How did three weeks go past without a blog post, and I not notice? Probably the same way that yesterday a person asked me to pass them an item I swore blind I didn’t have, when it was actually in my hand. Hmmn, it’s not a good sign is it folks… honestly, top of my Christmas list is a CAT-scan.
Well let’s run over a few things that have happened. First off after waiting four weeks for a piece of registered mail to be sent to me in Malaysia (that according to Royal Mail would only take 5 days to arrive), and getting more and more frustrated because no one could tell me where it was, even though Royal Mail track and trace was quite adamant that it was in Malaysia and had been signed for, I finally found a lady at the airport post department who confirmed YES it was in the country, and reassured that me if I was patient -why, does everyone tell me to be patient, I’m patient, as long as things get done in a timely and efficient manner – and wait for it to be processed, it would turn up. So I emailed that lady every day for a week until finally I got an invite to go and pick it up directly from the airport depot… which was an hour bus journey to the airport and then a forty dollar cab ride.
You know when you look up Malaysian postal services online, you read a lot of commentary about how good it is… Don’t believe those comments.
With my mail in my pocket, I took off for Ipoh, a small heritage listed town (there’s a surprisingly large amount of them in Malaysia, UNESCO loves this place) about two hours north of Kuala Lumpur. The travellers’ jury is pretty evenly split on Ipoh, some say it’s just a town with nothing special to recommend it, some say it’s a great weekend away full of art, good food, and cool stuff to do. I fall into the latter camp, and I think what makes the difference is where you stay. The new part of the city is concrete jungle territory, but the old part of town encompasses a heritage trail complete with bright yellow yeti prints on the pavement to help you out because the map lies.. just like google; an art walk; a vast array of boutique eateries; and a shady river walk that gets lit up like Disneyland after sunset, where you can hire bikes and pedal around until 1am, should you feel the need.
I got a reward for good behaviour, patiently waiting for my mail, and ended up in the 1891 guesthouse which has only been open two months, so I got an entire dorm full of double beds and arctic efficient air-conditioning (and a hammock folks!) to myself, and my favourite feature – the honey store next door where they give out free tastings of royal jelly.
From Ipoh I returned to KL and spent my last two days in Malaysia spending money. Lots of it. I couldn’t help myself, I was there for nearly three months and that’s an awfully long time for window shopping without making any purchases. So all that lovely room I’d made in my bag by throwing things out with wild abandon… all gone.
Once more with deceptively heavy luggage (I pack dense, teeny tiny bags in the same family tree as Mary Poppins’ carpet bag, and the tardis), I left Malaysia, and after a minor fracas at the airport (What do you mean I can’t show my e-ticket as proof of onward travel? Why do I have to print it out? Why doesn’t the wifi work in the damn airport? Do not tell me that with only 20 minutes to check in, there is no ink in your printer!) I made it to my last country before going back home – the Phillippines.