Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Koala Lumpo

No, I did not see a crippled koala bear. This is my fourth time to go out of the country, and the first time in KL. And after seeing the airports of Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, I really, really dislike our airport. Ugh. The two cities have an express train that goes from the airport straight to the heart of the city. In fact, the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station is right in front of our hotel. It was so hassle-free I felt envious—walang ganyan sa Pinas!

I arrived in KL with my officemate Jay to attend a two-day workshop sponsored by our mother network. The first thing we noticed was the daylight. We landed at the airport at 7pm, but the light outside looked more like 5pm in Manila. Woah.

We had three nights to ourselves, so on our first night Jay and I walked around the block right in front of the Station and checked out the restaurants there. Turned out the block predominantly housed Indians, so there were rows of Indian restaurants one after the other. Spice, spice, baby! Jay and I played a game of “What does this remind you of?” and we agreed that the area is reminiscent of either Cubao or Chinatown in the morning, when the streets are still clean. The next day the locals told us we wandered into the poorer side of town. Oh, that’s “poorer” for you?

The supposed poorer side of town by night...

...and by day.

The next night we went to their Chinatown, which is like Greenhills except ours is enclosed in an airconditioned mall. (Ha! Look who’s “poorer” now?) We tasted their local iced coffee (yum!) but I snubbed the many fakes being sold there.

The next night we went to a street that’s one big open-air dampa. In fairness I loved all the spicy food we had that night, especially the grilled spicy squid. Unlike most Filipinos the McVie tongue loves spicy hot, so I felt at home with the food there. I also tried frogs’ legs for the first time. It’s tastes like chicken but softer and slimier.

In fairness, the food here was a whole lot better (and cheaper) than the hotel food we had... not that I’m complaining about hotel food in general, hehehe.

We also went to a pub that was located beside a mall. Too bad that was the closest I got to the Petronas Tower.

Walking around the swankier side of KL.

An open-air ice cream bar which I bet serves ice cream bars as well.

My hand was shaking thus the motion blur. Yeah, the towers were still very far away.

I love eating at international fastfood franchises and checking out the differences. They serve this barbeque chicken on pita with lots of melted cheese, chopped tomatoes and onions, and pieces of tortilla chips! It is actually yummy!

On the train on our way to the airport for our flight back home, we saw the countryside for the first time (it was dark already when we took the train for the first time).

A train headed for the city.

The train toilet is sooo cool! It is huge, well-lit...

...and I am reduced to taking pictures of the sink!

They have their own Megamall, but I think our Megamall is bigger.

What is this flying saucer in the countryside?

It’s a 28-minute train ride from airport to the Sentral Station. I guess it’s like landing at Clark Airport and taking a non-stop train to Farmer’s Market, Cubao. Hey, if the Malaysians did it, maybe we can too.

Damn, I really dislike our old airport.


Quentin X said...

It had been six years since I was in KL. I got several photos of the Petronas Tower from a distance. I also got plenty of photos from Batu Cave. Did not take much photo from the Menara Tower. I'd love to go back and hook up with Dr. Mcdreamy of Bedtime Stories. lol.

ash said...

KFC's always a big winner for me...though the rice that i paid for was about $9HKD which was more than equivalent to the price of 1kilo of rice here...that was my sign to really start giving up rice hehehe

Anonymous said...

tayo lang naman kasi ang country na ang airport ay right in the center of the city...and three airports at that, one being the non-operational terminal 3. in other countries, airports are located far away from the city. when i went to japan, the airport was an hour away from tokyo. i had to take the rapid train which stops directly at tokyo main train station. pero friend, the view from the train heading to tokyo was really nice...countryside, similar to your KL. :)

Nelson said...

I have to agree with you. I've been to several airports already, and I'm always annoyed whenever I arrive at the old, antiquated, 70s paragon amoy-amag NAIA! Sobrang hassle! Sorry ha, kasi medyo nasanay na ako sa clean and efficient airports ng HongKong (massive!), Narita (me shower pa!) at shempre Vancouver (where they are currently building a train that connects the airport to the city). Kaya asar akong lumapag sa Manila sa old airport (parang gusto kong sumigaw -- "Anubato????").

The Centennial airport is not so bad, though. Sayang if they don't open up the 3rd unused airport....

joelmcvie said...

@NELZ: Yes, the Centennial Airport is great: wide and spacious, plenty of check-in counters, better-organized layout. And the NAIA-3 looks also as good, hopefully better. It's really the old NAIA that seems really lost in time. They should just open NAIA-3 and convert the old NAIA into a domestic airport.

gibbs cadiz said...

that flying saucer is the state-of-the-art international convention center inside putrajaya. picc lang siya, na pinabongga to the nth power. hay, kulelat na naman tayo. :)