pagoda was great and then I took the little funicular up to a 36m tall bronze statue of Kuan Yin, goddess of mercy. 2 hours well spent even if I was extremely hot by the end of it. Back to town for a banana capri.Read more