Day 151: My New Best Friend Rachael

After sharing a bed with two girls for a total period of 4 nights now, I can officially say it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The fantasy and reality are two very different things. The reality of it is: you do silent battle all night for the duvet, you’re constantly woken up by one of them turning over, then you become conscious of your limited space, worried you may hit them as you toss and turn in an attempt to get back to sleep. It’s no fun people. But these creatures had worn me down bit by bit over time, and changed me. Today was the day I officially became one of them. I went shopping and actually bought something. And what’s worse, I actually enjoyed it!!!!!!!!!

• I had another terrible nights sleep – although Sofia Vergara paid me a visit in my dreams at one point, so that was nice. Little miss perfect got her side of the bed again (the wall side) and I ended up on the outside. The middle was forced upon Rachael. I woke up several times throughout the night, so I was grateful when the alarm rang at 7am.

• As we were packing up our things, ready to say goodbye to paradise, we noticed it was pouring down outside. Not wanting to get soaked we gave it a while before making our way to Coral Bay. Final check, yup all but 6 sheets left on the roll… Savages!

• We were relatively dry when we reached the dock, and we only had to wait 10 minutes before our boat driver ushered us aboard. Unlike the journey to the island, the one back to Kota Bahru was a lot smoother. There were only a couple “oooffff” moments whenever an occasional wave caught the front of the boat.

• At the docks of Kota Bahru there was a horde of taxi drivers awaiting our arrival. Sarah and Rachael got talking to one, and he took us to the airport for 78 ringgit (roughly £16). On the way there we were all very tired, so we didn’t feel like chatting much. The driver did his best to spark conversation with me (as I had the misfortune of sitting in the front) but I wasn’t in the mood at all. I did try to talk back, but I was too sleepy to talk about my fictional favourite football team. A rule of thumb, just say you love Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea. It makes everything a lot easier. They seem surprised if you say you don’t watch football.

• An hour of awkward silence later we arrived at the airport. It was the smallest airport I have been to. The only place to eat was a KFC upstairs. We noticed a large crowd gathered around a long red carpet, and at the end was a limo. We didn’t know which celebrity would be showing up, and we didn’t wait around to find out, as our bellies were rumbling. We ordered our overpriced and undersized meals, then waited out the remaining 30 minutes until the gates opened for check in.

• We slid the bags through the security scanner, and had to scan the AirAsia barcode on my phone to get our boarding passes printed. It was a much smoother process, our bags went through, and we made our way to the departure lounge. Our gate opened ahead of time, but while we were waiting we saw a random sight indeed. It was a cat. A small domesticated household cat, just casually walking through the departure lounge. I don’t know where he was flying too, possibly the Canary Islands! Get it? 😛

• The flight itself was just as quick as the last time, 55 minutes. I was thankful for its short duration, as like always I ended up sitting behind a rude recliner. At first I held my ground by digging my knees into the back of his chair, but in the end I gave up. I was just fortunate enough to not be sat behind his friend, as that idiot kept pushing the reclining boundaries. He didn’t even ask Rachael if it was ok, he just kept reclining inch by inch as the flight went on.

• When the plane landed we had a little way to walk to baggage claim, and by the time we arrived our bags were on the belt. They arrived so quickly that Sarah’s almost made it through to the other side. There was a slight dispute as to what we’d do next.

• Rachael had her hotel booked and thought she’d be doing this leg of the journey alone. She was prepared to pay for a taxi by herself to take her to the hotel. Which would have cost 50 ringgit (£10). The issue was that we’d all go to her hotel and see if we could add an extra bed to the room, that way we could all get a bus there instead. But Rachael was concerned that if they didn’t allow her the upgrade our efforts would have been in vain, and we’d be in the middle of KL with our heavy holdalls. In the end we convinced her it would be fine and off we set to the rather grand Impiana Hotel.

• The bus journey lasted around an hour and twenty minutes, giving Sarah and I enough time to watch tv shows. Then began the challenge of reaching the nearest reference point, the Petronas Towers. We had to catch both the metro and the monorail to get there, which was horrid, as the longer we stood still the more my holdall dug into my shoulders. So I was grateful when the metro reached the twin towers and we only had a 10 minute walk to the hotel’s front doors.

