Thursday, December 25, 2008

Local Tourist in very first active Christmas

I didn't think i would be doing so many physical activities in practically 8 hours!

Merry Christmas, by the way.

A college friend Suman is here in KL, from the States, as part of his Asian holiday tour for this long weekend. So, on his first day, we went to do touristy stuff in KL.

Started off with a late breakfast at Pelita Nasi Kandar in KL, introduction to the typical Malaysian breakfast, yes you guessed it, roti canai and teh tarik! haha. Well, by the time i arrived the only roti available was roti naan, so that's what i had. Serves me right for playing computer games until 7 am.

Next stop, the Malaysian Handicraft Complex on Jalan Conlay. Reez and me got some congkak action while Suman looked around for souvenirs. Didn't take any pictures here. I was going around taking pictures with my camera phone since i was too lazy to carry my DSLR around town, so please forgive me if the pictures are not as pretty. Plus this wasn't a photo outing for me. (alasan kena bagi dulu, heheh).

After that, off we went to Batu Caves. I just don't know why i decided to wear jeans today! So slowly we went up the 272 steps...stopping frequently along the way. Got to the top, dang, you have come down a set of steps, go through the main cave, and climb up yet another set of steps!

the temple at the top

Lord Murugan's backside

We stayed up there for a bit, Suman got obsessed taking photos of the monkeys, then we each lit a candle at the temple. The candles looked pretty delicious, more like an egg tart than a prayer candle i almost wanted to bite into it. hehe. The climb back down was less tiring, but my knees felt like they were going to fall apart as we got back at the bottom. The ice-lolly we had on the way down certainly contributed to the fun factor.

Right, so as if climbing the Batu Caves steps wasn't enough for us, we drove over to FRIM in Kepong. FRIM is awesome, man! It was my first time there, and I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was in there. So close to town, yet i found myself immersed in such a different atmosphere - fresh air and all that. We first parked at the picnic area and asked around where the canopy walk is. The first bunch of people showed us to some steps (arghh) with a waterfall next to it, and up we went. It was quite a climb, considering we had just gone up Batu Caves a half hour earlier! And 10 minutes later, when we got to the top, there was no canopy walk. Only a couple of bridges that lead to the other side of the waterfall. We asked a dude up there, and he told us, "No this is not it, the canopy walk is nearer to the FRIM mosque, so you have to walk back down and drive to the mosque and park your car there."

Bugger. hahaha.

So we walked back down, and asked the ice cream man at the end of the stream. He said the canopy walk closes at 2.30PM, and we were too late since it was already 4.30pm by the time. We decided not to listen to him, found the entrance to the canopy walk, and started our hike up.

up to the canopy walk: the spot where i almost gave up

Goddamn, the hike to the canopy walk made the Batu Caves steps feel a whole lot easier!! I gave up at some point, while reez and suman carried on. I decided to text reez a few minutes later to ask how far more, he said 3 more minutes of climbing. So i decided to continue the climb. I noticed numbered poles going 7, 8...and i guessed that must be the marker to tell you how much further to the end. I pushed myself, thinking i've climbed 80% and it would be a waste to give up at that point. Reez was a total liar...! It took me a good 10-15 minutes to complete the last 20% of the climb...and quite embarassing as well as the elderly practically whizzed up and down past me while i very slowly forced myself up the trail.

Well, slow as i was, i completed my goal, and that felt pretty awesome! Arrived at the canopy walk, and true to the ice-cream man's words, the walk was already closed for the day. After chilling for about 10 minutes we heard thunder, so we started our hike back down. I haven't exercised for weeks, and that made me feel quite good, though my thighs and calves were already starting to feel sore.

Next stop, lunch! Right, lunch at 6pm. Wangsa Maju, Bangi Kopitiam. One of the best Nasi lemak rendang ayam i've had in a while! We cleaned our plates within 20 minutes, and ordered a couple of butter kaya buns to top it up. After our stomachs were happily filled, we went to the massage parlor next door, and i had my very first foot reflexology. It was good, but painful still, i don't know if i will engage in it as a regular thing to do. I just have a very low pain threshold, what can i say? :-(

An hour later, we were off to Thean Hou Temple in Seputeh. I lived in Taman Seputeh for 2 years and i only discovered the temple today, from Suman's Lonely Planet for KL, Malacca and Penang. An awesome book by the way. I didn't think i could climb another flight of stairs, but there they were at the temple, two more floors to the top, and the book promised a really nice view of the KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers. So up we went. The view was quite breathtaking, and the temple was beautiful! How i wish i had a proper camera on me at the time. but this was all i could manage on my phone camera. It's okay, at least the temple is more accessible than the canopy walk..i'll be back.

the temple's roof

lotus-shaped prayer candles

The three of us were pretty beat after the temple, so we went to Bangsar to find a place to drink. Bangsar was pretty dead tonight, so we headed back into town to Al-Rawsha for some Lebanese food to snack on to end the day. We didn't get to take Suman to Low Yatt, but we can always do that tomorrow. We all had great fun, and through Suman's appreciation of the city, i found that KL has a lot to offer, that i really can't get anywhere else in this world.

My legs are hurting now, and i have to work tomorrow. Ouch.

Gnite for now lah.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blues Akhir Tahun

Another 18 days to the end of the year now. Where oh where did all the time go?

My sense of time and space is all screwy now. My January trip to Bali seems like it was only a couple of months back, while my last conversation with the asshole who wasted my time feels like it was a million years ago. The memory of the cold April in London with my darling nephew and the taste of Italy still linger in my mind, while it felt like it was years ago that I left my previous workplace. I am still missing my ex-colleagues and the variety of lunch options, but i never once missed the traffic i had to endure while working in the city.

It's been a year of changes, new friends, travel and enjoyment. But somehow, right now all i feel is emptiness. All i want to do is laze in front of the TV and watch one travel show after another.

Maybe it's post-holiday depression...oh yeah. I haven't posted anything on the Phi Phi trip yet! Perhaps I'll do it this weekend. I can't even be bothered to take the pictures out of the camera.

Wouldn't it be nice if i could just fly and see places and not have to worry about money or the lack of vacation days?

on top of that, my thesis is still not yet done. urgh.