I understood that this time it would have been challenging before getting off from the airplane last Monday. I could already feel the heat… not as tragic as in Bangkok last January, but almost there!
I spent 4 days in KL, a kind of “technical stop”: rest, laundry, set the GPS, because I was really going with the automatic pilot after the days at Ijen Festival! I couchsurfed even this time and the funny thing has been that the host has found me as he replied to my open request on Couchsurfing! Other 7 people (all males…) offered me a place to stay, but at the end I decided to go to Sasha’s, a really kind and polite guy. What an amazing flat he shares with his flatmates! Very modern, with swimming pool and view on the City…it looked like those in the movies!:-)
KL is a nice, modern, international city, but nothing really exciting for me. Moreover, while I was going around with my backpack, people were staring at me as if they had seen an alien…but actually KL is one of the most important hubs and transits in SEA, so I thought they should be used to see backpackers around! And I realised that I’m not the only one who has this feeling! And while I was on the taxi to go the bus station, I had a “funny” conversation with the taxi driver in those 2 minutes drive:
you are sweating, uhm? Nooooooooo, Why are you telling me this? At the end, there are just 36 degrees, I’m carrying 17 kg on my shoulders and other 2 bags and I’m trying to get into your bloody car! And he started: are you married?boyfriend?alone?where are you going?where did you stay?Where have you been? All this in 2 minutes! I mean… even in Bali they were asking me the same things, but always in a polite, soft way. I never felt it as an intrusion, but this time I was about to say: can you please shut up and bring me to the station?
So on Thursday, I’ve decided to go towards the South and I took the bus to Melaka, 2 hours from KL. Many people told me that it would have been much more cultural and historical and it is like that, but for being an Unesco heritage I was expecting something more to be honest.
I was getting on the bus and I had to put my backpack in the trunk. I had the other bags in my hands and there was the driver that was cleaning something in the street. He saw me and he didn’t help me. He stopped his activity and just enjoyed the scene…I mean, or you help me or you keep doing what you were doing! It’s not funny staring at me! At the same time I met some people that looked at me in a really serious way and then suddenly: Goodmorning Miss! How are you?
Through CS, I met a lovely girl Mak Chan who brought me to have lunch in a really famous Chinese place in KL (and usually it’s not my favourite food, but that was amazing!), we took a walk in the Central Market where I managed to convince her to try the fish therapy…so funny and so itching! There was even in Bali, but much more expensive compared to KL! And then we ended our afternoon enjoying an amazing tea in a tea house I would have never found on my own…as always, meeting locals and people who live the place make a totally different experience!
I still can’t get a precise idea of this Country, I mean about the people. Maybe it’s because it’s a really potpourri of cultures (sometimes I wonder..Am I in India? China?) and so culturally rich and diversified that it’s impossible getting one idea! I’ve been told that the North is nicer, so I will wait for a while before drawing my conclusions
On the weekend, I went to Singapore, just 4 hours and slightly more than 5 euros from Melaka. I was unsure if going there or not, but I thought it would have been a shame skipping it, while I was so closed. And I’m glad I went there, because it turned out a positive surprise!
At first glance, it may seem a City that you can enjoy just if you have a credit card with you. If you like fashion, exhibiting brands, finest cuisine, then you will love that place! But if you are able to pick up the right places (and again hanging around with locals met on CS and following my host suggestions has been really helpful) it can be really affordable. We had a good Chinese meal for a few dollars at Bugis! Anyway, nothing compared to Australia guys!
I ended up visiting the Chinese and Japanese Gardens, really nice and the National library: it’s huge! One of the best I ever seen..16 storeys! The only “negative thing” I found has been that they push the airconditiong at maximum everywhere! You are suffering the heat outside and once you enter in the shopping malls and trains you are freezing for the cold!Hate that!
I was couchsurfing at Fern’s house, a girl with whom I found out I have many things in common! There was another guest, a really kind guy from Indonesia (again…) Yogyakarta, the cultural city in Java.
I spent just the weekend in SG, then on Sunday night I took the bus straight to Cameron Highlands…back to Malaysia again! The bus was one of the best I’ve ever taken. The seats were armchairs, with the possibility of reclining them. There was even a personal entertainment system…65 SG dollars, but totally worth it..even because it brought me directly to Cameron Highlands.
I was sleeping so well..the driver had to come and wake me up! It seems a different Country actually! If I think that in the past days I could not stand the heat in KL and Malaka, and now I’m here with a sweater and a jacket! It’s so chilly, but nice!
Probably I would spend here a couple of days, then decide the route again!
This week I’ve been a real gypsy..changing 4 different places in 3 different Countries. I have the feeling that this would be the trend for this month. And it has been interesting for all the people I met I mentioned before and for those who I re-crossed!
I was in KL and I found out that even Bea, the girl from Sevilla I had previously met in Bali was there. We realised we were in the same place on Facebook! We had an interesting conversation about our experience in Bali (she spent there 5 months – Bali effect again!) and the importance of leaving things that don’t flow,
Actually I’ve already started leaving things here and there. I realised that in every place I’ve been to I physically left something, sometimes because I destroyed them, forgot them or simply because I don’t need them, they are a useless weight on my shoulders. I’ve always been a person attached to material things..and I found difficult throwing away things.Having my things made me feel secure.
Since I’m travelling, I realised how many burdens I left behind:
- 3 hats(1 forgot in Perth, 1 destroyed in Rottnest Island,1 voluntarily left in Singapore)
- pants in Rottnest Island ( bleached after 7 weeks as housekeeper)
- 2 pairs of shoes in Adelaide( don’t need them)
- my favourite jeans and one book in Darwin (first destroyed and second given to the Library)
- one dress and a pair of flip flops in Bali (given to Charity shop)
- make up in Kuala Lumpur (foundation opened in the trousse…an authentic mess!)
- another book in Melaka
- the towel and Australia and Indonesia Lonely Planet Guides in Singapore at Fern’s house.
The result is that by backpack is much lighter and it’s much easier going around with that…the less you have, the less you have to care about things. The only thing that is really important to me is the passport, because that’s me, where I’ve been, where I am and where I will go and all that comes with that. All the other things are easily replaceable!
All the pictures so far here!