"The world is a book, & those who do not travel read only one page" St. Augustine

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page" St. Augustine

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


(Saturday) I woke up and had a great breafkast at the hotel. Soon after check-out, I was on my way to the airport. I boarded my flight to Bali where it had been raining all day. I think this rain is following me :(. I paid for my visa and quickly found my bags before heading off into a cab. I asked the cab driver to take me to Kuta which is along the coast and near Seminyak. Kuta was full of toursists and nightlife. It wasn't exactly what I wanted to take away from Bali, but with only five days it would do.
I went to the "hotel" that Anna was staying at, and she was waiting for me by the pool. I was so excited to see her!  I didn't think I would see her so soon because she's from England, but I'm glad our paths were able to cross. I went to put my bag in our room which had a nice stench of stale urine. It was quite the contrast to my beautiful villa in Langkawi.
We went to Apache to eat. I tried Grado which is a local specialty. It's mostly comprised of mixed vegetables and a peanut sauce. We also enjoyed some Bintang which tastes exactly like Heineken. There are few preservatives in Bintang so a hangover is hard to come across! We ate and drank while a local reggae band played. We met some locals and joined their table to enjoyed some drinks together. Then we decided to head over to Bounty which is more of a club. We danced our hearts out to songs I would probably turn off had I heard them playing in the States. I met a guy named Pedro from Portugal and we salsa danced all night. I absolutely loved every minute of it. Kuta felt a bit like spring break in Mexico to me. Around 3am we decided it was time to retire.

(Sunday) It was pouring rain when we woke up this morning. I ordered a banana jaffle for breakfast which is like a banana panini for lack of better words. When we were leaving the receptionist, I stepped on the stair and my flip flop slipped which sent me slamming down against the stairs. My back hit the corner, and I quickly got up throbbing in pain. I did a few stretches while I waited for breakfast.
We decided to walk around and do a little shopping. We also found a new hotel to go to one street over that was the same price but a ton better. We made our way to a local spot for lunch and had some of the best springrolls I've ever had (I've eaten a great deal of springrolls the past few months). The roads were flooded but we waded our way back to our hotel and packed our bags. It was two hours past check-out time, and they wanted to charge us a lot for those two hours. It was a bit ridiculous considering the fact that Anna had stayed with them for a week. We didn't feel like paying so we decided to stay another night and move first thing in the morning.
We went to this store Uluwate which sells Balinese Lace. Anna was kind enough to wait for me as I tried on one dress after the other. I did buy one little black dress. They were all so beautiful; it was hard to choose one.
In the evening we decided to go to Seminyak. There's supposed to be great nightlife there, but the town was sleepy. We walked for a bit before settling at a restaurant/bar. Anna wanted to watch the motoraces, and I enjoyed the live music. We both sipped on some cocktails before heading towards the beach. Our brilliant idea was to walk back to Kuta along the water. However, five minutes into our journey it began pouring rain. We found shelter at a little beach bar and had some Sangria. We asked how long it would take us to walk back, and they laughed at us. When the rain had slowed to a drizzle, we walked. It did take us about an hour to get back to Kuta, but we had nothing better to do. We were in Bali; who cares about time? It's all we had that evening.

