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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Yuki & I in KL

MALAYSIA | Wednesday, 1 October 2014 | Views [1131]

"In Malaysia, anything is possible" Yuki said as we waited for the taxi last night. Beat and exhausted I was in the back seat, and out I was! Today I woke up rejuvinated. A few weeks ago, I was criticized by Bindi for "speaking of my tiredness" in my book. Contrary to belief, travel is not all glitz and glamour. It's very hard work. There are many nights were I hardly sleep if at all and there are many times where I've hitchhiked long distances into the wee hours. Wandering the streets of Ampang Point this morning you can clearly tell this isn't Tokyo or Osaka. The heat is even more searing, the humidity even more sweat-inducing, and the prices far less wallet-whacking. Yuki warned me that there's a dearth of must-see sights in Kuala Lumpur (KL) but it's paradise for cheap massages and good food. KL is at a major and convenient crossroad, bridging Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Southeast Asian, and Western cultures, and it's possible to have hotcakes with sausage at McDonald's for breakfast, Taiwanese food for lunch, and the hottest curry you could imagine for dinner. The variety of street food is incredible! My question is always "is it spicy." In NZ a few months ago I discovered I don't handle spicy food well at all. Before I get to what I ate, let me share a bit about Yuki and getting here. Yesterday was my first AirAsia flight and I must say I'm deeply disappointed. Filling my pockets and wearing all my clothes backfired after I had to go to the counter to get my boarding pass. It said online to print it otherwise I'd be charged for it at the airport. The advantage of it is that I wouldn't have to wait in line unless I was checking baggage. They decided to weigh all of my baggage instead of just my regular bag, and since I was about 6 kg over I had to pay ¥4000 to check it. If they're forcing me to check in my bag I shouldn't have to pay for it; it wasn't like I decided "oh, I don't want to carry all this." On top of that I was annoyed I had to walk all the way across the terminal twice, and then they asked how I was leaving Malaysia. When I explained that I was taking a bus to Singapore they were like "do you have a booking?" Seriously, it's Malaysia! It's just like how you can't pre-book a tuk-tuk online! I showed them both my NZ and US cards to prove I was leaving Malaysia. I repacked my bags, shed a heap of layers, checked my bag and was ¥4000 poorer. From there it was a waiting game, and in that waiting game I met a gorgeous Japanese lady named Yuki ("snow" in Japanese). She's from Sapporo but lives in Sydney and is an avid surfer. She's been to KL many times and enjoys it for a cheap foot massage and excellent food. She's 44 with a stunning body and a nice tan. She's on her way to Sri Lanka to go surfing. The flight, on an Airbus 330, was barely a third full, meaning I could have easily stored my extra baggage in an overhead locker. There is no in-flight entertainment whatsoever and you're charged even for a glass of water. Yuki and I sat together on the flight and she made the 6-hour-plus flight go by quickly. Entering Malaysia was painless and here we are today. As my first Malaysian meal we called in at a restaurant with a variety of different foods. My choice was eggplant, tofu, rice, coconut curry, and steamed greens, and only set me back about 6 ringgit (about $2).

Yuki was getting a kick out of something on her iPad. Unlike Japan, it's easy to find free wifi in KL.

Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country but doesn't have the strictest implimentation of sharia law. Teenaged girls sporting the latest fashions jostle side-by-side with hijab-clad women, and wine and hard liquor are sold at supermarkets. A one-hour massage at 50 ringgit ($18) sounded tempting, since I've been only to expensive places (NZ, Norfolk, Australia, and Japan) over the past several months. Being an Islamic country meant my only option is being massaged by a male. Due to being labelled as gay and constantly being bullied by males in my youth, I've never been particularly comfortable being touched by males. However, I took the plunge. Yuki got a foot massage and I got a full-body massage. I felt so rejuvinated afterward! And I had no fear about being massaged by a male. I'm amazed that even at 30 I'm still overcoming fears. Yuki and I strolled around the mall for a good while and then we stopped for a slice of cheesecake. Durians are a speciality in Malaysia. They're a spiky fruit that's said to "taste like heaven and stink like hell." Yuki was disappointed that there was no durian cheesecake, but we shared a slice of New York cheesecake. A tropical monsoonal rain pelted down outside and I was ready for a dance. Life certainly doesn't stop during a torrential downpour; the locals have no qualms about riding their motorcycles in the rain. Soaking wet I danced with glee in the rain as if I was having a shower with all my clothes on. 

When the rain stopped we continued our lovely walk although I nearly took an ugly fall several times. Tonight I had a major craving for pad thai but Yuki said with a smile "this is Malaysia, not Thailand, get pad thai out of your head." At the food court upstairs I tried this noodle dish called kuey teow. It's like pad thai but not as tasty, yet thankfully it's not spicy. KL may be a foodie's delight, but check this out: 

Fish head doesn't appeal to me, yet today has been a full-on culinary and rejuvinating experience. A full-body massage, good food, and good times! A tasty coffee to wash everything down works wonders. Yuki is leaving for Sri Lanka in the morning which I'm sad about. She's made my first two nights in KL special, and we shall meet again in Sydney!

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