I slept better on David’s side of the bed – thank goodness for that! I’m really a person that needs my sleep. And I was very relieved to hear that he had been fine on my allocated lumps and bumps!
Now here’s a funny thing. The pictures on the hotel room walls were black and white prints of flowers and such. I hate black and white photos of nature – why ruin a beautiful thing? But one of the pictures was *really* ‘alternate’. Nothing there but an empty frame adhered to the wall. I spent some moments expecting the hotel to accuse us of stealing it and I wondered how many guests have stayed there since it went missing. Or whatever did happen to it?
Breakfast today included the delicious bread pudding that I’ve already mentioned and some waffles that weren’t quite ‘dried out’ but definitely came over as being a bit old!
Having failed in my attempts yesterday to persuade David to buy some gifts for the family, he’d now decided that he was happy to get them, so we decided to walk once more to Sungei Wang Plaza. The route was now familiar and I will take this moment to share with you the real-life horror of the footpaths and their drains! Here’s one stretch where there are 4 drains in the middle of the visible footpath – 3 of them were missing. Just open, gaping holes with an 8 to 10 foot drop for those not paying attention!!!
Not only that, but as I walked to the right of this one I tripped on one of a series of metal rods that were sticking up about an inch, where it seems that a fence of bygone days had just been sawn off at a height comfortable to the person doing the sawing, and the stubs left for the unwary. Heck, we were *being* wary and still didn’t notice them until after I’d tripped! This one has even been camouflaged ROFL
Once we got to Sungei Wang, the trouble was that we couldn’t find the shop I was looking for! It had some shoes suitable for the children that looked like crocs but had toes with claws so that they looked like monster feet. I was cross with myself for not insisting that we got them yesterday while we still knew where they were.
Instead, I actually managed to get David to buy 2 pairs of jeans – you just don’t know what a miracle it is to get him to buy clothes!!! He got them for a total of about $40 Australian so we were very happy with that. Then we saw some dear little fluffy backpacks that the girls would love and some really cute ‘diamond-studded’ teddy bear key rings that I hoped Amie would like, so we got those. And just around the corner… monster shoes. Yaaayyyyy! We got a pair each for the 2 girls and the youngest boy but the only ones big enough for the elder lad were pink and we didn’t think he’d appreciate that. But then we saw a great Spiderman mask and *knew* he’d love that! Excellent. I’m always more relaxed once we have gifts to bring home!
From here we walked once more to the Petronas Towers and as always took a heap of photos every time we got there. They really were fascinating to photograph. So I guess I may as well get that out of my system and share them all at once before continuing with the story.
Once I’d done with kneeling down low on the ground to make sure I had every single floor of the towers in my shots, David managed to drag me away and we went into the shopping centre once more. This time we were hungry and decided to indulge in a Haagen Dazs ice cream. We’d enjoyed one of these in Singapore and were very much looking forward to trying their delights again. Looks like we did LOL They were very delicious and served by really friendly staff who actually brought us a more than welcome *cold* glass of water each!!!
Nom, nom, nom, as they say these days!!!
After this, and another check with the centre’s concierge about the fountains to music show – and with just as vague a look in return – we just wandered around the park behind the towers fairly aimlessly. It was pretty hot that day and we enjoyed watching a large group of young children splashing and laughing in the wading and paddling pools and waterfalls. They were supervised by parents and teachers and we did take some photos but of course it’s wise not to share photos of children without permission so I won’t post them.
Hot and tired we returned eventually to the hotel and decided to try the other infinity pool on level 7 that was for everyone in the building. Do you think this one was warm? Not on your nelly! Just as freezing as the one above. In actual fact it was rather an odd feeling to look up 4 floors to see the large, protruding ‘balcony’ above us and know it was full of all that weight of water. And to know that we were standing in another just the same. All that water and weight suspended far above us and all that water and weight we were standing in, also unsupported. As if the cold wasn’t enough, it was time to get out before I had much more time to think about it.
The welcome from the desk at the entrance to the pool/gym was about as warm as the water; where they had grudgingly given us towels. David went to the men’s changerooms as I entered the ladies’. There were showers but nowhere in the cubicle to put anything that would remain dry! I’d got my gym clothes and shoes so all I could do was put those outside the door and wash the pool water off me and then quickly dry myself and go find somewhere to change. There was nowhere private to do this other than a toilet cubicle so I tried to find a little spot at the back where the lockers were. I had no idea if it was ‘the thing’ to get dry and then dressed where other women could potentially see me but there didn’t seem any choice. If I was young and slim and all that kind of thing it wouldn’t worry me at all – but I’m not! And of course by Asian standards I’m quite a big girl. One staff member came around as I tried to huddle discreetly in my towel. Nothing I can do about that!
