Secker Goes Globetrotting
8th Nov 2011
So long Thailand, the road to Singapore awaits!
I had little confidence that the taxi the hotel had booked for me would turn up, something about no one being on reception at 5.30am to help me if it didn't (and the added thought of walking 1km with my heavy bags to try and find one) just gave me his sense of a nightmare about to happen. So i barely slept all night and when my alarms (I set 4 just to make sure I woke up!) went off I'd been awake for hours. I crept out of the room for my friends were still sleeping and waited by reception. When the little tuk tuk lights appeared I almost jumped for joy and off to the airport I headed! an hour later I arrived to the usual chaos of an airport, checked in and found some breakfast. This was the earliest start I'd had for a while and with no sleep either I was looking forward to my specially picked window seat for a snooze. I've had very few moments on my travels where I've gone past frustration and into sheer anger (south Eastern trains were usually the repeat offenders back home and there really had been little to push me that far in the past 3 months). Anyway when I turned up at my seat a family with a young child were sat in my £1.50 specially chosen seat! The mans response was "well you are a solo traveller and they split us up so you can sit in my seat" me: ok which is your seat then? Man: I don't know one if those. Me: so which seat do you expect me to sit in instead? Man: sorry I don't know. Me: huff.
So I sat by the window on the other side hoping that whoever was supposed to sit there wouldn't mind. They did do I huffed some more and sat on the aisle. Man who took my seat said: would you like my seat then? Me: (taking a very deep breath as he really didn't seem to understand it was all about the window seat in the first place) no! I wanted the window seat. Man: it's only a short flight. I just didn't reply I was starting to seethe a little. Yes I know looking back it really is not a big deal but it was me on no sleep and the principle of the matter was that I paid extra for a privilege I didn't enjoy. Why am i tling you this, well for those who know me well I always get wound up by this kind if stuff and I guess it's notable because I've not really felt it since I left home! However, it's ok I've learnt a lesson here - never bother to pay extra to pick a seat! After my little paddy the rest if the trip went without incident. My first foray into solo travel was going well, I got the train to KL's main station then transferred to the metro system and walked the 500m to the hostel. From budget hotels to a hostel I wasn't sure what to expect. The last time I stayed in a hostel was 8 years ago and while it's not hard work it's just a different mindset. For instance taking a towel to the toilet to dry your hands (I forgot almost every time!) and locking away your stuff and valuables in the lockers they provide. The hostel was nice though, clean and the beds were like pods so you could draw the curtain at the bottom of your bed and it was completely private.
The thing top of my list to do in KL? See the Petronas or twin towers as they're called. A 30 min walk along a dual carriageway bought me to the back of the buildings. For a city that's quite walkable due to it's size, KL is the city of the car. Pavements just happen to run out making you walk in the road and they're often in a bad state. At the bottom of the towers is a lovely air conditioned mall which provided a welcome break from the humid heat and which I could walk through to the front of the towers. It was getting on for about 4pm so the sun was just peeking through the clouds and bouncing off the side of the towers. They are pretty impressive and very shiny it seems. From 1996 until 2003 the towers were the tallest buildings in the world (its now some building in Dubai). Unfortunately the viewing bridge that connects the two towers is closed for refurbishment until December so I won't be able to go up. I nice leisurely stroll back and it was time for dinner which I enjoyed at the hostel. I had a minor shock at the price of beer though, half a pint of Carlsberg (no local beer to sample but they brew carlsberg locally) was almost £2.50!! The most I've paid for a beer in 3 months! Shocking. My wallet was thankful I needed an early night!
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