Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Truly Asia? Part 2

On a hot and muggy Wednesday Bob left for meetings and I took a walk through some construction areas to get to Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex. The complex sells batiks, clothing, and all manner of touristy wooden craft. Beyond the florescent lights and high price tags, rests a small garden where several artists' huts reside. I wandered around till I found a Malaysian woman making beautiful batiks. She and her sister went to art school, then applied for a hut to sell their batiks, and for $20 ringits, let visitors make their own. Eager to sit out of the sun I plopped down at the table, picked a design, and got to work. Batiks are made by 'drawing' hot wax on a piece of cotton or silk. You then paint the canvas, with the wax keeping the colors from mixing. When finished the wax is removed and colors set. Because I am artistically challenged, I had to have a little help with the wax (my lines would have made a 3 year-old blush with embarrassment). But in the end I made a beautiful piece of artwork that looks a lot harder than it was because it would have been if I hadn't cheated.

Bob returned with the afternoon rainstorm. We hopped in a taxi and took the 20 min ride out to Batu caves. I was really excited to see the limestone caves, dotted with statues of Hindu Gods. We arrived in a light downpour, walked past the massive golden statue of Lord Subramaniam, and made our squishy, rain soaked way up the 272 narrow steps to the temple cave, only having to skirt around one monkey.Within the cave were various statues and shrines.Though the cave was really impressive, I was expecting a sacred feeling, with the massive natural caves adding to the spiritual effect. I was not expecting tacky tourist shops blaring music, flashing light trinkets, and scaffolding and bags left haphazardly around the caves. Bob and I caught our breath (from the stairs, not the sights), passed the ice cream man and his freezer of snacks, and headed back to the taxi.
That night we met Jim and went to a street filled with food hawkers. We ate at a plastic table set up by the curb, ordered some Tiger beers, and ate some yummy food while ignoring the man that tried to sell us the same basket and blinky green light three times. After a few beers Jim asked me what time it was. I looked at my phone and said, "It's two past midnight." "Happy Birthday," he replied. And holy crap I was 30.

We walked around the corner to a massage place (open till 2am incase you feel the need) and Jim treated Bob and me to a good but painful couple's massage. I had a rather large lady punching my back and as I lay there trying not to squirm and wondering when it was supposed to feel good I heard SSSsssnnnnooorrre! snooooore! I lifted my head, looked to my right and found Bob completely asleep and snoring away.

I started laughing into my pillow, the lady massaging me started laughing, then the one massaging Bob. My lady asked, "Oh, so sorry he snore all the time?"

"Yes," I replied, "All the time."

"Ohhh, tsk tsk."

Bob woke up at the end of the 45 minutes and said, "That felt good, but it was so short."

The next day I wrote at the Sky Bar while drinking mojitos and eating sushi, two guys tried to take my purse (they failed) when I walked back from the mall, and Bob, Jim, Brad, and I went to a nice Malaysian restaurant and had more mojitos. Jim was getting a cold so he left after dinner while the rest of us went out for more drinks. We were supposed to meet Jim at 7am to head to the rainforest. Due to accumulated drinks and age we didn't make it till noon. It was a fun birthday.

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