Grey, hazy skies, feet fish spas, Petronas Towers, murky river, the importance of Mosques and the call to prayer.
More men than women on the streets, ice Kopi, Chinese donuts, large Tiger beers in Chinatown, walking till my feet hurt and lower back cramps.
Photos lots of photos, discovering Malay time is just like Thai time (things happens when they happen).
Pollution, traffic chaos, confused by the existence of pedestrian lights that don’t ever seem to work, being stalked and bluntly propositioned by overly keen men, inwardly amused by Abinga Lord and the book he wrote that he carries with him as a “pick-up” tool.
Experiencing cupping but not expecting the paint-ball bruises, amazing Batu Caves, witnessing separateness, happiness cloaked and veiled but existing somewhere beneath the surface.
Mobile phone towers “disguised” as trees, light poles “disguised” as flowers, restaurants every third shop and always full of people, late night eating and people every where.
Calls for help always answered, witnessing that politeness is always appreciated even when you are sick to death of being hassled to buy DVDs or take a taxi and you want to tell them where to go but bite your tongue and respect their spirit as a human being.
Homelessness, scavenging, begging, sleeping on streets, hardness of life, poor as well as rich, BMWs, Mercedes, Hermes, Prada, Jimmy Choos.
Not understanding menus, what am I ordering…is it meat? No it’s chicken…aggghh.
Markets, same same as Thailand, imitation everything, Tiffany, Ed Hardy, Nike.
7 Eleven makes me feel at home and Kinokuniya is my Borders away from home except all the books are wrapped in plastic so I can’t browse properly.
Experiencing incredible foot reflexology and amazed by the accurate identification of other health issues just by touching my fet, early morning whistle blowing but never discovering the purpose, stunning tropical flowers, butterflies beautiful butterflies and being followed by dragon flies.
Happy to visit but happy to leave.
And this is my Perhentians…
Discovering that the “ferry” is actually a tiny speed boat and I’m required to wear a life jacket, unsure if I’m going to make it there dry if at all.
Paradise found, turquoise crystal clear waters, golden sands, mountainous tropical jungle, no land traffic only boats, swimming in a blue lagoon caressed by 31 degree water,
Lightning flashes, rolling thunder and rain by night, both soothing and exciting the senses.
Hours spent hanging out with and talking to a dear friend, dreaming, planning opening my mind to to new adventures, new possibilities, expanding self-imposed boundaries, releasing fears and guilt, strengthening intuition, remembering life is short and to live without regrets at what makes me smile.
Awesome diving, stunning pristine reefs, abundant life, swimming through and above thousands of schooling big eye snapper, sighting my first Coral Cat Shark, Emperor Angel fish and Black Tip Reef Shark, meeting George the three-legged Hawksbill Turtle, completing my 100th dive wearing the yellow power ranger.
Eating my daily lunch of succulent, addictive freshly caught fish (extra salad minus the chips), Carlsberg or Tiger beer whatever hasn't yet run out consumed with hot fried vegie spring rolls.
Experiencing the “an iguana just went down the back of your top and now the front of your top” wake up call and laughing so hard I cried.
Cold water showers, living in a room with electricity but no power outlets, sleeping on a mouldy pillow, living with constant dampness, but it all matters not.
Surrounded by couples and families and wondering what has happened to single travellers.
Being asked if I have been playing paint-ball when a stranger catches sight of the cupping bruises on my back.
Laughing at my adventurous friend who has climbed ice-capped volcanoes, hiked unguided for days and climbed massive boulders but who is scared of fish and coral but inspired by her courage nonetheless.
Loving that there is nothing else to do but dive, swim, lie in the sun, read, write, eat and drink beer.
Living care-free and experiencing peace, inner bliss and natural perfection.