The bus got us into KL around 7:30 pm. We caught a short cab ride from the station to Pondok Lodge in the Golden Circle, business/shopping/entertainment district. After checking into a surprisingly nice room for 25 RM (Ringgit) we walked around the corner to a street full of outdoor hawker food markets. I had some pork dumplings and spicy chicken to go with expensive Skol beer. The beer wasnt expensive, it is just expensive to drink alcohol in KL. We then settled into Bann 26 before going rooftop at the Lodge.

Saturday morning I was up, showered and eating breakfast by 9 am. I painfully search online for New Year's accomodations. I finally found us a 3 night stay on Ko Samui, an island in Southern Thailand. We then waited over 40 minutes for a bus, the U 6, to go out to the Batu caves, 13 km North of Kuala Lumpur. This gave me a close look at the Indian culture of KL. There were 3 cool caves. The best was Temple Cave, which contains a Hindu shrine at the top of 272 numbered stairs, guarded by a 43 meter high gold Murga station.

We then bussed back to Chinatown to fill the gullet. We found an authentic place with a short menu amid the hawker stands selling rip off merchandise. After navigating us back by I grabbed a Slurpee at the 7 11 for this journal session.

Sunday was mostly spent exploring the city of KL...went to the Petronas Towers which quite impressive from a architectural and engineering perspective. These were the two tallest bldgs in the world until 2004. The shopping malls here are also ridiculous. I went in at least 3 that were 6 + stories filled with every retail store imaginable.

That night I suggested that we throw budget to the wind and really enjoy the rest of our travel time. First stop was a sports pub for Guiness and nachos while watching the first half of a premier league match. Then moved down a couple of spots to a really nice restaurant run by a French guy I had met the other day. Brew and I shared a pizza and I had a couple glasses of red wine. This was the first wine I have had since I cant remember when .

Monday we were taking an overnight bus from KL, North to the Thai border city of Hat Yai. The bus didnt leave til 10:30 pm so that us homeless from noon on. I hate the travel days that work out that way. I am feeling the urgency to get my Vietnam visa situation figured out. However today is some public holiday and the embassy is closed. Last chance to rectify will be in Bangkok. Before leaving we ran around Times Square and hung out on the roof at the Pondok.

While on the roof I have decided to start taking down some goals for '09 among chapters of 'A Thousand Splendid Suns'. I think that is around book # 20 for me this trip. It is funny how traveling puts you back in reading mode. I guess you have more time for things like that. However reading more when back home has made it on my goals for 09.

I must also note that since xmas time I have missing regular life a little. i dont think it is so much that I want to be home as it does with the desire for a home base. I think setting up in a particular place for an extended time would do the trick. The only problem there is that there are a lot of places left that I want to see and only a limited amount of time and funds. Oh well...off to Thailand. Check in later.

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