By the time I came out I’d been so long that David was just about calling the police! His welcome was a bit chilly but never mind. We went into the gym and nobody took any notice of us at all. We chose 2 treadmills and easily figured out how to use them and began to warm up. After 5 minutes we began to run and still no staff member took any notice of us at all. I mean, we could be overweight grandparents with no idea what they were doing and on the way to killing themselves!!! Oh, wait! We *are* overweight grandparents!!! ROFL Fortunately we do know what we’re doing on a treadmill and running but nobody there cared to check!
In all the buildings and rooms we’d been into in KL we’d discovered that, the colder the aircon, the more of a status symbol it appeared to be. The motto of KL could be ‘We’ll freeze you best!’ But in this gym where you need some cooling, the air was still and warm. Not a single breath of air moved anywhere in the place and it was stifling! We were having to alternate walking and running whereas we usually run without stopping for 30 minutes or more! By the time we were as hot as anyone would ever want to be, the machines told us we’d burned about 200 calories each. But we never had told it our weights. Or age! And when we looked at our own heart rate monitor readings we’d actually burned more like 600. Part of that would have been coping with the heat more than anything else. The equipment, as I’ve already said, was really outstanding, but the supervision was dangerously lax and the temperature better suited to a sauna.
We went back to our room for a shower – the first thing all day at a temperature of our own choosing LOL Here’s one thing I loved about the bathroom though. The tap on the basin looked like a dog 🙂
We dined at The Club again and had our third different waitress in three days. This one delivered incredibly slow and uncaring service, the air conditioning was even more freezing than usual, and when she took David’s plate she did not offer any dessert. Now in this instance he’d chosen a ‘set’ which meant that he automatically got a main course *and* a dessert but there was no sign of it showing up. I finished my meal and my plate sat there in front of me and the waitress was nowhere to be seen. Not only this, but, as we’d gotten towards the end of our meals, the same stink as last night began to permeate the place. Even if the waitress did show we did not fancy continuing to eat with that smell.
We decided to go find the waitress so that David could sign the tab and found her hiding behind one of the mirrored pillars. A waiter appeared also and I told him that David’s meal should have included a dessert. He apologised and asked if we would like to take it with us to our room and I said yes please. I was not too happy that they would not produce David’s dessert as they should, and at not being given the opportunity to get one of my own. The waiter was away for about 5 minutes and when he came back he gave us a huge cling-wrapped piece of date cake that I happen to know was the ‘dessert of the day’ yesterday. When we got it to our room we found the cake to be quite dry, which I suppose was no surprise. I think it had been out on the counter uncovered since yesterday! Explains the large slice – they were getting rid of it.
I know that I never write a story without mentioning toilets and this one is liable to be worse than normal. The toilet in our bathroom included instructions on the lid telling us not to stand on the seat – yes, truly!!! – and showed how to turn a small knob on the side so that it became a bidet. I decided I’d be brave rather than regret never trying this for the rest of my life, but got David to stand by in case water sprayed everywhere. As I gingerly turned the knob David said that a little arm came up from the back of the bowl and water sprayed gently from it. Obviously it was cold water so didn’t rock my boat, but I’m pleased that I tried it.
After this riveting experience we decided, after much research on Google again last night, to go to the one and only Tourist Information Office in KL to find out what exciting things we could be doing with our remaining days. In order to get there we had to catch the train. The station was right outside our hotel and we just had to walk a short distance and then go down the escalators. The girl in the ticket kiosk was really friendly and sold us our tickets for 5 stops for the mere price of 2 ringits and 70 sen for both of us. That’s less than $1 Aussie. The train, however, was quite a shock! We could see straight out of the front of it – and the back. There was no driver!!!
Not a brilliant photo, but this is looking out the front of the train at the tunnel as we went along. Quite entertaining for us I assure you!
Once we got off the train I could not recreate the route that we walked for all the tea in China. Up steps, down steps, would have gone across a bridge but it was closed for maintenance, through a multi-storey car park, up high kerbs, across busy roads, across the huge forecourt of a big mosque and, finally, we were sure we were on the right road. Along we went, looking for the Info Centre and it began to drizzle so I put up my little umbrella which brings joy wherever we travel. It’s a kids umbrella, black at the back and white at the front with 2 penguins drawn on it and it has a bit sticking up at the top with a cute penguin face on it, and 2 big black ears sticking out to the sides. There’s a photo about 3/4s of the way down this page if you wish to see it. As always, ‘pengy’ produced smiles from everyone that passed us on foot and even from some people in cars as they drove by. I love pengy!
We walked and we walked and were positive that we’d gone far enough for the Info place but there was nothing even remotely looking like anything helpful. Turns out that the building must have been flattened some time ago and was now a building site. And do you think there’s a sign telling you where the Info place has moved to? Absolutely not!
Disappointed after our train journey and long, difficult walk, all we could do was turn back. After a while we reached a hill that apparently contained many points of interest so we climbed up the steep road to see which of these we would be able to find. The sign posting was vague in the extreme but we managed to find one that pointed to the Planetarium and after first almost accidentally going into the admin building, which was not welcomed LOL, we climbed an increasingly steep hill and then many steps and got to the spot where you pay to go in.
