Thursday, July 15, 2010

In the city in the rain

1am at KL's budget airline terminal. More waiting. I fly to Jakarta at 7am and from there to a village outside the city/town of Cianjur. More about that anon. I'm done with KL but out of necessity will probably return here for one night in August on my way north. KL was cool but left me feeling ambivalent towards it. Very western, fantastic PT system, surprisingly clean....could have been Europe. Chinatown and Little India have much to recommend them, not least the chance to haggle for sub-standard rip off Levis and Crocs. Even then though, they haggle so politely here. I've haggled with difficulty before - Cairo springs to mind - but haggling KL style lacks the sense that you've truly insulted the seller by quoting an obscenely low price in response to his obscenely high opening one. No haggling, no fun.
Another spectacular thunderstorm on the way out to the airport tonight. This will now become the norm and Java's forecast is pretty much identical for the next 5 days - humidity and storms. The travelling hasn't truly begun yet. KL was a place to stretch the legs before strapping on the pack(s) and hitting some remoter places along the way.
I did try to do the tourist thing this morning by getting up at 7am - as recommended - to visit the Petronas towers. For anyone who's bothered by such matters, the towers were the tallest free standing structure on the planet until 2004 and then again in 2010 when the ridiculous Dubai Tower was completed. Anyway, the Petronas are some 452 metres in height and you can get free tickets to visit the sky bridge which connects the two towers. So I arrived just before 9am, descended to mezzanine where the tickets were being distributed only to see a mass of faces in a queue about as long as the towers are tall. Either the view is amazing from up there or there is bugger all else to do in KL. I'm edging towards the latter.

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