Kuala Lumpur: What the hell is that sound?

November 16, 2009 0 Comments

During our second last night in Kuala Lumpur we get a rude awakening sometime around 2am. It’s the sound of a shrieking banshee that just keeps going and going. Shaking the sleep from our minds we go through some more realistic possibilities and realise the likely culprit is someone’s extremely irate and vocal baby. This is the demon baby from hell and it sounds absolutely furious. The screams and angry wails pierce the night for what seems like an eternity before silence descends once more on the hostel. Hoping for the best, we return to sleep. Some time later the siren wails go off again. This time it’s apparently 9.30 am. We give up and decide it’s time to rise, retreating downstairs where there’s still some peace to be found.

We’ve retrieved our laundry from reception which didn’t take too long to do (thankfully as we literally gave them anything we weren’t wearing at the time). The young girl lugs in a basket crammed with our clothing all neatly ironed and folded, muttering something about the weight (politely – this is a well-mannered hostel). When they look up the records they have to go out the back and triple-check as they don’t believe we could have given them 8kg of clothing. That actually sounds about right to us – less than a third of the weight of our rucksacks alone. For the pittance we get charged we’re more than delighted to have everything back clean and neat after over 2 months on the road.

It’s a cloudy morning and we’ve established that there are a limited number of tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. Tired of dodging the traffic, we stay close to the hostel for the morning. We establish ourselves outside the nearest Starbucks and load the table up with tea, coffee, and doughnuts from the neighbouring Dunkin Donuts. We lazily pass quite a few hours there chatting and reading while the city moves around us. Then it’s back to the cool hostel lounge until the evening when we have to brave the rain for some dinner.

It’s the rainy season in these parts at the moment so at any time of day a heavy curtain of rain can descend without warning. Armed with our umbrellas the rain itself bothers me less than I thought it would. Unlike Ireland, this rain falls straight and true from sky to ground. An umbrella is ample protection. The rain isn’t being blown at a slant, and there aren’t heavy gusts of wind to destroy your umbrella. The problem here is the damn pavements again, or lack thereof. We’re thinking with longing of Singapore’s network as we slosh through more water and skirt around large rats moving between their own underground sewer network.


Smoggy Petronas

It’s not really surprising that when it’s time for us to leave KL we’re quite happy to do so.  Huge cities have never really been my thing and I’ve developed a marked preference for the far more efficient Singapore even if I wasn’t enamoured with the hostel there. As we take off into a misty grey sky over KL we still have a little more of Malaysia to visit before we move on to Thailand.  Next stop is Penang.