Southeast Asia here I come!
First stop: Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia. The days before leaving India and after arriving in KL were a low. I didn’t finish the project that I was working on, and I didn’t get to say goodbye to most of the interns I was working with. It took about a week for me to get over leaving. I’m always comfortable not having a plan, but not knowing where to go and not being able make decisions is a different matter. Having too many choices is never a good thing.
KL would be a city I’d come to know very well. I mulled around for five days before joining some newly made friends in the Perhentian Islands, still unable to appreciate the beauty that surrounded me. On a side note, I flew with Malaysian Airlines a day after Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine. Statistically speaking, I’m sure that Malaysian Airlines was the safest airline to fly with at that time but that didn’t do much for my nerves.
Cabin fever. Yes, it’s real, and I’ve had it on numerous occasions. The only cure is to move. Go for a walk, go to the cinema, book a flight or bus to another city. I booked a bus to the north-western island of Penang to visit its capital, Georgetown. It’s a culturally rich and diverse area and somewhere I would end up visiting again, twice. The clock ticked over to midnight and I celebrated the first couple minutes of my birthday in a club called Slippery Senoritas (It wasn’t that kind of club!) with a couple of Tequila shots.
The Georgetown Festival was on so we bought tickets for the acrobatic circus, with performances from people from Finland, Thailand, China and Japan. The highlight was seeing the Wrecking Crew Orchestra:
This clip isn’t from the show I saw because recording devices weren’t allowed.
Next was taking a vomit comet boat ride further north to another island called, Langkawi. We sat below deck in seats similar to those in an airplane. Looking out the circular shaped windows, the waves crashed into the side of the boat. At some points I’m sure we were airborne. The only thing louder than the sound of the engine were the people around me puking into plastic bags.
We hired mopeds to explore the island rather than be confined to the areas surrounding our hostel or have to pay for expensive tours. Langkawi has by far the best roads I’ve driven on in Southeast Asia. There’s hardly any traffic, with lush green mountains on one side and crystal blue waters on the other. Langkawi is a duty-free island, making alcohol significantly cheaper than the rest of Malaysia. Unfortunately, the person I was travelling with missed his ferry to Thailand due to taking full advantage of this.
I passed through Georgetown again on the way back to KL and I stayed for a week contemplating my next move. Sunshine Bedz, Kuala Lumpur is a hostel I would call a home away from home a few times over the next couple months.