Now that I’d made it to Thaipusam, I had no scheduling constraints left whatsoever. At long last, after nearly two months on the road, I could slow down and move as leisurely as I wanted.
Sadly, I awoke on Friday feeling borderline sick – so what was supposed to be a productive day working ended up spent mostly in bed, aside from a bit of Chinatown roaming in search of a step-up in lodging.
The conclusion I came to was that accommodations in KL (or at least around Chinatown) are in general far inferior to those elsewhere in the region. From Bangkok to Penang, the bang for your buck is just worlds apart. Even if I doubled what I’d grown accustomed to paying most spots here were small and dilapidated sh*tholes.
Still, I had lots to do – so rather than moving on I decided to tough it out, spending the next couple days primarily glued to my screen. And although I still didn’t manage to delve into blogging, I did get quite a bit done: processing all of the new Thaipusam media, updating WordPress, resolving a few urgent bugs at work, even picking up a new backup drive at Plaza Low Yat.
(In addition to keeping my system backed up remotely, I also travel with a second hard drive – containing, among other things, a ghost image of a fully-configured system. That way in case of an emergency – i.e. catastrophic crash or theft – I can get back up and running in no time. However, with the recent influx of new HD video the remote backups had fallen months behind, and my on-hand drive was full to the brim…so I picked up a new 500g, mirrored everything over, and shipped home the old 320 ;))
Aside from all that, the few non-work activities revolved primarily around Michael, an Aussie buddy I met just in front of my hotel. While popping out for a quick noodle dinner we found ourselves sharing a table, as is common with street food in Asia. Originally from Perth, Michael is yet another Western Asia-phile who’d spent the better part of his adult life in and around Thailand.
(Funny side-note: his Aussie accent is so thick that for the first day or two, I thought his name was Marco!)
Marco Michael gave me a call on Saturday afternoon asking if I wanted to join for a workout, you know what I said. Next stop: Celebrity Fitness, KL branch!
Unfortunately this place wasn’t nearly as friendly as its Penang little brother, refusing our 7-day trial because we couldn’t prove residence here in KL. Trying to cut down on short-term travelers out for a free workout, no doubt 😆 So we continued to the nearest alternative on Google Maps – which turned out to be a regular hotel, but they didn’t seem to mind when we strolled right in. Mission: accomplished. 😛
Then, it being Saturday and all, we cleaned ourselves up and headed out on the town. On my one Saturday in the Malaysian capital – with a good wingman along side – I just couldn’t resist. Our destination was a club called Zouk, supposedly the place to see and be seen here in KL.
And while it was indeed a nice venue (actually more like five separate mini-clubs under one roof), to be honest neither of us really had that great of a time. Obscenely overpriced, and the people just weren’t very receptive. A very far cry from Thailand it reminded me in some ways of Odessa, where people just didn’t seem all that interested in meeting someone new. “If you’re not a local and a millionaire then buzz off,” their attitudes seemed to say. Indeed, every car parked out front was a Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes, or Lamborghini.
Not to mention that it closed at 3 – making Malaysia only the third place I’ve been with such a rule (alongside California and Norway).
Lame. But oh well, at least we tried 🙂
Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above took place on the weekend of January 21st.