• Obviously it wasn’t that straight forward, the girls asked several people on the way to make sure we were on the right track. “Come on, I’m a guy, when do we ever ask for directions?” As we walked across the car park of the hotel I instantly felt out of place, in fact I think we all did. Well all except for Rachael, she was the one paying to stay there. As for Sarah and I, we were tagging along – sporting two giant backpacks! We let Rachael walk in front, but this didn’t stop the doorman from looking at her like she was at the wrong building.

• Inside was like something from a movie, the hotel itself was a 4 and a half star – something I have never experienced. It was hard not to show just how much of a fish out of water Sarah and I were, our jaws must have been on the floor as we admired our new surroundings. While Rachael was sorting out the paperwork, they told her she wouldn’t be able to add an additional bed to her room unless she upgraded to a bigger one. This would cost her an additional £30. Sarah and I weren’t comfortable with that, and told her we’d go off in search of a hostel instead. It was then that she became my new best friend in the whole world. She paid for our stay out her own pocket. When Sarah said “no, it’s too much!” Rachael laughed and told us we had been away from England too long, because £30 was nothing back home. I’m not someone who needs material things, and I always feel quite uncomfortable when money gets involved, but yes like I said, Rachael is now my new best friend :P.

• When Rachael was filling out the last of the forms a man came up to us with a tray containing complimentary glasses of iced tea. It was the best tea I’d had. So much so that I could have drank them all. Then all of a sudden we heard piano music playing in the background. After exploring to find out where it was coming from, we discovered a young Asian woman sat at a piano playing sheet music bashing out a concerto. The hotel had a pianist at reception people, that’s the level we’ve reached these days!

• There was nobody to take our bags, at least nobody that wanted to take our bags. Clearly we didn’t look worthy enough. We located the elevators by ourselves, then made our way to Rachael’s room. Beautiful doesn’t even come close to describing it. It had an en suite bathroom with marble counters, a bathtub and separate shower. The double bed was huge, and had a duck down duvet. There was an office desk in the corner, a giant television, a spacious wardrobe, and the view. Oh my goodness, the view was spectacular. Three giant windows looking out over the infinity pool and the Petronas Towers. Not bad for £60 a night. Not bad at all. Thank you Rachael, a million times over, if it wasn’t for you we’d be staying in some rubbish hostel. Although, you may have set a precedent now!

• It was our turn to give back to my new bezzie now. Because we had been to KL before, we decided to show Rachael around the city. We started off by taking her inside the Petronas Towers. The first place Sarah wanted to show her was the jewellery store I had been dragged to several times before. But Rachael didn’t buy anything, surprise surprise. By this point the KFC meals had burned off and we were hungry again. So off we went in search of food.

• McDonald’s was the suggestion, as their meal deals between certain hours make them as cheap as £1 a go.
“But Ben, you said you needed to start eating more healthily!”
“I know, but the offer was too good to pass, and from previous experience there’s no Asian food that fills me up quite like McDonald’s”.
The girls were on a mission to take photos to capture Goddard’s last day, so they snapped up the experience of eating the worlds cheapest McDonald’s. Outside I noticed a poor man begging, to be honest he looked kind of drunk. Somewhere inside of me I felt a bit sorry for him, so to be kind I gave him one of my burgers to eat. I don’t know if my charity was rightly placed. I did order a large McChicken sandwich meal, and two cheeseburgers, and I didn’t really like the cheeseburger. The part about me feeling sorry for him was true, but can you call it charity when you were kind of full, and didn’t want the other burger because it didn’t taste that great? Either way, the old guy seemed appreciative and put the burger in a little bag beside him. The three of us then went to a clothes store for Rachael’s shopping purposes.

