Saturday, March 03, 2007

Malaysia... Truly Asia...

We left Singapore at night and hopped on a train to Malaysia. When we got on the train, we noticed a bunch of signs promoting Malaysia and the slogan was "Truly Asia."

Malaysia are celebrating 50 years of independence in 2007 so these signs are everywhere. They also had an awesome theme song that they played on the train that went something like "Maalllllayyysiiiaaaa.... Truuullyyyy Aasssiiiiaaaaa...."

It was a really good song.

So we took the night night and it was freezing. They had the AC blasting and it was so cold I could barely sleep. I eventually fell asleep for a few hours and when I woke up it was light outside and I was half shocked when I looked out the window.

The scene was jungle like and this just caught me off guard. It was at this moment that yeah, I felt kinda "truly Asia" ya know. This was different than Korea. It was different than Canada. It finally felt like SE Asia because Singapore didn't. Singapore just felt like I was in nice city anywhere in the world. But now, surrounded by jungle trees and canopy and understory it felt different and it's the first time I've ever experienced a landscape like this.

I spent the rest of the ride staring excitedly out the window until we arrived in Kaula Lumpur.

Kaula Lumpur, or KL, is the capital of Malaysia. I never heard of the place until Sam told me we were going here on this trip.

We arrived at our guesthouse, called "The Greenhut Lodge." This was definitely the best place we stayed during the entire trip. The vibe was very relaxed there and we met some cool people. The most notable people were these two Arab guys. One was from Iraq, now living in Syria teaching Math. I don't remember where the other guy was from but he was a pervert, but it was funny.

An hour after we met these people we were off to some bars and on the way there the topic of ladyboys came up. In SE Asia, there is an unnatural percentage of dudes who get sex change operations into women, and then many of them somehow end up being prostitutes.

So anyway, he starts talking a bit more quietly and admits that he was so drunk a few nights back that he woke up and realized the "girl" next to him was actually a ladyboy. He had no shame in saying this and kind of brushed it off by saying "Hey, how do you know if you like something if you don't' try it?" Good way to justify it I s'pose. He soon admitted that this never would have happened if he didn't get totally shitfaced, so at this point, I made a promise to myself not to get overly shitfaced. Drunk was okay, but I didn't wanna end up at the point where I'm confusing ladyboys for women. It's quite easy to tell in most cases... That is unless you have three or four sets of beer goggles on.

We soon made it to the bar but I was starving and the girls didn't wanna eat so I went and grabbed a bite. When I got back everyone was starting to get into the party but I knew this wouldn't be my scene so I left my crew and went exploring the rest of the bar. I saw these two girls from our guesthouse sitting at a table on the outskirts of the bar. This was more like my scene so I sat and drank with them for the rest of the night.

The bar was pretty much a big ol' meat market dance club. If I'm with the right people I can a lot of fun at these places, most notable if I'm with a few male friends and we're all equally making fools of ourselves, but the people I was with on this night actually liked this kind of bar.

Sam and Leah were both pretty trashed by the end of the night but I was still sober enough to tell the difference between real women and men who turned themselves into women. They were ready to go home so they walked back with a Malay guy who was staying at our guesthouse. We was from KL, but claimed he was in a gang and was kinda hiding out or something. He did have some crazy scars according to the girls.

I stayed drinking with the Irish girls for a little bit and then they went back to the guesthouse as well. I wanted to go do some exploring so I walked up and down the street a few times. This street was pretty much just a strip of bars, but every place I walked by was just another shitty dance club.

I decided it was time to go home but realized I didn't really know how to get back to our guesthouse. I walked in a direction that seemed right but after walking around for 30 minutes I knew I wouldn't find it. By now I had forgotten the name of the guesthouse and all I knew was that there was a 7/11 and a KFC really close to it. A taxi seemed like my best bet.

In KL, none of the taxis have meters so you have to bargain all the time. It only cost us 10 Ringgit from the train station to our guesthouse but now the cabbies were tryna charge the silly tourist 20 Ringgit, when the distance was only a fraction of the 10 Ringgit trip.

The fifth cabby I tried said he'd do it for 10 Ringgit, which was still a ripoff but I knew I wouldn't get it for any cheaper. And plus, 10 Ringgit is only like 3 bucks Canadian.

So I made it back to the guesthouse and the girls, the Arabs, and some other people were sitting outside hanging out.

It was a good night and most importantly, I didn't end up with any ladyboys. The time I spend wandering around looking for the guesthouse could have been disastrous because there were lady boys out looking for prey, not to mention regular hookers. I just tell them that my wife is waiting back at the hotel and then they usually back off.

This works for the random cabbies who are also out tryna make themself a buck by being half-cabby half-pimp. The world is kinda ugly.

But not nearly as ugly as those ladyboys...

More on KL later. I gotta eat something now.

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