I kept waking up all night, paranoid that I would oversleep. But at 6am I got up. The free hotel breakfast was pretty good – watermelon and bananas.
I tried a local acehnese rice porridge, rice cooked with coconut, which I think you’re supposed to add dried anchovies, chilli and coriander too. I added banana and pineapple jam instead…!
I also tried a spoon of nasi goreng and mee goreng (fried rice and fried noodles) just for the sake of it – they were so spicy and delicious!! At 6.45am my becak driver from yesterday turned up, exactly on time! Perfect.
It took just over half an hour to reach the airport. He was telling me how cold it was today, I thought it was pretty hot already!! And also asked if I wanted a coffee stop (we don’t have time for that…!!) – acehnese coffee is a local specialty and looks very strong. I don’t drink coffee anyway.
I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Dropped my bags, no queue through immigration or scanning, small airport. And nowhere to spend my last £2! We flew slightly late, just after 9am. And breakfast number 2 on the plane. I had pre-ordered “lunch” as this flight was supposed to be at 11.30am today. But after air asia moved the flight time, they wouldn’t let me cancel the meal. Oh well.
Vegetable biriyani; rice, vegetable curry and chickpea curry – it was really delicious!! Remembering the time difference this time, losing an hour, we landed in KL at 11.30am. Miles and miles to walk through the airport again. I had several questions at immigration about what I’m doing here – not staying 3 months / over a year this time (!).
Getting my bag and out of customs etc was all quite quick. I left all my bags at left luggage for the day -£9 for a day, quite expensive.
The massive advantage of the new terminal – it’s now joined to the fast KLIA express train to the city. No more slow 1 hour (or longer) bus faf. The train is much more expensive though, at £7 each way, compared to £1.60 for the bus.
But by 12.15pm I was zooming through the fields of palm oil trees towards the city. I haven’t been in KL city for 2 years. I love it.
The train took just over half an hour to reach KL Sentral. I changed here onto the metro, my first stop being KLCC – the petronas towers. I love the supermarket at the bottom of the towers. It’s expensive, but sells literally everything! And so much fruit! A complete fruit heaven! I bought some more jackfruit, mango, pink dragon fruit and apple. And got a dragonfruit and pineapple juice. It was all quite expensive at £6! I wouldn’t have dreamed of spending so much money on food when I lived here!!
I sat outside, with the tower view and enjoyed my fruit lunch! I sat here 5 years ago when I first visited KL. I loved it back then too.
And now shopping time! There are a few shops around here that I wanted to visit – and the new shopping centre that was being built last time I was here. I spent a couple of hours shopping, it’s just so nice and quiet, organised and spacious – so much nicer than shopping in London! And next stop – another favourite, the area around Pasar Seni. I went to my favourite temples.
And tried to buy more fruit – my favourite fruit man wasn’t there. And none of the stalls had any rambutan! So I settled on watermelon (20p) for dinner later!
Petaling Street market was as busy as ever. It’s funny how things change so much. 5 years ago it was all t shirts, watches and sunglasses. The last time I was here, it was all headphones, handbags and men’s clothes. Today, so many selfie sticks and elephant trousers!
The usual food stalls were still around – Kim bean soya, air mata kucing (crying cat!) juice, roasted chestnuts and the small fruit stalls. But what I really wanted – roti pisang (banana pancake type thing) and milo ice – my standard semporna treat. And I know of one place that does it here!! Slightly pricier at £1.20 (!) but so delicious!!! Yes, literally all I’ve done all day is eat.
I wandered around a bit more before heading back to the metro, back to KL Sentral and caught a train at 5.30pm back to the airport. I really enjoyed my 5 hours back in my favourite city!
My bag has suddenly got rather heavy, 20kg! I’ve clearly bought too much stuff. There was no queue at immigration. I didn’t finish all the fruit I accumulated during the day, so ate a bit more for dinner (and still have loads left!). We left on time at 9pm. Three whole seats to myself!! So I made a bed and had a bit of a sleep for 4 hours.
And back to another favourite, India! It was 2 years ago that I visited for the first time, around Rajasthan in the North. This time, to Kerala in the South. I don’t have a lot of time though – just one week.
We landed in Kochi half an hour early!
2015 country number 9 – India
I now have no idea what time of day it is! I woke up at 6am Indonesian time. It’s now 10.30pm Indian time. Which is 12am Indonesian time. So confusing.
Immigration was also confusing. I was given a customs form when I got off the plane. But when I got to the immigration man, he was asking for a different form. So I had to go and fill that out instead. Then finally got stamped and to get my bag. No one asked me for the customs form in the end. What’s the point?! In all the faffing around, I lost my passport case (and more importantly my yellow fever certificate…). So annoyed with myself, luckily not my passport.
Tried to get some money. 3 ATMs, all failed. This is just a joke. My taxi man was already waiting, thank goodness. It’s a long drive from kochi airport to kochi city, it took an hour and 10 minutes. We stopped off along the way and a few ATMs later I finally had some money. Maybe because it is late at night, or maybe it is just different, but this part of india seems completely different or the northern parts that I’ve been to before.
It feels a lot more tropical, less busy and more like a typical South East Asian country. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow!!
It was 12.10am by the time I finally arrived at the guesthouse, they were waiting for me, took me straight to my room. I went straight to bed!
This morning I woke up in Indonesia. I spent the day in Malaysia. And I’m going to sleep in India. The world is a small place.