Friday, January 14, 2011

A weekend in Malaysia

I'm rather sore now, after my first proper exercise in two months, since the day I broke my toe. Today I got up at the same time as any normal Friday, but instead of going to the office headed to the airport and checked in with AirAsia.

As with any day in Hong Kong, this included a person going straight past me and ignoring my place in the queue, but I couldn't be too mad; I hadn't asserted myself properly by actually being in physical contact with the person who was in front of me in the queue. After a few minutes I was checked in, then traipsed through security (which has an unappealing brown carpet, unique to that particular part of HKIA, and therefore I assume placed there only to make you feel bad about flying with a low cost carrier rather than the full-fat Cathay Pacific version) and then on to the main part of the airport.

(It's rather odd that Terminal 2 of Hong Kong International is just a bunch of shops and some airline desks, and after you've been through security you end up in *exactly* the same area as if you went to Terminal 1. I won't suggest this is part of some wierd construction boondoggle, because I already have one conspiracy theory about the airport, and that should be enough.)

I was aghast to see that Burger King has been replaced at the airport by McDonalds. Not really that bothered - it just means I don't buy fried food from McDonalds, when before I didn't buy fried food from Burger King - so I went to another new food outlet, Panopolis, which sells sandwiches. Miniature sandwiches with massive prices - I paid 28 HKD for a cheese sandwich about the size of the palm of my hand, which turned out to be utterly revolting - nothing but bread and some attempt at cheese, but then airport food has never been seen as great cuisine.

Then faffing around waiting to fly out with AirAsia, although luckily with a plane that was only 75% full I had 3 seats to myself, so I could stretch out and read the New Yorker/eat an apple/wish I'd had more sleep. Kuala Lumpur is only three hours and a couple of gut-wrenching episodes of turbulence away, and although the terminal appears to be a couple of prefabricated sheds left over from an industrial park somewhere, they do check you and your baggage through very quickly, so before we knew it we were on a bus to a train to the centre of KL.

The Le Meridien in KL is literally on top of Sentral Station, which is jolly convenient. I have a nice view from the 20th floor of a motorway, which I looked at for five minutes before having a nap, and then staggering off to training tonight.

It's been raining, which means that all the roads are terribly clogged (it took our taxi about 30 minutes to travel 100 yards at one point in the journey) but we still managed two hours of punishing kicking, punching and throwing, before scuttling off to a table under an awning somewhere (the Malaysians love their outdoor food) to eat too much fried food and drink a probably regrettable amount of Tiger beer, before somebody drove us back to the hotel and I got to crawl into bed, ready to type this before I pass out. Fairly productive, then.


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