I have not quite decided why the government has a border post between Thai and Malaysia as it is decidedly the easiest border to cross outside of Europe. It is the easiest country to take a bike into with no customs controls what so ever. I went to the customs office and asked for the forms I need to fill out for customs and was told there are none. Crazy but true so off I road into Malaysia. I met fellow a biker, Mike, on the boarder and he was the first of many bikers I would meet in Malaysia. The bikers here are really friendly and many have ridden past me on the motorways give me a thumbs up or friendly wave. But it’s not just the bikers, Malaysians are really truly friendly people. Most Malaysians speak really good English and I think this makes them more open to approaching foreigners and just chatting or offering to help. I have received a truly warm welcome here.
I wanted to take my time riding down to Kuala Lumpur so decided to go to Penang Island for the night on the way. It was quite nice but very touristy and built up. When I get back from Myanmar I need to go find a nice rural out of the way spot to spend my last travel days.
After the island as I head into KL, Khairul, one of the bikers who I travelled in Russia with met me on the highway. He had arranged for three of his friends to be there as well, all bikers including Maze the president of the Malaysian lady bikers club. She is fab and rides and beautiful Harley and is the funkiest Malaysian biker chick ever. This was such a nice surprise and always so nice to meet other bikers especially fellow lady bikers
Since Khairul and his family were just about to head off for a long weekend to celebrate a big Muslim festival he put me up in a 5 star hotel for the two nights before my flight to Myanmar. Wow I could not be more surprised and thankful. Imagine this adventure biker rocking up at a 5 star hotel in my filthy dirty, dust, sweaty biker gear…what a kicker super COOOOOOL
So on my free day as well as finally updating my blog, I headed out to see the PETRONAS towers, and popped into one of the huge malls to pick up a few things like a new charger since my plug has broken. The PETRONAS towers are truly beautiful. Now I am not usually the kind of persons to say this about a big modern building. I love castles, gothic architecture and lovely small wooden houses with character. But hats off to the architects for this creation, it is spectacular and I am glad I came into the city to see it. KL is a huge busy and yet very clean city, I enjoyed visiting the centre for the day especially since it is a bank holiday so apparently the city centre is very quiet with very little traffic.
So after snapping a couple of picas I headed off to a big mall. I know I like quiet outdoor places, but I used to live in London so can handle busy and noisy. However for some reason I was just not prepared for this assault on my ears and within an hour I thought I was going to go nuts. The malls here are really huge so it takes ages to walk through and find what you want so there was no escape for me until I had found my charger. The experience was not pleasant, if my ears are going to be assaulted I’m going to be the one to do it with heavy dose of Metallica or Guns and Roses, but no my ears are being assaulted by very louder Britney spears type crappy pop music, kids screaming, loud commentary on some kind of fashion show thingy, announcements of advertising for competitions on the ground floor…I thought my head was going to explode. Am I just getting old or what….hmmm actually I think I know what it is. I am suffering from 1st world culture shock, this is all too modern, too clean, too western, McDonalds, TGI, KFC, Dunkin donuts, marks and spencers, Levis Quicksilver, and the noise.
I don’t think I actually suffer from real culture shock, I love going to noisy busy smelly Asian markets became there is so much to see, I feel like a kid in a candy shop when I travel trying to absorb everything taste everything experience everything I can and the more divers and different the better. This loud mall could not have been less Asian if it tried. I just don’t think I was ready to be thrust back into the western first world so soon. Unlike when I rode down the ‘Florida’ like streets in Thailand here I was not protected by my bike and helmet, and there was just so much of it floor upon floor in fact. I was totally exposed to the noise and the kids with balloons walking into me, and stepping on my toes. How am I ever going to go back home, I wonder if this is why people take Prozac.