Day 125: I’m On a Highway To KL

Here we go then people, today was short lived as it contained a 4-5 hour bus journey. Over the next few bullet points I shall entertain you with the days happenings.

• I was the first to rise this morning. When my little robotic ringtone rang, I rose from bed, cleaned my teeth, and got dressed. I did all this because I took the job of booking us a bus.

• I marched down to the bus station where I was collared by a female employee. She asked if she could help me, “yes you can my lady, I need a vessel that will carry me and three compadres to a place called Kuala Lumpur. Can you accommodate such a task? Could you possible acquiesce my request? You can?! Terrific!”

• Sadly, the 1:45pm bus was sold out, leaving us with the final option of a 4pm bus. I booked that up for the four of us, however, we’d have a long wait seeing as the time was 9:30am.

• When I returned to the room I told the girls what I thought was bad news, only to find out they were happy, as it meant they got longer in bed.

• Megan went back to sleep, while Sarah, Anna and I watched tv shows. A short while later, their friend knocked at the door.

• All the girls got ready and went for breakfast, whereas I stayed behind and packed mine and Sarah’s bags.

• It took around an hour for the girls (by girls I mean Sarah) to finish up, and they joined me while I ate my dinner. I had a large Chinese clay pot with chicken, that should see me right until KL.

• We swiftly left the restaurant, with only 5 minutes to spare. Quickly we walked to the bus station, with Japanese tourists snapping pics of us on the way. The bus arrived in good time, the boy did good. I booked us a spacious coach, with large comfy seats and generous leg room. We sat tight for a 4 hour bus journey.

• As we entered the beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur, the buildings turned into giants. Tall white complexes towered above all else, and seeing as the time was getting on for 9pm, they were lit up. It looked like KL was going to be a nice change from the norm, and when the Petronas Towers came into view, it was the icing on the cake.

• The bus dropped us off at the station. It was then up to us to figure out how to reach Serenity Hostel. After much confusion, and asking random people where we had to go, we were back on track. No thanks to a friendly Malaysian man who spoke good English.

• We bought a chip at a customer service desk which gave us access to the monorail. It was only a couple stops we had to take before we reached the centre. As we walked the streets of KL, all around us were clothes shops, and large shopping complexes. I guess I knew where I’d be dragged the next couple days.

I love big cities, and KL looked like a great contender to be one of my favourite cities in the world. The hustle and bustle, the big branded stores, the city lights, and the high rise towers that speared the sky, all equate to what I love most about city life. It’s so different to the quiet farm town I come from.

• We made a few wrong turns, but again, we were redirected and set straight. We only walked 5 minutes from there before we reached our street. it looked like the heart beat of the town. It was a strip of bars. With Megan’s eagle eyes, she spotted our hostel tucked away above a sports bar.

• After figuring out how much we had to pay when we checked in, we were shown around the building. There was a rooftop area which was for drinking and smoking, along with several showers, which had no locks. He showed us the bathrooms, and toilets, then to our 10 bed mixed dorm.

• We only stayed for as long as it took to shower and get changed. Thanks to John at our last hotel, we were all owners of fresh clean clothes. Seeing as it was so humid outside again, we were able to wear less clothing. Bring back the shorts and flip flip combo!

• Megan, Sarah, and I, all went to the local 7 Eleven to grab some cheap booze and return to the roof of our hostel. The plan was to have some drinks, then meet up with Anna’s friend at a place called Reggae Mansion.

• The 4 of us played drinking games until the cheap bottle of vodka was gone. We befriended 3 French guys during out time on the roof. Their names were Mickael, Lorenzo, and ….. (I forget the third guys name) They’d been travelling for quite some time, and they joined us for the rest of the evening. Also, while atop the roof of Serenity Hostel, we were treated to a repeat performance of fireworks. It appeared the Chinese New Year celebrations continued on in KL.

• When the bottle of vodka was gone the time was approaching midnight. The 7 of us began making our way to Anna’s friend. Anna and Megan, somehow, pulled away from the group. Walking at a faster pace at a distance of around 50 metres or so. This was to their demise. Well, to Megan’s at least.

• Due to the early hours of the night it meant the roads were quite quiet. As our group passed the local shell garage, Anna and Megan disappeared out of sight when they walked around a corner. It was then that a moped with two men on, drove full throttle and snatched Megan’s handbag.

She put up a good fight, but ended up getting dragged along the floor after she lost her footing. She refused to let go until Anna screamed at her to do so. Megan lost everything: her purse, her mobile phone, her camera, and with that, the most precious thing she owned. The memory stick containing all her photos.

Up until then we had been very cautious of things like that happening. We expected it to happen in places like Vietnam, or Laos, or even some areas of Thailand. We always had our guards up when were were in those countries, but we didn’t expect it to happen in a more advanced/westernised part of Malaysia like Kuala Lumpur. After reading about so many cases of snatchings and muggings, it sucked to become another statistic. Especially as we let our guards down for all of 5 minutes.

• I didn’t even see the moped go pass, they were that quick. It wasn’t until we got to Megan that we realised the full effect of what had happened. At first we thought she was joking, it all happened in the blink of an eye. I ran on ahead in an attempt to see if the cowards had pulled over somewhere, but they hadn’t. Wherever they were, they were long gone by then.

• When I got back to the group, a couple of locals had pulled over to help out. They told us it wasn’t uncommon to happen, and that worse cases have happened where people have been pulled into the streets, hit their heads and died. We were thankful that Meg was ok, we could take solace in the fact our little fighter was safe. He then went on to say he had been mugged himself, and the ordeal escalated to him getting stabbed. Suddenly Kuala Lumpur wasn’t looking like the best place to be, no matter how beautiful it may look!

• They were kind enough to give us a lift to the Reggae Mansion. All 7 of us squeezed into their SUV, 5 minutes later we were at the front doors.

• The main guy working their was overly friendly, he really helped out with the situation which just occurred. Going as far as getting a private investigator to talk to Megan. We weren’t holding our breaths for anything being returned, but it was nice to know people cared enough to try.

• With Megan cheered up, we followed Anna’s friend (who worked there remember) to the roof. Outside the building were Chinese New Year celebrations. They came in the form of lanterns, firecrackers, and a free serving of meat. I didn’t know what was happening when I was handed a full plate of pork, duck and chicken. With that in tow, I followed the girls and guys to the roof.

• I ended up spending the best part of my time chatting with Lorenzo, as we sat admiring the view of the streets below. I got through the whole plate of meat during our conversations, and by the end I was glad it was over. I had a massive meat overdose, I suddenly felt sober and sick at the same time. We spent a few good hours on the roof, where I ended up with singed arm hair due to the drunken employee spinning a flaming bottle. He wasn’t very good. After the French boys left, I saw off the rest of my time by dancing with the girls. We finished off the evening with a visit to McDonald’s.

• Just when we thought the night was over, Megan and Anna recognised a group of Irish lads they had met on their travels. We joined them for food, doing our best to understand their drunken Irish accents. We soon parted ways and caught a taxi back to Serenity.

• We did our best to be as quiet as drunken people can be getting ready for bed. We particularly didn’t want to wake Lorenzo and Mickael, as they had a flight to New Zealand at 9am. That was 5 hours from then. As quiet as we thought we were, it didn’t stop one Japanese girl from making a compliant the next day. If you don’t like noise, don’t stay in a dorm. Pathetic! It was then a case of climbing into bed and going to sleep as the sun rose, good morning everyone!

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