Tag Archives: Kuala Lumpur

Should you clean someone else’s skid marks off the toilet bowl?… And other quandaries.

24 Dec

I’M GOING to say all that needs to be said about the four days we spent in Italy at the beginning of November by talking about something else entirely.

Well actually, I’ll say two things. Venice = €7 coffee and… On what planet?

Oh wait, also… Croutons are not toast. Never ever. No matter how big they are.

Instead, as I sit in the beautifully temperate common room of our Kuala Lumpur hostel, knowing that the outside humidity of 99% is going to hit me like a ton of bricks – even worse than the sticky heat, the reality of going home is starting to sink in.

I’m being plagued by first world problems.

So as 2012 reaches its pointy end, so do our four months of (mostly) European travel, and if these crossroads weren’t difficult enough to navigate, we’ve just narrowly avoided being drowned/obliterated by world’s end.

It makes you think about a few things, no?

But instead of burdening you with my own woe-filled quandaries including debt, impending unemployment, a stupendous amount of weight gain and the fact that the European autumn has turned my skin so pale it is almost translucent, (see what I did there?) I will talk about another set of dilemmas – a more lighthearted kind.

FIRST WORLD MORAL QUANDARIES we have encountered during the last four months.

1. When you’re in a hostel/public toilet and someone before you has left skid marks in the bowl, do you clean them off so the person waiting doesn’t think it was you, or do you leave them there?
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2. When you’re borrowing Internet at [insert fast food chain name], is it okay to download the last four episodes of Family Guy as well as three seasons of Fresh Prince and Skyfall 007, thus disallowing everyone else in the restaurant from being able to load their Facebook pages for five hours?
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3. How do you decide which, if any, beggars you should give change to whilst travelling? Should you reward the guy playing the recorder for his incentive? Or how about the trio with the ‘For Beer’ sign, for their honesty? Or there’s the guy with the dog that’s just had puppies. Or the lady sitting right underneath the ATM you’ve just withdrawn cash from for a boozy night? Or to the street-kid that looks like he should still be having his school sandwiches made by his mum? Should you just give the money to a local charity that purports it will help the homeless? Or spend it on more alcohol so you can forget that these problems exist in the world?

Beggars in Krakow, Poland
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4. On long train journeys, is it okay to take up three seats in a cabin so you can sleep, when people around you are crammed together, when you know that if they had got there first, they would be doing exactly the same thing?

Nic on the train from Krakow to Budapest.
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5. Should you have a poo in your dorm room bathroom and risk stinking out the whole room for hours, affecting, possibly killing the other occupants by asphyxiation, or should you make the extra effort to climb down four flights of stairs to use the public loo?

Dorm in Bled, Slovenia.
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6. At the end of your meal when dining out, even if the service/food was very average, should you still tip? Should you have let them know during the meal, so they could rectify any problems, or does that just make you a whinging, difficult customer?

Mouldy bread on the train from Zagreb to Prague.
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7. When reviewing stays on Hostelworld, should you give a glowing review or should you tell the truth, that the hostel receptionist tried to bribe you into giving their filthy, creepy hostel with exceedingly rude staff a high rating in return for letting you sleep in a dodgy bed in a massive, full dorm for a few hours after checkout while you are sick and throwing up with a migraine?

One hostel in Prague was appalling.
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If you can help us solve any of these dilemmas or have any others to add to the list, please let us know!

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Eat ALL of the things!!!!! (Don’t be afraid to eat from the street in Kuala Lumpur, it’s amazing) DAY 1′ September 1, 2012

3 Sep

SO we didn’t exactly plan to eat all the things in Kuala Lumpur, it just kind of happened that way. After checking into Reggae Mansion and being duped into accepting a twin room instead of the double superior we had booked (It’s a better room the concierge said, it’s got a television he said!!) neither of us really cared to argue as it was only for the one night, so we pretty much dropped our bags and headed into town in search of some good Malaysian food.

We walked and walked… and walked… and eventually found a food hall with red chairs and red plastic tablecloths and even table service and ordered Nasi Goreng, forgetting that Mee is noodle and Nasi is rice, and I realllllly wanted noodles!! (Writing this on the plane from KL to London, I cannot believe I left KL without eating noodles!)

Being the only Westerners in the ‘restoran’, we must have looked like complete dicks trying to order the meal, but it was worth it as the spicy rice was amazing, as was the ensuing culinary rampage around the streets of this hectic but inviting city.

The street markets in KL are pretty much the same as every SE Asian country I have been to, crowded, loud and vibrant, but the clothes, bags, tshirts, electronics, jewellery, sunglasses etc are interspersed with stalls of sizzling grills and woks and baskets housing a myriad of (mainly fried) meat, fish, sweets and fruit. We had to ask what most of it was and then we ate it… A lot of it.

From what i can remember, here is a list of what was consumed in far to short a period for its quantity and richness:

Grilled corn in a cup (RM2 or about AUD65 cents)

Tropical fruit cup – with flavour! No one could tell us what this brown granulated powder was, they just kept saying “flavour flavour” so we sprinkled some on the fruit and it was salty and not awesome. (RM3 or about AUD$1)

Hugest doughnut in the world – walked like 2 km back to the stall to get another one) (RM1 or about AUD30 cents)

Samosa (RM1 or about AUD 30 cents)

sweet egg pancake thing – So so delicious. (2 for RM1 or about AUD30 cents)

Fresh Spicy chickpeas (RM1)

Square coloured ice cream on a stick (RM1)

Fried onion thing chopped up with a bag with sauce. (RM1)

Tiramisu and vanilla flavoured sponge cakes – I can’t remember how much these were but it was just coloured sponge cake that looked better than it tasted!

We were literally running from one stall to another, in a cloud of excitement, eating everything in sight until we literally could not fit another morsel in… Until we found a supermarket… With a wall of Cadbury…

Walking though the streets of KL, it took me about an hour to realise I was the only female around who did not have her shoulders covered, let alone was not wearing a headscarf. I felt a bit disrespectful after that and still haven’t worked out in my mind whether i should have put a T-shirt on. There were also very few westerners about.

Back at the hostel, two beers, a bowl of wedges and finding that the amenity of the hostel far exceeded its ambiance, we went to bed, food comatose.

HOSTEL: Reggae Mansion

    Pros:

great facilities, nice bar and courtyard with buy one drink get one half price, friendly staff, nice rooms – beds were hard but I actually slept really well.

    Cons:

lack of atmosphere – but I want to put that down to us only being there one night and crashing fairly early due to an early12+ hour flight to London ahead.

KUALA LUMPUR: (half a day judgement)
Want to return. Eat everything.
I didn’t realise KL would be as ‘third world’ as it is, but everyone is super friendly and helpful and they don’t mind speaking English to ignorant tourists 😛
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