Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Day 149. A quick drive through Kuala Lumpur

I woke up in the clouds of the high mountains and took my time driving down toward the western coast. In the way I saw pretty waterfalls and lots of cloud forest, but looming in my future was the need of driving into Kuala Lumpur, to pick up my hard copy airplane ticket from Philippine Airlines (and here I am thinking that hard copy tickets are a thing of the past).

I was not looking forward to Kuala Lumpur, who I had imagined as a city with traffic worst than that of Mexico City. I was only half right. It is a very modern city, with its fair share of traffic, but what really caused me troubles is that there are no street names anywhere. Fortunately they have their very tall twin towers, lovingly called by all KLCC, and I knew the street I needed was close to them. So I navigated by instruments into the city, got close to KLCC, and then started asking. The second gentleman I asked simply said “follow me”, and with lots of turns and twists got me close enough. I parked in a parking house, walked for a few blocks, and through a stroke of good luck found the office of Philippine Airlines without much trouble.

On the way I saw one of those big city maps they put in the street corners, made a mental image of the arteries that would take me out of the city, and then ran out from the city, with my tail between my legs. I have had enough of big cities to last me a lifetime, and would rather spend my time looking at the country. My excellent sense of direction served me well, and an hour later I was driving along the coast, looking for a place to spend the night that would also be close to the airport, since tomorrow I leave for Borneo. I found a good hotel, and should probably have simply stayed there to recharge my batteries. Alas, I didn’t listen to my good sense, so after dropping my bags at the hotel I went for a long drive farther down the coast. Pretty, but not spectacular. Oh well, can’t win them all.

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