An “Oh Shit” Moment, KL, Malaysia
As we were walking the 8 minutes (as stated precisely in our hotel’s information pamphlet) back from Suria KLCC, we saw a motorcycle make a U-turn simply by going over the divider. Naomi, who gets stressed by anything moving on the roads, simply sighed and said “Wah, Malaysia really Boleh, man”.
On the way up to KL on the Plus, we had the radio on, with Naomi busying herself switching frequencies as we passed from one FM coverage area to another. On one station, there were periodic traffic reports in an articulate female voice (as opposed to inarticulate typical radio jock types) which were really informative – “southbound on the KL-Seremban highway at kilometre 123.4″ – as well as funny – “there’s an overturned truck on the shoulder, it has spilled cans and bottles, please, do not stop for happy hour”.
Some of the more bizarre things heard on the radio made for a more interesting drive into KL proper, especially since 1/3 of the driving time was spent within KL’s traffic itself. There was something about internet connection rollout on the news which stumped us. Maybe it was because we’re from such a connected (ingternecktitedly) city-state that we we appalled that we thought we heard the newsreader say that internet rollout in rural and undeserved areas was to be reconsidered. We were appalled enough to ask a KL friend of mine, who said he wouldn’t be surprised that it was exactly as we heard.
It was a good thing that the hotel we were staying at wasn’t an undeserved area. We had patchy but free broadband access for the 3 days and 2 nights we were there. And before I forget, there has to be a big, big shout out to Arun, the guest relations person who attended to us when we checked in. Dude, you are the most accommodating hotel staff person fella we’ve ever met in Malaysia. The Hotel Maya is very lucky to have you. If only they had more luck with the rest of the hotel, though.
It’s not that the Hotel Maya is a bad place. The special rates were a good deal, as were the designer interiors. It’s just that when you look closer, it all seems a little howyousayit, salah. Faucets wobbled, polished wooden floorboards warped at the edges, and the pillowcases were torn. We had the one meal at the hotel’s brasserie, and um, the less said the better.
Still, it’s necessary to mention the attitude of the staff again. Maybe it’s because we haven’t been out of Singapore for awhile, and are pleasantly surprised by any a) sense of irony, b) sense of humour, and c) sense of initiative.
We did some homework on hotel accommodation before booking at the last minute, and learnt that a room at the Hotel Maya has either a Twin Tower view (KLCC) or a KL Tower View, only that the KL Tower View also includes a Jalan Ampang Cemetary view. So when we asked a reservation staff member about it, she laughed and said, yes, but we prefer to call it the KL Tower View. I’m not a gambling man, but I’d bet a few bucks that a Singaporean hotel staff member wouldn’t even give a hint of a giggle if put in the same position. Plus, we were allowed a late late late late checkout when our bookshop spree took longer than expected and we only managed to trundle back to our room to pack up at around 10pm.
Aside from being able to spend a small fortune on books at Kino, like we did on our last trip there, it was very good to meet up with my uni mates, and for Naomi to put faces to the funny stories I’ve told her about my uni mates, and for the faces to retell the funny stories for as many more times as time would allow. This is the guy who laughed till he had an asthma attack during Contracts; this is the girl who took ten minutes to parallel park and then went up the wrong flat for study group. Things that were funny back when but not quite now.
Oh, and yes, we were there for a my uni mate Boo Seng’s wedding, and I don’t have to mention that I’ve written about Boo Seng and his many exploits in this blog, and that you shouldn’t bother about searching for those posts because I’ve changed his name in those blog posts except this one, let’s get back to talking about the wedding dinner.
It wouldn’t have been a typical Boo Seng event if everyone could find their way to the venue without trouble. Nestled somewhere in the back back streets of the suburb of Petaling Jaya, the restaurant provided the perfect semi-rustic location for my friend Boo Seng’s wedding, for as another classmate put it, you can take the Boo Seng out of Batu Gajah, but you can’t take the you know the rest. It was al fresco, complete with rain and rain contingency seating shuffles, and for everything else the wedding turned out to be, it was a very enjoyable reunion for a bunch of friends who’ve known each other for over 15 years.
It seems like just yesterday we were teaching ourselves cricket in the park with a couple of bats, a tennis ball and rubbish bins provided by the Randwick City Council.
Congratulations Liz, for bowling our Boo for a golden duck, though he’s survived many maidens*.
*it’s just a cricket term, don’t read too much into it.
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