Malaysia - A small story of decadence
I am penning this recent post in a grand hotel in Sentral KL in Kuala Lumpur. The Majestic Hotel, a splendid but modest laydown situated sandwiched between unhinged Chinatown, Islamic architectural buildings and a vast meandering botanical gardens.
Through my weeks vacation here in Malaysia this moment has to be the most decedent grandiloquent place of rest and activity in contrast to the contrary of my travels.
When on arrival and stepping an uneducated foot in Malaysia (but I am not including the airport, I consider the very first footing that is placed upon soil without the impediments of luggage or indeed worry to be the very first foot. Neil Armstrong on the moon I believe and define that if it was me on that famous first steps on the lunar crust, the very first step would be when my audio-mic communication was switched off and I could utter to oneself and enjoy the moonwalk without the luggage of "checking in" with Houston.) my footing was on the slippery pavement of Imby. Impossible to walk on this slime. Very much like Laos the pavements and walking spaced are stationary deathtraps when moisture meets tile.
It is evening and food is in the atmosphere, the smells are incredible, the scents acting as a type of pheromone, attracting any hungry stomachs within a hundred miles to feast and gouge on the uncountable numbers of food vendors and outlets there are on offer.
Gluttony is definitely a very common sin here, and I indeed confess to this tasty transgression.
Upon completion of a fairly unadventurous bus journey with further unspectacular ferry transportation I ended up with my still uneducated feet on soggy and equally unstable footings on the island of Penang.
After negotiations of a taxi ride to the hotel the loquacious taxi driver succeeded to describe in detail exactly where the very best places to try out the island's foods. For those of you with a penchant for believing in perdition, if you have not gifted the act of penitence for the sin of gluttony yet then you better at least double down your efforts when visiting this island of seemingly unnatural and divine delights!
The next matchstick of the Malaysian matchbook is a trip to the Highlands of the country. This particular unlit match I was very much looking forward to visiting, it combines a number of my very favourite things, such including fresh cool air, no mosquitoes, scenery, seclusion, dissimilarity and finally the appeal and enthralment of my British conditioning. Tea
The middle of nowhere town Tana Rhata is dominated by agriculture activity, the landscapes are somewhat partially hidden from views by large winding tents which are used to protect crops of numerous fruit and vegetables from vast varieties of harsh elements on the high lattitude conditions. Mainly the most common feature is the tea bush which surrounds the town in some kind of "tea belt". This encompassing feature does provide the town as a kind of tea "Mecca" like Darjeeling or Assam is to the lands of India.
A somewhat unwelcome subsidiary attachment to this trip is that of travelling from A to B, especially by modes of transportation that was chosen, of that by bus.
Now I am not being snobbish or uptight about this form of transport but when you experience and view firstly the terrain conditions then the legion of meandering corners and the duration of the trip combined with characteristics of the buses' persona and driver personal attributes needed to survive the journey physically and mentally intact as you were prior to the trip.
At one moment I was pondering whether it is intentional that my fragile brain finds me hostile? I look out of the distorted rain smeared window from my multicoloured patched bus seat to the outside world, my severely under-caffeinated mis-firing brain creating as many disconjunctive and wrecked thoughts as their are the number of palm trees there are in the expansive Malaysian forests. My own Nightmares of a Damaged Brain.
So now with your newly developed empthy towards myself you good selves can now understand further and can support my needs for relaxation in the Majestic. I indeed need this to recupirate, slacken and to finally digest this alluring nation, its wonderful peoples and its heavenly food fare without recognising (or at least ignoring to the practice of) the obstructive behaviour of guilt, greed and over-indulgenct attonement.
Ignorance is bliss.