Day 152: Goddard Speed

It was finally here, the day Rachael would be leaving us. For the past 10 days we had travelled places together, swam with fishes, and bathed on the beaches. I honestly don’t know where the time has gone. All that was left to do was enjoy our final day together, and it went a little something like this.

• What a hell of a way to wake up. In a room the size of my house in England, it was peaceful, clean, and best of all, mosquito free. Rachael’s alarm rang at 9am, but even then we didn’t get out of bed. We remained in the room until 11:30am, during which time I sorted out the blog, Rachael revised, and Sarah watched tv shows.

• It was a sad moment watching the door to our room close behind us as we left. It meant it was the end of our false life of luxury, and the sudden realisation that Sarah and I belonged in hostels instead. We took the elevator to the ground floor and put our holdalls in storage for the day.

• Rachael’s flight wasn’t due until 7pm that evening. So to waste some hours we went out in search of food. There was a long walkway connected to the hotel which took you to various places in the city. This was the sky bridge. It saved us having to catch the monorail, and was only a 10 minute walk to Bukit Bintang.

• The main shopping centre was called the Pavilion. Sarah and I had been there before on our last visit, but seeing as the place was filled with shops and restaurants it seemed like the perfect place to go.

• The three of us located an Irish bar serving an all day breakfast. For the first time yet the breakfast came with good sausages, which was great, as up until then all we’d received were small tinned like ones. We smashed down our meals and settled the bill, then came the most annoying part of my day.

• There was an ice cream vender situated right next to the bar. There was a whole lot of choices in terms of flavour, and you could order them by scoop or weight. I chose the weight option and asked for a cone (instead of the pot). A simple request you might think. Not for the woman. Every time I said the word cone, she looked at me, screwed up her face and said “huh!?” Moron!
“I would like an ice cream in a cone please, that way I can enjoy it for longer. You have the option of a cone, may I have a cone?”
In the end I walked away with just over 100g in a small pot. I threw a toddler like tantrum about it as we walked around the mall, and at one point I didn’t even want to eat it because it wasn’t what I ordered. At least I got sprinkles on top I guess! There’s the silver lining.

• I walked with the girls around several stores during the visit. For the most part I’d sit in the boyfriend crèche, or follow Sarah around on autopilot. After a couple hours we sat at an old town coffee store for a break. Sarah and I enjoyed a hot beverage, and some peanut butter toast. Afterwards the three of us made our way back along the sky bridge to the hotel.

• The time was getting on for 3 – 3:30pm, and it was then that Rachael decided to go on to the airport. One of the concierge at the hotel referred to me as Batman because of my tattoo, he then went on to joke saying he was Robin. It was Robin who collected Rachael’s bags for her and loaded them into the taxi. She had to pay an extortionate rate for the fare 140 ringgit (£28) but she didn’t seem to mind. We helped her out with what little money we had left, then we waved her off as the taxi pulled away into the distance. Goodbye Rachael Goddard, we will miss you and your curly locks.

• If ever we felt out of place at the hotel before, the feeling was now multiplied by ten. The sole reason we ended up at the establishment was now leaving in a taxi, we were but guests. And now we were sitting in the lobby using their electricity and Internet. Of which was amazing, it was the best connection we’d had since England. It was then that we did some online banking, I have never fully understood the credit card when it shows up online. Quite what the differences are between credit limit, balance, overdue amount, and available balance are beyond me. So you can only imagine my surprise when I saw (somehow) I had been credited money. Unsure of why that was I left it and would Skype my personal banker (my mum), who was also as clueless on the subject, later.

• The gruesome twosome then had to formulate a plan for their next steps. We decided to go to the Thai islands for a while and work on our tans. And possibly go to a full moon party. To do this we would need a bus, as we had taken too many planes to warrant riding another one so soon. Plus they are more expensive than buses.

• We asked for directions at reception and were given a map in return. We were told we could walk along the sky bridge, then catch the monorail and the train to the bus station. We followed those instructions, and 25 minutes later we arrived.

• There was a man wearing a bumbag scouting out any potential customers. Clearly he was working for commission, but he was very helpful so we followed him. He took us right to the booking desk and for 55 ringgit (£11) we booked a bus for 10pm that evening. At first we were skeptical about the prices, but Sarah claimed they were all about that price after reading it online. It seems most people are genuine in Malaysia, but after being in Southeast Asia for so long we are prone to having our guards up.