(Monday) We were going to go on a tour of Ubud today, but our driver never came. I guess that's what we get for setting up a tour while at a bar. I don't think it's the most reliable source. We decided to do some more shopping and walking around despite the bad weather. While walking, we stumbled across this great Italian restaurant and sampled some pizza. We were both hungry and decided to give it a try. Of course, we ordered garlic bread (we are both obsessed with garlic) and then the four cheese pizza; it was covered in melted, gooey, irresistible cheese. The both of us were in Heaven.
The sun came out in the late afternoon so we put on our bikinis and hit the beach. I don't like the beach in Kuta at all. It is crowded and full of trash. All the beaches on the west coast are covered in trash this time of year. The tide brings it in and then takes it out in a few months. It's sad. I had such a romantic idea of Bali, and so far it has not been true. We made some friends with the locals and drank a few Bintangs while catching a tan. Anna got her feet buffed which was an open invitation for every vendor to come hassle us. We met some funny ones like Sue. She asked if I had a boyfriend which I don't. She was confused why a pretty girl like me (her words) was single so she was determined to find me a boyfriend. She would say things like, "My sister needs a good man." I laughed and blushed simultaneously. I was not looking for a boyfriend especially not one in Bali!
We ate dinner at a cool restaurant where we wasted time playing pool. I am absolutely terrible at pool. This guy asked us to play him, and I warned him he was making a mistake. We shared a few laughs before heading back to Apache. There was another live band playing, and we sat down to enjoy their sounds. Before long, some Australian named Steve was talking to me. He was nice and easy to talk to; his friends joined us soon after. One of his friends asked me if I liked Steve. Sorry, but this made me upset. Why can't a girl and guy just talk and enjoy a few drinks at a bar? Since when does talking to someone automatically mean you fancy them? No. I was not interested. I thought he was nice, and I liked talking to him. There was no attraction and even if there were it would mean nothing. I find it annoying that there's some kind of pressure when going out. I was just trying to enjoy my evening.
I tried to dance a bit, but my back was in so much pain still. We went to Bounty again, but I was not in the mood for club music. I wasn't being a party pooper, I just would rather listen to reggae all night. When we were leaving, Anna saw a guy she fancied and this is how that conversation went: "Damn!" "No Damn. You have beer goggles on!" Love my nights with Anna :)

(Tuesday) Today we hired a private driver to take us to Ubud. We stopped at a silversmith. Anna loves silver as much as I love dresses. Our driver then took us to the Monkey Forest. There were monkeys everywhere (go figure). As soon as we parked our car, we were surrounded. I was a bit paranoid at first. Ever since we went to the Gibbon Sanctuary in Thailand I have been afraid of monkeys! They were too close for comfort. Some of them were fighting over food and territory while others laid there lazily. There were a few temples in the forest that we walked around. We had to be dressed in sarongs and then belts before granted access to the temples. I asked if there was a significance in the green and yellow colors, but there wasn't. The temples were ornate and beautifully carved. There was moss that added depth and color to the stones that monkeys had sat on. A couple monkeys found comfort in Anna's lap. One even climbed on her head and started playing with her hair. At the same time, a little monkey came and lifted her flip flop as if looking for some treasure beneath it.
We continued our trip through the hills and trees. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch on a terrace overlooking the rice paddies. They looked fake and painted with perfection. We went to several other temples and walked to a beautiful waterfall. We drove up to view the active volcano. I really wish I could ahve hiked there to watch the sunset, but I didn't have any athletic shoes plus my back was still in a lot of pain. We enjoyed more of Ubud before heading back to Kuta and calling it a night.

(Wednesday) We woke up and made our way to the beach. The weather did not hold off for very long. It began raining within 20 minutes so we scrambled under an umbrella with our friends. They played guitar and the 7 or 8 of us talked waiting for the storm to pass. Anna and I decided to walk back to our hotel until we had our surf lessons. I knew I shouldn't surf with my back, but I was stubborn. I didn't come all the way to Bali not to surf. I think it's pretty cool to say I learned how to surf in Bali, and I had all intentions of making that happen.
We went to the beach around 2:30 to have our lesson. We were both pretty good, but I kept trying to position my feet like I do on my snowboard. It took a bit of adjusting. We moved into the water and gave the waves a try. The both of us were up by the second wave. It was exciting and liberating. I wanted to stay on my board as long as possible because the water was disgusting. It was literally like swimming in a dumpster with a splash of water. A wave would come and bring plastic up your swim trunks and wrap garbage around your legs. Further down the beach was a bit clearer so we spent a few hours surfing there. It was such a great way to spend the afternoon. After  a while, my back was throbbing in pain, and I started to get lazy. I could no longer try to surf so we called it quits.
After a shower, we made our way back to the beach. We joined our friends and drank some Bintang as we watched the sunset. It was cloudy but nice. We went to eat and then stopped by the surf shop. There were a bunch of locals and an Australian, Ricky, hanging out. We joined them in conversation and a passing of vodka and sprite. Later, we went out to Apache again and smoked some sheesha and did a little dancing. They sang Happy Birthday to me, but some other girl got my free drink. Oh well! Ricky challenged me to a dance off which was a mistake. He had no idea I could dance. We had a lot of fun before heading back in the rain.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


