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.