Security was showing a list of things you could not take in so I checked that did not include cameras or handbags before we committed ourselves – I am not parting with either of those! We could keep them, so went to pay and were amazed at how cheap it was. I seem to remember it was 2 ringits each – 60 Aussie cents. And just as well too. Admittedly we did not try every exhibit, but over half of those that we did try didn’t work. The coolness of the aircon was worth 60 cents though after the steep climb to get up there.
Now I’m going to need to take some time-out here to explain something before I introduce you to the next item. The public toilets (or Tandas in Malay) were usually 50/50 squat toilets and western toilets. However, the chances of there being toilet paper in the western toilets was about 10% After donating many of my tissues to a worthy cause we had learned to take sufficient toilet paper with us in David’s backpack. The other issue, and probably the worst part, was that even in the western toilets, in place of toilet paper were water hoses – sometimes literally sections of garden hose attached to a garden tap. Now I don’t mind if people choose to use these instead of paper, that’s personal choice, but when I go into a loo and the seat is completely swimming in water, I am not too happy! Two or three tissues to dry the seat, my trusty loo seat disinfectant spray and another tissue to dry that and then another for the usual purpose and I’m starting to have to walk around with a family box of Kleenex under one arm!!! And how do they dry themselves after they’ve used those hoses – do they have a towel layer under their long skirts or do they drip dry?
So, having filled you in on that, one of the exhibits in the Planetarium was a space toilet – truly!
And look. No toilet paper!!! ROFL
As we left the Planetarium, walking down their hundred (at least) steps with their signs saying ‘slippery when wet’ (well duh! if you will make footpaths out of ceramic tiles they *will be* slippery won’t they? *And* it’s a tropical country that has monsoons so ‘wet’ is going to happen a lot!), David glanced back and saw that there were people in the tall telescope tower. We’d seen a lift door but the sign on it had only been in Malay so we’d presumed it was staff only. Almost every sign everywhere else was in Malay and English. So because we didn’t speak Malay we had missed out on going up the tower. We’d have happily paid another 2 ringits to go back in had we not been half way down the steps by now. We did *not* have the energy to climb back up there! I might add at this point that almost all of the footpaths in KL were tiled and many of them had ‘slippery when wet’ warnings. I found this very strange but I guess they have their reasons.
Anyway, we continued on around the hilly road and soon saw the net over the top of the Bird Park. We were on the right track! Along the way there was a fallen tree and I was so amazed at the size of the leaves.
The Bird Park was more expensive but not outlandish and in we went through the double doors to be greeted by gorgeous yellow Sun Conure parrots.
There were peacocks everywhere and lots of different birds just wandering and flying around freely within the canopy netting. We were hungry by now and bought a drinking coconut to share and an ice cream each which one peahen in particular was determined to share. I spent the whole time with one hand virtually holding her beak while I tried to eat my magnum LOL
The next thing we knew, the sky came over black – you can see in the photo how dark it was – and the heavens opened as the rain poured down. We rushed to the tiny roof overhang of the kiosk and huddled with others under there until we thought it had cleared and then continued on our way. But no, the rain had other ideas and it bucketted it down once more. Poor pengy was not up to this volume of rain and I’d bundled my cloth camera bag into a plastic bag and was more concerned about keeping this dry than myself. The water ran freely down my back and David didn’t even have the pretence of an umbrella so he was drenched to the skin.
We managed to find a small shelter that already had 2 couples in it and one pair moved up so that I could have a seat on the side where the rain was not blowing in. However, my thin cotton trousers soon told me that the rain had blown there at some recent time. Yuk. Now that was a cold surprise I could have lived without! We had to all shelter here for quite some time and there was loud thunder including one clap that made us all jump into next week, it was so sudden and incredibly loud! The western-looking couple appeared to be speaking a European language for the few words they spoke and the Muslim couple that had moved up for us did not say anything so we all sat there being individuals rather than interacting.
After a while the rain slowed and the birds began to sing once more so we trusted that they knew what they were doing and began to walk around again. But no, the rain started up, heavily once more and back we went to the shelter. The other couples had not moved and the Muslim man said “Hello again!” I laughed in agreement. Now ‘hello’ may be a word that many cultures know but ‘again’ was more advanced so I decided to see if we could have a conversation and asked where they were from. Although the answer was Saudi Arabia, it turned out that he had been studying in a Queensland university for the past 18 months so we ended up having an interesting chat that helped pass the time.
When even the waterbirds look wet you know you’ve had some rain!
Finally, the rain did stop, though huge drops still fell from the trees for a long time. We were able to explore once more, but I suppose our hearts were not in it the way they had been to start with. At one point there was a man-made waterfall that I really liked and we took some photos from behind the water, which was fun.
And we saw this duck which made for an unusual photo with the position he’d got himself into to preen.
And I’m going to leave this here for today. More when I can!
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