Dear kindred spirits,(and I’ll even give a nod to those who are here by mistake, or surfing aimlessly out of boredom)
I am now in KL on day 2 of my visa processing to come back to Thailand as a legal worker.
I was hoping that Malaysia had not gone and banned food hawkers in the
Capital as they have in Penang – and I was not disappointed.
I found a vibrant city full of food and people that liked to eat on the street.My first night was a bit tiring, after the 6am wake up, the prior week of beach, bay and market visits in Krabi, and the slightly delayed flight, the bus ride, and my big walk around to try and find a hotel.
A quick tip – Don’t go to “Sentral” or KLCC to walk around looking for
a hotel. It’s not going to happen, unless the Hilton or the Novotel
are your thing. They are the only two actually there.
I had a good walk around for about 40 minutes, and ended up realising
that I would need to get a taxi to one of the more populated areas, as the “city” is not actually the “City Centre” as you will also find in Dubai.
Anyway, strike 3, I eventually found digs at Jalan Alor, also known as
Alor Street for those Bahasacally challenged like me. It is near the
Bintang Walk area.
This ended up being a small room with no windows, a reasonably
uncomfortable bed and an air conditioner that sounded like the
soundtrack for Blackhawk Down.
The situation was that there was a convention on in KL during the 3
days I was here so almost everybody was booked out that night.
On the bright side, the staff were lovely, I got free wifi in the
room, and it was one minute walk from a street full of food and people
selling or eating it.
I must just state here that since losing 28 kilos and developing a
healthy metabolism over the last two years, I have become an
intolerant, aggressive, schizophrenic Pratt who is likely to tear the
heads off bats with my teeth, a-la-Alice Cooper – if it gets too far
past my feeding time.
I am also a bit of an obsessive – getting tasks out of the way now
rather than later.
My most immediate task, on foot, and with a bag and a laptop in tow,
was to get a hotel, and then eat.
The first bit took longer than expected, so rather than start boxing
rounds with shocked and angry vendors and immobile pedestrians, I
curtailed my search for sustenance and sat down at the second set of
tables into the street.
I saw some chickens and ducks hanging around looking all sultry and
appealing, and thought that you would understand if I didn’t start a
food safari that minute, so I sat, a little guiltily, and ordered a
plate of roasted duck, chopped bite size, and a plate of chicken
This next sign reflected my current situation as an unemployed bum of
almost two months.
Unfortunately I have Peking Duck tastes on an economy mee budget, but
at 12 ringgit for a big plate of duck, and 6 ringitt for satay, it was
Just think, next time I may be able to afford dessert as well
Then this lady started seducing me with her charcoal barbeque and her
squares of pork.
Helpless against a woman with a smoky barbie and a deftly wielded pair
of tongs, I parted with another 5 ringitt and took 3 weighty chunks
back to my room to snaffle as a late night snack in my little sweaty
cave of horrors.
The next morning I had to get my butt down to the Thai embassy to get
my visa sorted, so it was into shoes, socks and trousers, and KL
morning heat, and 20 ringitt later I hopped out of the taxi in the
middle of a wide road of embassies – with no breakfast and no coffee.
Imagine – coffee shops opening at 11am.
Bizarre. I thought that coffee was a drug.
I know that my Mum and Dad use Tea as a drug, and judging by their
Jekyll and Hyde character change if they have to do without one, its a
bloody effective drug as well.
But what is the point of selling a stimulant drug about 5 hours after
everybody most needs it?
Australia has the right idea, with most cafés up at 6 or 7am. Trust
me, the Baristas knock back a couple of espressos when they start work
I eventually found a small hotel that helped me out, and I returned to
the embassy a few hundred metres down the road somewhat inspired, and
ready to join the assembly of punters queuing outside.
I got ticket 22, and some reasonably prompt and efficient processing
meant a 20 minute wait and then I was off to Chinatown to get another
Mission accomplished, 100 ringgit a night for a good sized room with a
window, AC, Tv, a shower that works, and a very comfortable bed and
pillows. Mmmmmmmmm yes!
Chinatown is not just Chinese – there are LOTS of food vendors and
market stands here.
I had arrived at the right place for day 2.