Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kuching from A to C

Kuching waterfront and sampans, Sarawak River

Kuala Lumpur, 10–11 March

JB and I took the train across to Johor Bahru from Singapore and on up Peninsular Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur. It was a rickety old train but a nice change from flying. Loved our old Chinese-style boutique hotel, The Anggung, and will definitely stay there again. Had dinner with my very good Kuching friends Min and Sam, Sara and Sean, Sam's brother, and their friends Brian and Rita, at KLCC. JB got to see the Petronas Towers in all their lit-up glory.

Up at 3 am for a rendezvous with Min for the Brooks half marathon. Sam and the kids did the 10K event. JB was support crew. We started and finished in the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, which was fun. Very atmospheric at the start with drummers and music playing, and a wonderful surface to finish on. Min and I ran the first 9–10K together. It was a very hilly course, and very warm despite the 5 am start, so I walked most of the hills in the last 6K or so. I still had chest congestion, so I didn't have any time goal.

Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur

We had a late breakfast with my KL friend Siham and her husband and new daughter, Nahla, whom everyone fell in love with.

Back at Anggung Boutique Hotel I did some work while JB went for an express massage nearby. Took a taxi out to the international airport only to learn our Air Asia flight was leaving from the budget terminal, so we had to come partway back into KL. It was unexpected (I didn't even know there *was* a budget terminal), but it's useful information now to have tucked away...

Kuching, 11 March

Main Bazaar, Kuching

So happy to arrive back in Kuching (my fourth visit) and to check into the Batik Boutique Hotel again. I'm in the purple room...

We had a very busy week before JB left yesterday. Lots of catching up with Min and Sam for runs/meals/manipedi; with Emily, Rita and Ka Yee for dinners; and with Belinda and Eng Hooi. A once-in-12-years firewalking ceremony was held on Temple Street during the week, followed by a huge procession along our street (Jalan Padungan) the next night to celebrate a deity's birthday. We followed a truck with some fabulous young drummers performing formation drumming and found ourselves part of the procession. Called in to see Ramsay, but he is away in the UK. We had two early-morning walks along the waterfront, took a river cruise and visited the Cultural Village, and made a quick visit to the museums. I introduced JB to the Malaysian dessert known as "ABC", with shaved ice, sweet corn, kidney beans, agar jelly, carnation milk and syrup. She's a convert: We had two each on her last afternoon at a food stall place by the City Mosque.

My workload has been full on, so my days have been starting at between 3 and 5 am. I slept in today (no alarm) until 6.15, which was blissful. Now I need to recharge my batteries and get my groove back.

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