Unduk wanita sahaja

I have always enjoyed ladies only carriages. In India and now in Malaysia. They bring with them a level of ease. I have often wondered why. 

Recently I read the great novel The Sell Out. Why is it that in this novel segregation works. 

My feeling of ease in the women’s only carriage has connected with this. Within segregation we can be free to be ourselves. There is no judgement or expectation. No conflict or tension. 

I never expected to feel free within a restriction. 


So there are 2 trains 

Batu caves. 

Got ready. Bought nylon men’s socks so that I could wear the slightly too big sneakers that I had bought for my daughter. (Pretty sure now that they are fake Nike). 

Went down to my Mates at the lobby. They won’t match the uber price. Ha! 

He suggested I catch the train. The station is only a few minutes walk from here. So ok. Let’s do it. Got my ticket at the ticket confirmed that there were five stops to pass through. Train arrived quickly. Sat down and bingo. Wrong train. There are two. 

Seems the station is a minor one. Not many trains stop here. Had to wait an hour to catch the next train back to the original station. And another 40 minutes for the correct train. Lucky I have all day!

11,000 it’s updated to 13,000!!! steps and foot blisters

Tuesday night

So how is it that I have ended the day in this situation?

Obviously the enormous acreage of the KL Bird Park had a lot to  do with this.

The birds, at once both beautiful and desperately wistful , the slippery paths which matched my skin, the roaming monkeys and the performing tropical parrots all made for an indulgent morning.

I learnt that my paper map could quickly become a folded fan and  that my pen was able to hold my hair up. I remembered the tropical habit of holding  a tissue  and blissfully dabbed at my face as I also remembered the slow tropical pace of walking.  Happily and subtly I shifted a gear.

That morning I had decided to Uber it in the park as everyone had been saying to me…Uber is way cheaper than taxis.  ” I never catch a taxi” has been the constant advice. So I booked an Uber.  Airbnb – advantage it is cheap and homely – disadvantage it is in a new residential development.  So my Uber driver wavered between being 1 minute way to 8 minutes away to 5, then 1, then 8.  The drivers at the lobby rallied around me glowing in their confirmation that the Uber drivers aren’t professionals.  Soon I was in a van cash price cheaper than the Uber with a promise to always undercut the Uber prices. Quite handy.

After enjoying a negotiated  dollop of cheeky ice-cream in an ice coffee that wasn’t on the menu in the cafe at the end of the bird park I decided to walk back down.  The walk was one of the highlights of the  day for me.  Quiet – aside from the  shooing away of every taxi that drove past and my internal chant of mad dogs and english men….

The architecture is beautiful.

Central Market is my destination.  No internet, no map, no idea where it is except that I know it is in the area.

I see a couple walking towards me who are also taking photos of these beautiful buildings.  Bingo, they are heading to the market – lucky I asked as I was walking in the opposite direction.

A Dutch couple who have been travelling in Borneo. They had discovered their own way of getting there which involved underpass, over pass, a cut through a car park and a few more over passes.  Another pleasant chance encounter.

By now my feet hurt and I am really thirsty and tiny bit hungry.  But I have made it to the market.  As soon as I got there I couldn’t wait to leave. All the useless trinkets, handicrafts, t shirts and satay sticks are the same in every market everywhere.  I did find  a dusty ethnic artefacts store hidden away up at the back. And I did enjoy looking through a wacky stall of 1940 / 50s colonial collectables.  If I had done my homework I could probably have bought something from either shop and financed my trip …

A hasty escape from the crowded hot market lead to me to the back streets of somewhere. I didn’t have enough cash for a taxi, I did have enough cash for a meal and a drink. There didn’t seem to be many females around and I was starting to see homeless people.  The buildings were old.  Memories of the run down areas of Colombo came flooding back.

In a reasonably posh cafe I ordered food and a drink – but alas no wifi.  So I couldn’t WhatsApp my new found taxi friends back home.  The owner explained where the ATM was, but I saw a guy floating around holding up his trousers so decided here was not a good place to withdraw money.  Further grilling of the restaurant guy resulted in learning about the free bus!  The pink buses are free.  I needed to catch the pink line to a certain destination then change to the green line in order to get back to the city centre…

Many hours and more adventures later I ended up in bed with blisters on my feet and 11,000 plus steps on my phone.


I have had so many adventures in the last few days that I feel I must pen them down.  The basic approach tot my short time here has been to not know what I am doing and where I am going.  This has been helped by the fact that outside of my apartment I have limited if no internet connection and therefore am travelling old school – by asking people.  I have asked security guards, someone in the ATM queue, restaurant managers, pedestrians, shopping centre staff…who is there left to ask?  Each interaction has led me to a new direction and a new adventure.

So my little adventure has been full of many firsts.

  • staying in airbnb
  • catching the train in KL (MTR)
  • wandering the streets with no map and no internet
  • exiting shopping malls with no idea where I am
  • discovering a free bus service
  • catching  the bus service from unknown locations
  • using uber
  • cancelling uber
  • negotiating taxi rides while only knowing the destination
  • swimming in an infinity pool
  • seeing flamingos
  • chatting with an Iranian hairdresser
  • using a digital room lock
  • walking around streets not knowing where I am

I have ended this day by swimming in the roof top infintity pool.

I started the day by eating a Malay  breakfast which was delivered to my door.

What will tomorrow bring?