(Wednesday) I woke up to more rain. I thought Langkawi would be a couple of relaxing days on the beach by myself, but the weather had other plans for me. No worries, everything happens for a reason. I just made myself a couple cups of coffee and cuddled under my down comforter a little longer. When my hunger took over, I decided to walk to the fruit shop. I hadn't realized it didn't open until 11:30 so I grabbed some yogurt and hit the internet cafe until the rain passed.
In the afternoon the rain cleared a bit. I was really happy about this because I really wanted to go to the cable car. I walked back to my villa and had the front desk call to make sure it was open. They said it was. I grabbed a cab that drove me through the curvy jungle while monkeys rested on the side of the roads. About a half an hour later I was at the Geopark which was nearly empty. The air was still damp as the clouds lingered above the mountain tops. I walked up to the cable car only to find out that it was delayed with no promise of opening. I was a bit disappointed but decided to stick around just in case it opened. I walked around the park despite the fact most of it was closed. There was a tiger that was rescued so I went and watched her eat.
I decided to stop in every shop that was open. They were all selling the same dresses, souvenirs, etc. I settled down at a cafe for lunch and had some spring rolls. As soon as my order came, I saw the cable cars starting to move. I rushed through my lunch and headed towards the gate. The lift was still closed, but I felt hopeful. A small crowd had gathered in anticipation.
After another 20 minutes or so the ride opened. We all shuffled in line and walked up to the platform. I was in a car with four other people and a little girl. It moved faster than I had anticipated and at a steep incline. I dazed outside the window trying to take in as much as I could. I felt a sense of serenity. In the near distance was a waterfall and then another on the opposite side. I could see the sea spotted with boats. The mountains looked marvelous covered in a blanket of green. Then everything disappeared. We were lost in a cloud. All visibility left us; it was crazy. After a minute the mountains presented themselves again, and we exited on the first viewing deck.
The air was brisk. There were still clouds lingering so it was hard to see much of the landscape. A few quick glances were all we got. I could see the suspension bridge, but they told us it was closed when we were at the base. I hopped back into the cable car and headed further onto the mountaintops. When I got out, the curtain of clouds had opened up revealing a brilliant blue sky against the ocean. I asked if the suspension bridge was open, and they told me it was. Hearing them say that gave me instant gratification. I rushed down the tattered stairs and made my way to the bridge. I was the first one to walk across it all day. It curved between two mountains and hung from one pole. I walked across it holding on to my dress due to the blowing winds. After a few steps I started clinging to the railing because some of the wood planks were shaky and not stable. I got to the middle and started clicking away. I couldn't help it. I stood there alone in silence taking in as many deep breaths as I could before the crowd followed onto the bridge. It was a little piece of Heaven.
I continued walking to the other decks and lookouts. At one point I saw an eagle gliding through the sky before it disappeared into the trees. The view was breathtaking. I watched the waves crash against the harbor. I could see the lighthouse and parts of small towns that were along the coast. I watched the clouds move like steam up the mountains. It was perfection. I walked back to the cable car to begin my descent with a sense of equanimity.
I was so relaxed after this taste of mother nature that I decided to shower and take a nap. When I woke up, I got ready and decided to go the fruit store and buy some bananas for dinner. I had also seen an advertisement for Eagle Rock; tonight happened to be ladies night. I thought I should go out and be social. With my bag of bananas, I started walking towards Eagle Rock (which was a lot further than I had anticipated). I came across Sunba which was a retro bar with live music every night. If there's one thing I love it's live music so I made my way inside only to realize there were only four people in there and no band. I asked about the music, but it wouldn't start for another hour. I grabbed a corner seat at the bar and ordered a cocktail. I thought sitting at a bar alone with a band playing was less embarrassing then just drinking alone.
Soon after I got there, a guy came in by himself and sat between me and the other girls at the bar. We didn't talk for quite some time. Eventually, the bartender made some joke which we both laughed at and finally sparked a conversation. I was wondering when he was going to say something. I mean, two people by themselves at a bar must ignite some type of conversation. Of course I wasn't going to be the one to start it. Be it my pride or perhaps that bit of shyness that I have, but I would have waited all night for Rod to start the conversation.
We ended up talking for quite sometime before a couple others came into the bar and joined our conversation. I laughed when they asked how long we had been together, and we replied, "About 45 minutes?" Sally was from Australia and J was from Amsterdam. They were both traveling solo and met on a flight. They decided to continue traveling with one another for the time being. I loved them! Sally and I talked for hours about our lives, travels and futures. We had so much in common. It was so easy to continue the conversation. We drank and enjoyed the band that was playing for the nearly full bar now. The music was good, but we were in the mood to dance so we decided to check out Eagle Rock.
The bar had a spunky band playing that dancing was irresistible. We drank and danced all night. There was a group of Asians at a table near us who we befriended within no time. They loved us, and we loved them. Every time I ordered a drink this one guy would take it and give me a different drink. I still don't understand it, but then again who understands half the crap that happens in a club. There were shots passed and bottles of whiskey poured. These strangers quickly became friends.