• We now had a lot of hours to burn before our 14 hour bus journey, so we ended up walking back to Bukit Bintang. The skies above weren’t looking very promising and within ten minutes of leaving the station it began to rain. Sarah was fortunate to have her umbrella, as for me I only had my new hat. Not wanting it to get damaged (as let’s be honest, for £6 it’s probably fake) I put it in my backpack. When walking in the rain in flip flops manoeuvring can become somewhat difficult, nonetheless we managed to reach the large H&M store for shelter.

• Sarah had a look at all their clothes before the pair of us left to find an ATM machine. We only had a few pennies left and would need just a small amount of cash to keep us afloat until Thailand. Thank goodness we did go in search of money, otherwise I wouldn’t have discovered the greatest sight know to man. While waiting for Sarah to finish in the little girls room, I noticed there was a Victoria Secret store nearby. From outside I bared witness to an 8 foot tv monitor playing a video of all the pretty models gallivanting around. By the time Sarah came back I had forgotten what we were looking for. Immediately she knew why I had moved positions, then proceeded to give me a punch, and call me a “little pervert!”

• I only withdrew 50 ringgit (£10) to keep us going, then we went for dinner. The cheapest and most filling was Pizza Hut – I think this new diet of mine is going to well. Like usual I ate more than Sarah, having two meals to her one. After we paid the bill we slowly made our way back toward the sky bridge as Sarah was suddenly feeling unwell.

• Outside the weather had increased in violence. The rain was falling heavier and faster, the skies had darkened, and the pair of them invited their friend thunder to the party. Luckily the sky bridge was completely undercover, and we made it back to the hotel bone dry. We then had an hour and a half before we had to think about leaving for the bus station – again.

• During that time I spoke to my mum about the banking issue (which was difficult with the house band playing in the background), and left it in her capable hands. Sarah and I then played cards for a while, before ending up speaking to an employee about various topics. One of which was my tattoo. My sleeve is both good and bad, good because it attracts people over and sparks conversation, bad because I don’t always feel like chatting. However this time the guy had caught me in a good mood. I’m glad I did speak with him as I learned a few things.
1. Tattoos in Malaysia are usually associated with prisoners. He told us they burn newspapers in a bowl, add water, stir it, then take a needle to it to provide a tattoo service in the big house. I just hope I hadn’t offended any local people by walking around with my tattoos out.
2. Because he was Muslim he couldn’t get one himself, but appreciated good work on others. I asked him what would that mean for someone who already had tattoos and wanted to become Muslim. He said that would be fine as you would have had it done in your previous life. When you become Muslim you are reborn. And those who become devoted afterwards usually pay the high price for laser removal. Which was as high as 1000 ringgit (£200) per inch of skin.
3. I also learned that the receptionist was a skilled Muay Thai fighter. He told me stories of a time he went to Thailand and witnessed fighters training. Using their bare shins they’d kick banana and coconut trees until they fell down. He went on to say he’s not that good, but if someone started a fight he’d know what to do. I lack any fight skill whatsoever, so he had no worries of me starting any trouble.

• Around 8:45pm we made our way back to the bus station, following the same route as earlier that afternoon. When we arrived we bought some fruit slices and water from a stall, then proceeded to our gate and sat down. There was still another 45 minutes before our bus was scheduled to depart, but a man with a bumbag came along and told us our bus was outside if we wanted to go on aboard. Again, up went our guards. I was expecting him to tear our tickets when Sarah showed him them, so in anticipation ready to snatch them back, I took off my holdall. There was nothing to worry about, the guy was genuine. When we were ready we did our best to follow him, by the time we got our bags on he had already fled. Fortunately there was a fat woman following him, and she was easier to track.

• We chucked our bags in the bus’ storage area, but felt a little uneasy about the fact there was a sofa in there. This was probably where the thieves sat during the journey. After all, the bottom deck of the coach was used for storage, and the top was where the passengers sat. We climbed aboard ahead of time, located our large spacious seats, then stuck on a film. We watched “Silver Linings Playbook”, and when it finished it was around 11:45pm. I watched one episode of Arrow while Sarah slept, then began getting to work on today’s blog. Now, that I’ve reached the end, the time is 2am. It’s about time I got comfy, closed my eyes, and went to sleep. When I wake up we should be at the border.

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