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KL: Friday

posted Jun 25, 2012, 4:50 AM by jj pionke
You would think I would have nothing to say about a day of travel... but oh no.

After my adventures on Jetstar Asia to Bangkok, I knew that no matter what I did, it was going to take me hours more than I expected to get to Kuala Lumpur.  In situations such as this, it helps to pack a Very Long Book.  My newest is The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss which is the second novel in a trilogy.  I read the first one over here on the plane and finished it on the way to Bangkok.  I started Wise on the way from Bangkok, but only got about 20 pages in.  I am now sitting pretty at 520 out of about 1100.

At any rate, there were some delays at the gate (wow does that sound familiar) and then we were up in the air.  Landed fine and got through customs fine though I could immediately tell that this was a much more conservative country.  The immigration officials weren't crazy but nary a one of them cracked smiles or were even that friendly.  I went through customs with no problems and then got a prepaid taxi ticket.  Touting in KL, like in Bangkok, is common and tourists are told to get a prepaid ticket.  It was 70 Ringgit or about 20ish USD.

My taxi driver didn't seem sure where I wanted to go even after telling him the name of the hotel and pointing out that it was in Chinatown in KL.  He kept asking me the name of the hotel and if we were going to KL.  As we drove the convoluted highways (the airport is about an hour away from KL), his driving got more and more erratic.  At one point, I was convinced that he was probably drunk but what was I going to do? I had no phone, didn't speak the language, and had no idea where I was other than Malaysia.  He pulled over to a rest stop and said he needed a drink.  I waited none to patiently in the car, he comes back, and apologizes for stopping for coffee but he was so tired he was falling asleep.  The rest of the ride into KL was like Formula 1 (Nascar for the Americans).  No wonder he told me to put my seatbelt on....he drove like a racer (which I can appreciate, but that is neither here nor there).  We found the hotel handily enough and as I am getting out money to pay him, he gives me his car and tells me to give him a call when I want to go back to the airport...I took his card but in my head I was shouting...are you CRAZY?  WTF?!  NO!

My hotel was in the heart of Chinatown and quite nice.  Not spectacular, but nice.  I had some dinner, took a shower, went to flush the toilet and nothing.  By that point I was just oh good grief and went to bed.