I’m now in Kuching, Borneo after spending a couple of days in the quite-strange Kuala Lumpur. I stayed in Chinatown, which is famous for its night markets and great street food. Chinatown’s very similar to other places in S.E Asia I’ve visited, so I felt fairly comftortable there, practising my ‘no thank you’ and polite yet assertive smile. Mostly though, I slept. And watched TV in my rather lovely upgraded hotel room. I just didn’t feel excited about KL. It was merely a stopover before the real trip began.
When I finally headed away from the dingy but charming area surrounding my hotel into central KL on my last day there, I was in for a shock. Even though I’d read about KL’s massive shopping malls and seen the skyscrapers in the distance, I wasn’t prepared for the LRT being so like the Parisian Metro system, and then coming out of the station straight into one of the glorious malls which make Westfield look like a shed. I was in absolute backpacker mode, in my Cambodian baggy knee length purple pyjama trousers and an old shirt with paint on it. I felt so self conscious next to all the chic ladies with their Chanel handbags that I nipped into Topshop (yeah I know), and bought a maxi skirt to swap them over with.
Now looking like the other tourists (baaaaa), I took a quick glance at the Petronas Towers, had a massage that involved severe pain, my knuckles being cracked and the woman attempting to sodomise me through a towel, and then I was back to prepare for my flight to Kuching.
So, here I am.
I’m going kayaking tomorrow morning, so maybe I’ll feel like I’ve actually got going then. Because so far it’s felt like prep for the real thing.