9th Nov 2011
Kuala Lumpur continued
On my second day in KL and I thought I'd explore the local area of Chinatown where my hostel was. Just around the corner was central market, which seems to have a large stash of souvenirs. I didn't buy any but noted it for my return post Borneo to stock up on some tacky stuff to add to my collection. Lunch and browsing the shops done I continued to explore Chinatown. The climate in KL was very humid which apparently it is all year round so with the sun shining it was very hot and sweaty on my explore. I came across a random Chinese shop that had 2 Christmas trees out front, I stopped to take a picture if course. It's strange to think of Christmas because the weather is so hot and Christmas time for me is usually marked by cold weather so when I see the occasional Christmas related decoration I get a little bit excited. Normally I object to Christmas stuff outside of December but maybe because I am away from home and sometimes I miss the normality, I’m getting quite excited this year! I wandered to Petaling market which reminded me a little of some of the markets in Thailand, I couldn't walk 5 paces without being asked if I wanted some cheap DVDs. The street sellers didn't seem to take no for an answer, to which I said I have no need for them or no space for that matter!
The heat started to get a bit much, bearing in mind I haven't done much physical activity for the month preceding this, I found refuge and aircon in Starbucks. Hallelujah for coffee and aircon! The other thing on my list for the day was laundry, which for the first time I would have to do myself as KL doesn't seem to have the pay someone else to do your laundry culture I'd experienced through Asia so far. As it happened reception didn't have enough coins for me so laundry had to wait a little longer. I made arrangements to meet a friend of a friend who lived in KL so off I went to meet her near a huge shopping mall called the pavilion. My feet were not used to being in non flip flops so had rebelled a bit with blisters so I decided to take public transport. After a shaky start getting on the metro the wrong way, I found my way across town even changing to the monorail without difficulties (it's not that difficult anyway but it had been a while since I had to negotiate city transport without someone telling me how to do it!). Once I'd reached the station I pulled out my guidebook to check where I was. I don't know what I was thinking whipping out my book in broad daylight in such a conspicuous manner, sure enough that puts a big label up to all and sundry that I am in fact a tourist. Up pops a young teenage lad with a clipboard and asks me to sign up to support some kind of charity, asks me the usual where are you from, how long are you staying questions. It turns out by signing up that I needed to buy some kind of souvenir and I parted with 30 ringgits. My brain had yet to shift from Thai baht to ringgit and I didn't appreciate that 30 was £6. The pen I chose is green with an alien playing a guitar on top. It's pretty ugly and well not worth the £6. It's for charity though so I don't feel too bad. What upset me in the whole scenario was that as I was paying for the one pen, 2 other teenagers collecting for the same cause asked me to buy from them too. When I said no, one pen was enough; they just outright asked me for money. I said no and they hounded me a bit longer for money. Of course I just got a bit cross and said no I'm not made of money! They left me alone then. Map away I walked towards where Google told me the hair salon where I'd arranged to meet Sarah was but I ended up getting a bit lost. It turns out in the end I'd walked past it twice but couldn't see the sign right in front of my face. The area was quite nice; it had a large shopping mall so I occupied myself while my friend finished getting her hair done. She took me to a lovely Chinese restaurant and we mainly talked about places we'd travelled and she gave me some good tips for Malaysia too
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