Kuala Lumpur (KL)

When we arrived in KL we were pretty tired so we went for a quick walk around the hotel, grabbed a bite and then relaxed in the hotel room. Around 9:00pm, we thought we should have some supper but we felt too lazy. As well, it was raining. We ended up going to a BBQ by our hotel swimming pool. It was beautiful with the rain falling on the pool and the food was great. All you can eat meat and seafood, salads and an amazing dessert bar. The cook was excited to have people and insisted on BBQ’ing a piece of everything for us: marinated beef, chicken, sausages, tigers prawns, crab, you name it. It was very nice and romantic :-).

The next day, we walked around KL, went to the Bird park and the Butterfly park. On the way there we came across monkeys swinging in the trees and a monkey crossing sign on the road. The bird park was great to visit. A large majority of the birds are free to fly and wander where they want as the big area is covered with a netting. It is nice to see the birds outside of the cages.

After visiting the butterfly park we walked to Chinatown. The fist thing on the agenda was to grab some food. After eating, we visited the huge outdoor market that is set up in Chinatown. We bought a few souvenirs. We then walked all the way back to our hotel. That night we went to eat at an outside food stand (called the Jalan Alor Food Centre). The food was amazing: we had butter shrimps, ginger beef, etc… and of course some great beer.
The next morning we got early to go line to go up the Petronas tower at 7:30! The counter opens up at 8:30 put you have to wait in the line up in order to get tickets for that day. We succeeded and went up to the bridge on the 41st floor at 9:00. It was great to be up there. I think the best part was the elevator. Before the hostess said welcome we are going to the 41st floor we were already there. It goes faster than 1 second per floor! The view of KL was amazing and the towers are very impressive.

We got back to the hotel to grab our bags to go to the bus station. We thought we were taking the bus to Singapore at 11:30 and were told it was going to take 5 hours… I could go on for a long time about this but I think you will need to come over for a drink to get the full story. In short, we got to our hotel room in Singapore at 8:00 pm that night after a few adventures…

Home Sweet Home (or so we thought)

Well, we made it home! It was a bit long but not that much. On the flight from Bangkok, watch 5 movies, had three meals, a nap of 4 to 5 hours and there you go, the flight is over. Everything went smoothly. We got home on Thursday, noonish feeling full of energy and then it hit us in the afternoon. We struggled to stay up until 8p.m. thinking we could sleep till the next morning and beat the jetlag quickly.

However, at around 5:30 we woke up because there was lots of noise in the back alley. We looked out and there were firetrucks in front of our house in the back alley. Tends to wake you up very quickly, even jetlaged. The restaurant across the back alley slightly to the left was on fire. Tons of smoke was coming up. I was pretty freaked out. Roger was telling me not to worry to try to relax (couldn’t really sleep from the noise from the trucks, chainsaws, water from the hoses..etc.). Roger kept checking. At around 7 am, he was looking outside our bedroom window and said ‘Holy shit’. I jumped out really fast and was pretty freaked out. Huge flames were coming out of the top of the building (did I mention that it was very close?!?!). I was starting to think about what I would need to grab if we got evacuated… Well, we did not sleep from 5:30 on.  The entire building burned to the ground :-(. It was a great Italian restaurant which we liked a lot. Thankfully, the firefighters managed to contain the fire to only that building.  It ended up being a general alarm with 125 firefighters fighting the blaze.  It was quite the thing to see (from our bedroom windos) as the restaurant is (well I guess now ‘was’) only 100 meters from our place…

Here are a few photos from our bedroom window:

http://www.laforce.org/gallery/view_album.php?set_albumName=Welcome-Home

It is kind of funny (in a disturbing way) –  I was telling Roger when we arrived home that it was nice to be home and to be able to relax completely. When on the road, you have to maintain a certain level of alertness and vigilance for the bags and yourself I guess. Well, I was home and it was definitely the most freaked out I have been in the past 8 weeks!

I think the moral of the story is “Travel some more because you are not any safer at home” :-)

Bangkok Airport – Business Lounge :-)

Hello!

Well, we have now embarked into our 30 some hours marathon journey home. We took a flight from Singapore to Bangkok and we are now in Bangkok airport for a 5 hour lay-over. The nice part is that since we are flying business class we get to use the lounge with free food and drinks and free internet. At 1:00 am, we take our flight from Bangkok to New York which is 17 hours!! It is the second longest flight in the wolrd (for now…). I am not sure why but we do get weird looks in the business lounge. I am not sure if it is our back-packer look, our many bags or simply our age…

Speaking of many bags… we left looking like turtles (you can refer to our very first pictures), we are coming home looking like hypoppotamus. We left with 2 backpacks and 2 daypacks. We have bought 2 more bags plus a tube for paintings… It is quite the expedition, we sure lost more and more mobility as we went along. We left with 27kg and today weighted in at 40kg (and that with putting a lot of weight in our “day” packs). Probably a good thing we are coming home :-). Well better go get a drink :-)…

Happy New Year!!!!

We wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and all the best in 2007. 

Sorry that we are a few days late posting this but we were in Cambodia visiting the temples at Angkor.  We also have had some problems with slow internet connections.  We soon hope to post some of our final thoughts on Vietnam as well as a posting about our time in Cambodia (which was great).  We are now in Kuala Lumpur and leaving tomorrow for 3 days in Singapore before flying home on Jan. 11th.  More soon…