The four of us left in the early hours of the morning and decided to go swimming in the ocean. I think that's my new hobby. I really enjoy night swimming. We all jumped in and had a blast. The rain may have fallen in Langkawi today, but it was an incredible day.

(Thursday) I was overly excited this morning when I woke up to the sun shining. The only place I wanted to be was on the beach. Rod and I headed to the beach closer to where  I was staying. It was nice and not too crowded. The water was the perfect temperature. We grabbed a couple of beers and enjoyed the rest of the morning before grabbing some lunch and a small restaurant. Then we decided to go to the beach by his hotel which was extremely beautiful. It was so nice to enjoy the afternoon with someone. Experiences like this should be enjoyed in good company.  There we were, in crystal clear water on a tropical island. Life is good. I floated in the water staring at the blue sky and counting my blessings. After a couple of hours, I went back to shower and get ready for our little date night.
We shared a few more hours together over dinner and wine. I think I had a smile on my face the entire time. The restaurant was decorated in a Balinese style; it was spectacular. The dinner and wine were delicious, and the company was even better. I was flattered. I let myself become completely consumed by it.
After dinner, we went back to Sunba where it all began. The bar played Shania Twain and Bob Marley in the same set list. Nothing like a little variety. There was a woman dancing with young Asian man, and she reminded me so much of my mother. It made me a bit homesick and excited. The woman was grooving to the reggae band without a care in the world. That's the liberating thing about dancing; there's no time to worry about things because our minds and bodies are consumed by the rhythms. This scene reminded me of Nashville when we were dancing our hearts out at The Stage while listening to Jason Link and his band. It was lovely, and I cannot wait for CMA Fest 2011!!!

(Friday) I contemplated staying in Langkawi another night. I was scheduled to leave in the late evening. I would spend the evening in KL again before catching a flight to Bali tomorrow afternoon. There were flights in the morning that I could take. Rod asked me to stay, and a part of me really wanted to. I sat on the internet for a good hour with AirAsia.com in one window and Agoda.com in the other. Why am I so indecisive? It's times like these I wish I wasn't so bad at choosing. In the end, I logged off and went to check out of my villa. I left my bag with the front desk and went to the beach. I needed time to think. I asked a few friends whom all told me to live a little. I am living a little. I have been traveling for a few months so I think that qualifies. I know what they meant though. You only live once, and why not enjoy good company when it's there? I really wanted to see Sally and J again.
I tried not to think about it as I laid on the beach. In the distance I saw dark clouds. They were moving fast so I thought they would blow over. Before I knew it, raindrops were falling. I tried to wait it out, but they fell more frequently until I was caught in a downpour. Oops! I grabbed my things and rushed to the nearest restaurant seeking shelter and lunch. I ordered lobster in a Malay sauce. It was terrible. They breaded the lobster pieces and deep fried them. Why?! Why would you take perfectly good shellfish and deep fry it? I ate it in resentment. My most expensive meal thus far was the worst meal. I was not happy. I was tired and longing for a shower. I wish I had a hotel to go back to and take a nap or shower; I found refuge in the internet cafe instead. In my anxious state I booked a hotel room and decided to stick to my original plan. I would regret that decision later.
I met up with Rod later in the afternoon and we made our way to the center Kuah. We went to the mall which was hardly a mall. The shops were sparse with little to offer. We decided to walk hoping we'd find something else to entertain us. We ended up along the shore and took a seat on the rocks. The waves broke against the rocks as we sat and watched the sun settling into the evening. There were so many boats out on the water. I sat taking it all in. I wanted to absorb as much of Langkawi as I could in these last moments.
We went back to our side of the island. Before heading to the airport, we found a nice cafe on the beach and had a cup of coffee as the sun finished setting. It was beautiful, and I could have stayed there all night.  A live band had begun to play and the beach was dotted with people of all ages. It was lively yet not overcrowded. After our coffee, we went our separate ways. I went to the airport and boarded my flight. It was only an hour before we touched down in KL. I shared a taxi with a young couple to our hotel and checked in to my room. I was alone in a big cold hotel room. I suddenly wished I hadn't been so stubborn. I knew I wanted to stay, but my head told me to go. It was against my better judgement to stay or so I thought. I showered and cuddled under the flimsy blanket and fell asleep to the sound of BBC News. 

