Holiday in Malaysia
page two of four
In summer 2008, Tracey, Joshua and I had a holiday in Malaysia as guests of my friends Eamonn and Judy. Here are the diary and photos of a tremendous two weeks.
23 May - 6 June 2006
Tuesday 27 May
We took a taxi to just north of the city to visit Batu Caves. These contain a temple, but you have to climb 272 steps to get there. This proved to be slightly more traumatic than expected as I’d taken some biscuits to eat on the climb. About half way up, my eating was spotted by some of the wild monkeys, who then lived up to the name “wild” and attacked us, not seriously we thought though Joshua moaned that one of them had hit him on the back of the leg.
We eventually reached the top and Tracey overcame her snake phobia to have a picture taken with an albino python draped round her neck. Joshua and I did likewise.
At the bottom of the steps, we went round an attraction known as Cave Villas, where we fed the goldfish (more spectacular than it sounds).
We walked through the reptile caves and other caves with exhibits that told a lot of the history of the local religions.
When we returned home, Joshua took his shorts off and showed us where the monkey had hit him. The bruises indicated a bite rather than a hit and the flesh had been broken very slightly at one point. Eamonn phoned the local doctor, who said that rabies was unknown in the monkeys at Batu Cave but that he would have a look at him in the morning.
That evening we went to what must be the world’s most expensive fish and chip shop. The bill for the six of us came to just over £80.
However, we retired to an unusual bar for KL in that the beer was German, a refreshing change from Tiger beer. The bar was called Deutches Haus (46 Changkat Bukit Bintang, 55200 Kuala Lumpur) and was a Paulaner bar.
There were two beers on draught – Hefe-Weisbier Naturtrub (a light wheat beer with a dead fly in it) and Original Munchner (a slightly sweet pilsner).
Also on offer were three bottled beers – Hefe-Weisbier Dunkel (a dark wheat beer), Salvator and Hacker Pschorr (a 5.5% unfiltered lager beer).
I asked the woman behind the bar where the beer was brewed. She said it was brewed in Germany and imported. This may have been true or the standard blurb they tell everyone, but I found it surprising as I know Paulaner has at least one closer brewery – in Shanghai – because I’ve visited it. I also thought they had one even closer, in Singapore, though I’m not certain about that.
Food was on offer, including various German sausages, but we’d already eaten.
When we returned home, I found a message on my phone from Tracey’s daughter Rachel (also a nurse) who we’d told about the earlier monkey incident. She’d been checking with a doctor in England and advised us to take Joshua to the hospital as there was no test for rabies. Tracey, Joshua and I thus took a taxi to the nearest A&E where we got to see the doctor before I’d finished filling in the forms. He confirmed that there had never been a reported case of rabies among the Batu Caves monkeys but said it was better to be safe than sorry and gave him the first of five rabies injections. Two more of which will be while we are here and the final two when we get back home. We got to bed very late.
Wednesday 28 May
Despite last night’s late night, I got up early, leaving Joshua and Tracey sleeping, to book us a slot for a trip to the Petronas Towers skybridge. It is free to go, but you have to queue up before it opens on the day you want to go and get tickets for set timeslots during the day. They all go quite quickly. I got us three tickets for 2.15pm.
Once up there, at the half way point along the bridge, I asked Tracey to marry me, and she said yes.
Thursday 29 May
Tracey, Joshua and I had a late breakfast and went for another walk in the KLCC park but got caught in a monsoon. We dried out in a cafe in the shopping mall, apart from Joshua. His T-shirt was soaked and he wore my leather jacket while we ate and then we bought him a new T-shirt.
Afterwards, we walked to KL Tower and went up to the viewing platform, but Tracey was very tired so we didn’t stay long.
Friday 30 May
I had two interlinked dreams last night. Early in the night – and I know it was early because I woke up afterwards – I dreamt that I had acquired a box of chocolates. However, this was so valuable that I decided to bury it rather than eat it.
In the last dream I had before I woke up, I was telling two guys that they had to help me find Middle Earth. They thought I was mad and as a joke dug up a clod of earth and presented it to me as Middle Earth. However, on closer inspection I found the clod of earth contained the box of chocolates I’d buried in the first dream.
We awoke to find Joshua and Sean taking a nap but then Sean became interested in a blue box.
A fairly lazy day included lunch at Secret Recipe, taking Joshuia for his second rabies injection (this one hurt worse that the first) and then packing and heading for the airport to spend a few days on the holiday island of Langkawi. Eamonn, Judy and Sean are spending the weekend with us and going back on Sunday and we are staying on till Tuesday. We arrived in time to have a midnight beer and wine on the beach.
Saturday 31 May
This was a water and sunburn day. After breakfast, Tracey, Joshua and I went for our first of three swims in the sea. The water was gorgeously warm and the waves delightful.
We spent the evening looking at the shops and drinking first at the Submarine Bar, where we watched the sunset over the sea, and later in an Irish bar with Eamonn, Judy and Sean. Tracey, Joshua and I all ended up with bits sunburnt.
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