A Travellerspoint blog

April 2011

From Melbourne to KL

There’s really nothing more special than eating a lamb korma at 4pm off a fold down tray table

sunny 50 °C

I am out of here. Well, in 2 hours or so when they open the boarding gate and board rows 1-20 first.
Obviously the recommended 3 hours to check in and clear customs is over estimated by about 2.5 hours. That time is then spent staring at the moving sea of floor created by the use a brightly patterned carpet blending into brightly coloured patterned upholstered chairs in the airport lounge.
Not wanting to cash an Australian bank note to buy an overpriced vending machine drink even though you’re parched so you don’t have a pocket of change forever.

As I boarded the flight and walk through business class, I like the many people around me just want to spit in their overly spacious seats with endless metres of leg room. Meanwhile in economy you push your way through the idiots who stand in the aisle to unpack their bag into the overhead storage while hundreds of other people are held up, anxiously waiting to see which crappy seat they have been allocated and which bastard is going to be seated next to them to take their remaining oxygen.

I was happy, an aisle seat so I can stretch my legs into the walkway and trip the DVT concerned. The person next to me was average sized, not too smelly. I was near the bathroom but not close enough to engage the senses. Good work Malaysian Airlines. The first step is to read the entertainment program during the safety demonstration, the verdict, average at best, but thankfully after a moment of panic I realised when I fly with them again the month will have ticked over as will the movies. (For those concerned I do know the safety procedure – if we plummet into the sea you can float around in your lifejacket –found under your seat - and use the attached whistle to scare off the hungry sharks).

We take off in the shitty Melbourne pre-winter weather. Eight hours seems to be just enough time in a plane before you want to hit someone.
By the time I watched an episode of The Good Wife, two episodes of both 30 Rock and Glee (the latter considered to belong in the TV drama category by the good folk at Malaysian Airlines), a Reese Witherspoon movie not worthy of remembering its title and 7/8ths of the Russell Crowe and Eilzabeth Banks/Avery Jessup film The Next Three Days (ironically the screen cut out before I actually found out what happens in those three days) my eyes were sore but I touched down in the steel and glass playground that is Kuala Lumpur (Koala Lumpa in Australian) International Airport. It’s so big you actually have to take a train from where you disembark to get to immigration.

After the formalities I hang out in baggage claim. Once again victim of the cruel universe joke that if you actually get yourself off the plane and through the airport before the masses your bag is guaranteed to come out in baggage claim last. You know your backpacking is a little rusty when 13kg on your back feels rough. I jump aboard the air-conditioned airport train which had free wifi, lots of space and no stops between the airport and the city and I thought, yes, perhaps this will be the the city for me, air-conditioned with free internet – everything I want in life.
But upon meeting this fair maiden KL my impressions were grim. It was nearing midnight and I was so tired I could have spewed. My head was pounding from flight dehydration. I got out at my station and walked along what looked like the slums of hell, hoping to see my hostel and my bed just steps ahead. No such luck. My beautifully cooled air conditioned train carriage body was quickly heating up, the smell of hot garbage liquid hit me in the face as I walked. My 13kg seems to multiplying by the minute. I have to look for street signs and hotel names which are all in Chinese while also looking at the ground because no two pieces of pavement are together not to mention large pieces missing or crushed as rubble and lying in a pile. There is miscellaneous goo in puddles all over the footpath. In that moment I am so glad I wore my boots as I traipsed through, careful not to slip in discarded dog eye balls and chicken neck marinade. There are quite a few weirdo’s about as the late night Chinatown market is packing up who offer to find me accommodation, taxis and sell me crap. I walk aimlessly until I was about to give up, or be stabbed in a darkened alley which was becoming increasingly likely, then there she was like a beacon in the neon mess that is the streets of Chinatown. My hostel.

My little room is neat and tidy. No windows, just a table with a bed sheet on it, or at least that’s what it feels like. That’s the bonus of European travel you have the obsession with Ikea which results in low-cost ergonomically furnished hostels. Everyone’s a winner. It’s a steady 43° in here, I think the fan is a disused jet engine, as it makes more noise than it does fresh air. I can even lock myself away from the desperate-for-a-friend-and-a-conversation hostel dwellers who live in the common room. Ideal. Private rooms - I see the appeal.

Selamat Datang to KL.

Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 05:41 Archived in Malaysia Comments (1)

The Tipsy Gypsy

Travelling the world with my wagon, taking time to swig from a flagon of rum, steal your ipod and read your tea leaves

0 °C

I'm not going to lie, the fact that I am revisiting the blog sphere constitutes a large proportion of my excitement for my upcoming adventures - seeing an elephant with 3 legs and tie-dyed clothing, or Thai dyed one might even say (a hint of the sheer wit that is to come) make up the rest.

It's been a while between blogs, The Breakfast Nook was obviously a raging success and I have mostly been living off the royalties from it for the past few years. This first entry comes as I have finally decided that this site will do, I have faced the fact that no blog site is going to give me full creative control, so I have to stick with just using bold and italics and trying to wow you all with my wisdom and the raw power of language rather than a wicked design and the use of Comic Sans.

After some careful consideration, some ignored suggestions and some of my best pun and naf word play brain storming sessions my travel blog has been titled The Tipsy Gypsy. "Gypsy" because of the nomadic aspect of my life and my penchant for scarves and petty theft. "Tipsy" because it rhymes and I only write when I have a nip of brandy by my side and "the" because grammatically it was neccessary.

I will be publishing this Anna Karenina of the 21st century to Facebook so the eager masses can read my musings but it is also accessible via this here website but that will require a "File>"New Tab" and in this time of GFC we all have a lot on our plate.

My backpack is vaguely packed and I am now at that stage where my decent clothes are packed, the rest is tidy and packed away so I am living in the same clothes for the few days before I leave, mostly to cut down on effort having to pack up my room again.

My room is cleaner than it has ever been. I have packed away some of my things. Obviously rearranged my DVDs and books incase someone wants to profile my collection for a print publication. The family dream to see my room vacated and turned into a guest room may yet be partially realised, I had to pack some things away so said guests don't get vertigo or some such trying to sleep in a room full of things and also so no one accuses my parents of raising a communist as it turns out I have several instances of Lenin in my room.

It should be a riot. I arrive in Malaysia on Wednesday night. Staying in a private room as I am a snobby, bourgeois bitch who cearly thinks she can afford $14 a night rather than an $8 per night dorm share.

Liz Lemon goes abroad. Stay tuned.

Posted by The Tipsy Gipsy 19:16 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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