Friday, April 8, 2011


(Monday) After another breakfast of toast and coffee, I went on a self guided walking tour of KL. When I first arrived on the monorail, I had seen a large building with a gorgeous blue dome. I decided to walk there and thought it was the Islamic Museum. I was greeted by two men and then asked to put on a robe and scarf. The site was quite humorous as I drowned in the pink robe and my babushka. The man awkwardly asked me about my menstrual cycle before heading into the mosque. The grand building was simplistic inside and was mostly decorated with the hundreds of names for Allah. There was also some nice woodwork, but I was distracted by the man who was trying to convert me to his faith. I stood and listened for nearly an hour about the Islamic faith. It sounded a lot like Christianity to me, but I'm still no expert on the subject. He gave me pamphlets and a DVD about how to live life through Allah. It was interesting, and although not what I was anticipating, I learned a great deal.
I felt a bit uncomfortable when I took off my robe to leave because I had just learned about women covering up so as not to be seductive. I just had a sundress on that was not revealing in Western terms, but he preached the idea of women being conservative and not wearing makeup and covering their bodies. He also told me how big of a sin it is to drink. If one drinks, there's a 40 fast that must be held to seek forgiveness. I enjoy my cocktails and my sundresses; those two alone would keep me from ever converting (not that that was even a consideration).
I continued my walk and came across Chinatown. There were markets everywhere each selling anything and everything. Every designer knockoff was available there. There was nothing exceptionally different about this market, but I did have some delicious vegetable dumplings with roasted garlic on top. I enjoyed those slowly as I walked along. My attention was grabbed by a massive tin garbage can. It was filled with walnuts that were being turned and roasted. My dad normally roasts these in an oven versus a garbage can so that was interesting! The aroma was overwhelming and good.
I walked past the old buildings that offer a European influence. There was a mix of these buildings piled one on top of the other, beautiful mosques and modern high rises. They offer a blend of old and new. I walked to the Central Market. For those who cannot read maps, there's a giant balloon that says, "Central Market" lingering overhead. The market was filled with more artwork and souvenirs.
My feet guided me around the Masjid Jame which is a large mosque. It lies on two rivers and is the oldest mosque in the city. Its size is impressive as well as the architecture. I decided to enjoy the view from a nearby park. There were benches under a floral gazebo. In the center was a water fountain; several people gathered to take a break from the heat. Although it was only 93, the heat index was 104. I sat for some time enjoying my book and the rest of my dumplings.
An hour later, I walked back to the guesthouse. This man started talking and walking with me. The conversation was the usual exchanging of background information that seems to be the base of conversations while traveling. To my surprise, he started to ask personal questions that I had no desire to answer. I hardly talk about such sensitive subjects with my friends let alone stranger. Thanks but no thanks! As we said on our group trip, “Too much, too soon!”
 I saw the Menara Tower which is the 2nd largest free standing tower in the world. I had wanted to go to the top and enjoy some lunch or dinner, but the food reviews were not pleasant. My interest faded, and I went to take a long nap. It was raining when I woke up so I went to the internet café and bought my flight to Qatar. This excited me very much.
I treated myself to a nice Italian dinner with Pellegrino and a glass of Malbec to enjoy. There’s something comforting about a glass of wine and a glass of Pellegrino. I sat by myself just people watching. The server brought me a magazine, but I felt a bit offended. It’s nice to have nothing to do. In normalcy, I would be reading a book or sending texts to distract me. However, I am working on enjoying the act of doing nothing. Why do we always need something to occupy our time? Is it so terribly awkward to be somewhere alone with nothing to pass the time? A few months ago my answer would have been yes. In college, I wouldn’t eat all day if I had to sit in the cafeteria alone. It was a huge fear of mine. I would have rather gone without eating then face a room full of strangers. I refused the magazine and quietly enjoyed each sip of my wine and each strand of spaghetti. The time went by slowly but memorably.
(Tuesday) This morning I had breakfast at the guesthouse with two of my roommates. There was an older gentleman who was very enthusiastic and personable. We talked for quite awhile before Raj joined us. We got on about traveling and that spark I had came back. For a moment, I thought it had become a dim light, but in talking this morning the spark was back. Uh oh. Is that trouble for me? Will I be planning another crazy vacation? I thought I was done with long-term trips for the recent future. Who knows now! I found out Raj was going to be in Bali the same time I was so we exchanged information. I headed to the island Langkawi while he headed to Hong Kong.
Getting to the airport was fairly easy. The public transportation in KL was easy and efficient. I took the monorail to the bus station. I met this lovely elderly couple, and we exchanged stories of our travels. They were so cute! I couldn’t help but smile at this couple in their later years still enjoying life and exploring the world together. They gave me lots of helpful hints and blessings of safe travels. Then I got on the bus and made my way to the airport.

