How to make friends with a lighter in KL
Froya’s lighter came in handy the first night in Kuala Lumpur. As we ambled along China Town’s market, lost, hungry and stalked by weird men, who had apparently not set eyes on gingers before, we came across a reggae bar that sold English looking enough food that wouldn’t harm our sensitive tums.
Nomming away on pizza (mainly from Froya who ate the majority of both), a fellow Traveller asked to borrow her lighter sitting next to us. We got chatting. With one being an Aussie and the other a fellow Englishman, you would have thought this would be easy but, disappointingly, we would have had a better conversation talking to a repetitive parrot.
The next day, after viewing the second tallest buildings in the world and doing a spot of shopping, we got caught up in a torrential downpour and found shelter underneath a bank’s window.
Once more, Froya lit up and was asked that magical question ‘Can I borrow your lighter?’
Sava and Laviola came from Indonesia and were staying in a hotel near ours for the week to watch the motoGP. Laviola was lovely, giving us the rest of her premium cigarettes, which were wrapped in gold, foiled paper and had the sweetest, spicy taste, almost like a shisha. We agreed to meet them the next day to go to the Batu caves.
The Batu caves are the most incredible things I’ve seen to date. As you walk through the big iron gates, a flurry of colour and music is presented before you. Local men and woman wearing the most gorgeous saris inside the temple were celebrating what looked like a wedding, whilst cheeky looking monkeys ran around fighting over food from the bins and drinking from tourist’s water bottles. To get to the main temple inside the cave, you had to climb hundreds of steps to reach it. We witnessed a man capture a 2-meter long deadly cobra on our way back down. We ate the local food off of banana leaves but I was a complete wimp and couldn’t eat any more after finding little bugs in my rice.
To end our last night in KL, we went to one of the Shisha bars in the heart of city with a guy called Chris, who seemed to be a male version of us in a parallel universe.
A few pointers to take away with you if you ever want to visit KL:
1. Bring a lighter if you a lonely…. or sick of the person you are travelling with!
2. Use a map, or have a friend that can read them.
3. Public transport is better than England, really cheap at about 25p a journey, air-conditioned, cool token system and separate carriages for Women!
4. Don’t use drugs if you don’t want the death penalty.
5. Stay covered up if you are a woman. The men aren’t used to seeing white blonde/redhead girls and will follow, gawp and stare at you.
6. If you don’t like cockroaches, cats with no tails or 3 legs or rats, this City isn’t for you.
7. Bring mosquito repellent if you want to avoid cankles or looking like a toned down version of the elephant man, first hand experience here!
8. DO NOT DRINK THE WATER if you want to avoid substances resembling the colour of a highlighter coming from every orifice of your body or hepatitis A. Boiling from a kettle does not work. I repeat DOES NOT WORK.
9. Don’t be fooled by people begging on the streets. Usually it is just mother’s with their children who have nothing better to do during the day but we did see a man with no feet at one of the stations.