• I say Rachael’s shopping purposes, it was more a case of Sarah encouraging her to spend money.
“It’s so cheap Rach, you’re on holiday, go on buy it!” We’re often her cries. It was during our visit to this outlet brands store that I weakened to the grasp of a new sensation. I think it may have had something to do with the fact I have been hanging out with girls for the last month or so, but I found certain clothes appealing. To the point I actually made a few purchases. Yes plural. I bought more than one item. The saddest part though, before we left the room at our hotel I weighed myself on the provided scales. 170 pounds they read, no wonder I looked so thin, I had lost 25 pounds. I had become so thin that I am now an Asian sized medium. When I tried on the same t shirts in large, they hung from my body like rags. I cant remember the last time I was a medium. I’ve been a large for at least the past 5 years. Regardless of what size I was or am, I bought 3 lovely new v neck t shirts for £10. Not bad eh?

• Rachael also made a couple purchases, two new dresses for £20. After our splurge the three of us went back to the monorail to get a lift to Petaling Street. This was the large night market that sold mostly knock off items. During our walk there, my new best friend slipped on an uneven road and caught her big toe. Because Rachael was wearing flip flops she hurt it quite bad. The nail began to bleed, as the evening progresses it grew more painful for her. She was a big brave girl and took the plaster from her Achilles’ tendon (she cut it shaving earlier that evening while getting ready) and placed it over her new wound.

• We made even more purchases at the market. It seems this shopping malarkey is addictive. What’s worse was I was beginning to enjoy it. During our retail therapy I bought a new pair of board shorts, some mangos, and a hat. I’ve always liked flat peaks but have never had the right sort of head to pull it off. Until now-ish. If it wasn’t for Rachael saying it looked good it would have remained on the stall. Sarah’s face suggested I still looked like an idiot. And her words said I looked like a little boy. She was also reluctant to tell me it was the best one I had tried on yet. Rachael’s purchases were few but impressive. She got a new mini mouse cover for her iPhone (ok so not that impressive), and a genuine looking Cath Kidston handbag.

• The girls claim that the guys selling them must not know much about the designer labels, other than the big ones like Gucci and Mulberry. In their defence I had only learned of Cath Kidston during our last visit. They looked around several stalls until they found some real genuine looking bags. Sarah and Rachael both agreed that it must have “fallen off the back of a lorry”, as it was too good to be fake. For 70 ringgit (£15) Rachael was the proud owner of a large blue Cath Kidston holdall.

• We stopped for food at the market, because it made getting home easier if we ate there. It was your standard types of dishes – chicken, rice, noodles. We even ordered fruit shakes to go with it, but the lemon ice tea paled in comparison to the one at the hotel. Afterwards, we took our new purchases and caught the monorail one last time to the Petronas Towers.

• There were two reasons for this:
1. So Rachael could get pictures of them lit up at night.
2. Because it was right on our hotel’s doorstep.
Sadly this time around there were large concert like tents set up outside. It made it tricky to get photos of the tall twins, but we succeeded in the end. And it felt like another photo shoot by the end. Sarah was adamant to take lots of pictures for Rachael. We then explained to Rachael that the last time we were there, there was a light show at the fountains the other side of the buildings. It was ruined again by more concert tents. Rachael didn’t mind and was happy enough with the pictures she had. We then followed the pathway until we reached our beautiful new home. Courtesy of my new best friend.

• In the lobby Rachael felt embarrassed by Sarah when she asked for my phone. The reason for the embarrassment you ask? Oh she wanted to take pictures of the decor in the middle of the foyer. Rachael tried explaining that it looked cheap, that she would reveal herself as someone who wasn’t used to such a lifestyle – yet when Sarah joked that she’d probably want a copy of the photo, Rachael agreed. Ah, all the clothes fit perfectly, and even the hat didn’t look out of place with my new outfits – oh god, it’s happened hasn’t it! I’ve become one of them. Happy with what I bought, I packed up my bag, then showered and cleaned my teeth before going to bed in a place that is way too good for me. For the past 5 days we had a cold shower, now we had a lovely hot shower with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and for after… Body lotion!

• Some half an hour later I had lovely soft, fresh smelling hair. A clean body. And I applied that body lotion until it was nearly all gone! – Seriously, what has happened to me? Have I lacked guy company for so long that I have become more metrosexual than usual? “Oh Rachael that is a lovely new dress you’ve bought, try those shoes with it they’ll look great together!” Oh good god!!!!!

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