I landed in Langkawi in the early evening. Unfortunate for me, it had started raining. I was supposed to be staying at one of the top 101 hotels in the world when Anastasia and I were going to be traveling here. However, I expedited my time in Malaysia and arrived solo a few weeks early. There were no rooms available to change the reservation so I booked a villa just 50 meters from the beach. The villa was so beautiful and modern. It looked like it came straight from an IKEA catalogue. I was very happy with my decision.
The rain lingered throughout the night. I grabbed some dinner and tried to find a bar. The two that were recommended were closed. There were plenty of shops and restaurants but nothing entertaining. I decided to go back and take a nice hot shower and use every towel in my room because I haven’t been able to use towels often. I’ve been using a sarong as a towel while traveling, and they are no substitute. I laid in bed writing and watching TV. I was so tired and eventually fell asleep only to be woken up by the sound of rain crashing against the tin roof. The rain became deafening. I dozed in and out of sleep thankful to at least have a comfortable bed and pillow to hide under.  

Thursday, April 7, 2011


(Friday) We ended up getting a bus in the evening to Malacca, Malaysia. The bus driver was very sketchy, but everything turned out fine. We had to get off the bus twice to get stamped out of Singapore and stamped into Malaysia. Our bus got into Malacca around midnight and the taxis were mostly gone. This guy kept trying to get us to stay at his hostel, but we already had one booked. He still offered to give us a ride so we accepted. The car was a bit sketchy, and then Anastasia considered staying at his hostel. I did not care to switch hostels at midnight in some town in Malaysia. We checked in to our hostel and went to sleep.
(Saturday) This morning I woke up and had breakfast which consisted of toast and coffee. That was the breakfast that was included with the hostel. I am so tired of toast. I hardly eat it at home, but it has become a regular breakfast meal. I walked around the UNESCO town of Malacca. It was an extremely hot day yet the humidity was low. I stopped in a folk art gallery and enjoyed the paintings of local artists. They were incredible. Some of them were so detailed. There were fruits painted so well I wanted to reach out and take a bite. There were portraits that showed so much depth and emotion. It was also nice to enjoy the air conditioning for a while.
After the art gallery, I went and saw an old church and some other buildings. There were tuk tuks that were spectacular lining the street. Each one was so ornate and beautifully gaudy. They were decorated with different flowers, sparkles and pictures while blaring hip hop music. I went and saw a few museums. I also stopped by the mall and tried a dozen different types of Indian sweets. My stomach was more than satisfied when I left.
In the evening I went to the Portuguese Square with two girls from the hostel Julia and  Sioban. We took a bus there anticipating some good food and advertised traditional dancing. The square was pretty empty and many restaurants were closing down. When we asked about the dancing, we were informed that they stopped several years ago. Interesting to find that out after the fact. We tried to go to a recommended restaurant but that too was closing at only 7pm. The staff did show us the "Holy Crab." It's a certain type of crab that has the shape of a cross on its back and is caught around this time of year. They recommended us to the neighboring restaurant, and our food was delicious. I had two different types of green vegetables one cooked in chili and the other in garlic. I also had some roasted eggplant. I was so full and so happy!
