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On my way to Kuala Lumpur

I’ve taken out my passport and I’m about to give it some air. Literally and figuratively.

According to the stamp in my passport, the last time I was in KL was 19 September 2005. Yeah, I remember that day like it was yesterday. That was a long time ago – it was on my way to China for what would become my China Adventures.

So yeah, I’m heading back to Kuala Lumpur, in the west or, if you will, on the mainland. Kuala Lumpur, if you didn’t know (why not?), is the capital of Malaysia. The purpose of this visit is many-fold.

First and foremost, and this has to be done, I need to register the divorce from the most grueling adventure in my life, the xyf. She has remarried in the meantime (officially divorced since June 2006), but in South Africa – my country of origin and the birth country of our son, we’re still registered as married. This is, of course, a grave error and needs to be rectified immediately – so this will be priority number one.

Secondly, and almost ironically, a friend is getting married and I will be attending the blessed union. Malaysia is a nation, neigh, a melting pot of cultures, and this union will see a west Malaysian Indian man marry an east Malaysian Chinese woman. I have never attended an Indian wedding, so I’m very much looking forward to the rites and passage of the Indian wedding. I will duly share my (their) adventure.

Thirdly, I need various electronic bits and bobs – most notibly an LCD to replace mine, which cracked so mysteriously (still unsolved – file next to Jack the Ripper). Hopefully to bring one from mainland Malaysia will be substantially cheaper than buying it here (which is imported from there anyway). It’s not a priority – the cracked bit of my screen is, of course, annoying as hell, but I can still use the remaining un-cracked 4/5ths of the screen – so if large sums of money are involved, this will be bumped from the Christmas list (here’s hoping we get paid a bonus this year).

Other electronic goodies I need to shop for is a digital camera. As another luxury, this is also not a priority, but it’s sort of a must have for the path that I’m currently aiming to walk on in the near future. It’s too early in the game to divulge any details, but a camera is essential in the big scheme of things. Something entry level will do nicely, but I’m looking for something with interchangeable lenses so that I can fit a wide angle. I’m torn between one of Sony’s W Series Cybershots or a Canon PowerShot.

Fourthly, I’ve sort of worn through both my flip flops and sneakers. I’m a simple man, so I only have one pair of each. Shops in east Malaysia, as in so many other parts of Asia, stock shoes up to UK size 10. Fabulous. Great. Magnificent. My feet are a UK 11. If I’m lucky, I can squeeze into a 10 and then wear them in until they expand to a snug 11, but usually the 10’s are actually 9’s in disguise, leaving poor me shoeless.

My current Reeboks, the only pair of size 10’s in the whole of Central China, has worn through in18 months (because I bought them too small and had to force my feet in to make it fit) – usually my shoes last at least 2 years. My previous pair, a rugged pair of Timberlands lasted 3 years and went through rivers, in the ocean, up and down mountains (Mt. Kinabalu, Table Mountain many times, Wu Dang Shan), through jungle, mud, desert sand, you name it. Good shoes those – but they started to disintegrate and I had to replace them. They are now resting peacefully in a landfill in Central China somewhere (or knowing those crafty Chinese, they probably stitched it together and sold it as new).

I’ve bought quite a few pair of shoes in Kuala Lumpur in the last decade, because they cater for Big Foot and friends. So this is another mission I will be on – to find decent sized (and priced) trainers and flip flops.

Luckily I’m in good company. Both Julia (professional shopper) and John (near KL native) will be on this journey and thus I’m virtually guaranteed to be shown all the best shops in Kuala Lumpur where I can find the treasures I be hunting from the list above.

Other trivial things are also planned, such as visiting the aquarium, going up to the bridge of the Petronas Towers (of all the times I’ve been in KL, I’ve never managed that), and visiting Batu Caves. John also semi-promised to take us a bit out of Kuala Lumpur – sure the city is big with lots to see, but if you’ve been there umpteenth times and lived there for half a year, you get to know it pretty well.

American Chilli’s and a South African restaurant called Out Of Africa are two must visit restaurants on the agenda for our stomachs and a night of clubbing is a must (both Ian and myself are craving a good night of neck-snapping).

Soooo, it looks like I’m lining myself up for a slew of blog entries. I’ll have access, will try to get it in as it happens.

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