Day 3 begins very late after a night broken up by a deafening generator outside in the street, and the earplugs from the courtesy bag on my flight do not fit my ears. and breakfast becomes lunch at the vege buffet in the market. Comfortably familiar.
Afternoon walk doesn’t take me far as down comes the rain. Back to the hotel, where I have spent far too much time. I finally venture out once more and take a walk round the cultural quarter on Jalan sultan which is being pulled down. Beautiful old heritage buildings now squatted, homeless sleeping outside them, cardboard box recyclers eking a living on the corner. My attention is grabbed by a tank of live frogs next to one of snakes, gasping for air, unaware, or are they, of their impending fate in a pan. There are lots of imprisoned animals on this street. Caged birds, puppies in shop windows, looking quite frantic.
I return to the Buddhist temples I knew from the area around Chinatown. Funny how uncaptivating they seem second or even third time around.
The old man who had his barber’s chair in he alley by the juice bar is no longer there. I wonder if he has died.
In the evening I wander up tp little India. Sari and silk shops, markets selling replica football shirts. My stomach is feeling dodgy. I get a dhosa and lemon juice, but don’t feel much like eating.hope this won’t last long.
First day in kl. a bit of a blur. Checked into lehotel again. Room with a window and wifi rightin the centre of petaling market. All very familiar. The same guys trying to sell me DVDs, failing that, games, then software then porn. The hot chestnut stall, the soya milk stall. I bought a much needed cover for this iPad then toured the stalls, getting bored, finally ending up looking for a vege place to eat in little India. I have only a rough sense of direction in kl, but always manage to somehow find myself back on the same streets. I find a pure vegetarian restaurant and get the sought for masala dhosa and mango lassi. And lo and behold on leaving realise I’m on the same street as the woodland restaurant where I went last year, and the year before. It’s getting dark, I scout around the mosque and the river that’s hemmed in with concrete embankments and cross over to visit merdeka square. If memory serves, this is the field where independence was declared from the British. Bizarely it is a cricket pitch, with that coarse shrubby tropical grass with a massive flag pole on one side, a row of black and wHite timber framed buildings on another, a gathering place with pools and benches and some kind of mini rally on another, and on the side fronted by the road, which is being casually dug up, a vista of Islamic grandeur with ululating colour changing floodlights, backgrounded by the kl tower and rows of sky scrapers. On the way back to the market I stop by the Hindu temple, where a wedding is just getting going. Drumming and horn blowing, saris and garlands, small children dressed up, and a hired posse of camera crew complete with lighting set up. I watch for a while then consider going to fetch my camera, which I do, but first shoot some pretty poor pics around the market. By the time I get back to the temple I have missed the action, and the photos are being taken whilst the guests queue up for the meal. Back at the market I buy a bag of rambutan and shoot some flaming clay pot cooking. As I get back to the hotel the clouds burst and we are treated to 2 hours of sustained tropical rain. Fortunately I’m falling asleep and my day or is it 2 days are ending as my eyes unavoidably close.
It’s been a long day and I don’t know what the time actually is, cos it doesn’t really mean anything when you’re between places. It’s dark, anyway, and Abu dabi airport is busy. I haven’t had any sleep and have just spent 7 hours in the company of some lads from Nottingham who drank almost non-stop. In fact the stop was when they fell asleep and finally calmed down. The one next to me turned out to be an ex- pro footballer who played under big sam at notts county and then Nigel clough at burton. He even had a game in the fa cup against Ronaldo and co at old trafford.
My connecting flight leaves in 50 minutes. I guess I should sleep then otherwise I will have gone a whole day and night or maybe 2 days without any shut eye. I think it will be mid-afternoon when I get to kl.