There had been some complications with my travel buddy recently. In fact, I had hardly spoken to her today. For various reasons, I decided to change my travel itinerary.Although we had some good times together, I was not trustworthy. Trust is the foundation of any relationship be it a friend, coworker or lover. It is a simple term with such complexity. I had my reservations about our travels before the trip began and throughout the group trip we hit a few speed bumps. We both agreed to move past those and enjoy the next two months, but I found it better to move forward independently. I prefer not to speak about the subject anymore because it exhausted me. I don't want to sit here and say negative things. I will say that I made the right decision.
My dad has also been pushing the idea of me traveling to Qatar and Cyprus. This all sprang up when disaster struck Japan which was my original layover. I was planning on going to Qatar and Cyprus in August or September so the idea was very appealing now. I decided that it would be better to spend my birthday and Easter in the company of my family. Therefore, I completely changed my itinerary. I would spend some more time in Malaysia and then go to Bali. From there I would go back to Bangkok for the third time in order to pick up my baggage that I stored there. From Bangkok I would go to New Dehli, India for a layover before finally arriving in Qatar. I would spend a few days with my Uncle there and continue onward to Cyprus. I was so excited about this new plan. In fact, I was more excited about this plan than my original plan. I immediately started booking flights and rescheduling and canceling existing reservations.
(Sunday) I woke up and had breakfast. The previous night I picked up a memory card at the Internet cafe because I thought it was mine. I travel with two and had pulled a bunch of things from my bag and thought it fell out. In the morning, I looked at it and realized it was not mine so I placed it in my camera to see if I recognized someone in the photos. To my surprise, it was Anastasia's. When I gave her back the memory card she did not even say, "Thank you." Someone could have easily erased the hundreds of pictures from Southeast Asia and walked away with a new 4GB memory card. I would have been very thankful to have that returned. This is just an example of why I decided to travel alone.
The girls and I decided to go on a riverboat tour through Malacca. It was a fail considering the fact that it was all in Malay. About thirty people crammed into this small boat. The sites were still nice to enjoy like the rustic buildings that were all painted with scenarios of Malay people. There was also a Ferris wheel and great bridges. We saw a giant lizard in the water that looked like a crocodile. It was so long and a bit scary. After the boat ride, I took a taxi to the main bus station and made my way to Kuala Lumpur.
Four methods of public transportation later,  I was finally in KL. I checked into my guesthouse and stayed in a dorm. Some of the staff was really nice but others were not very helpful. The location was perfect. It was centrally located and near major shopping, nightlife, restaurants and the Twin Towers.
I walked to the central shopping area. There were designer shops and dozens of hotels. I was lucky enough to see an acoustic dance troupe performance. They were dressed in traditional clothing and played the drums with such enthusiasm I had a silly grin on my face. They danced and played vibrant music to help raise funds for Japan.
After the performance, I walked to the Twin Towers. They were lit up and glowing in the setting sun. It was quite the site. I marveled at the modern architecture for quite some time. Then I headed to an Indian restaurant nearby for dinner. My options were limited to some more vegetables and white rice. I treated myself to some gelato for dessert. It occupied my time as I walked back to the guesthouse. I was so exhausted from traveling all day, but it was a great day!