Malaysia Trip 05 / 06

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Final Shopping Trip

With the end of our holiday fast approaching, we took Sunday as an opportunity to fit in some final shopping around KL with Shirley and Carl while Doug was visiting some relatives. Carl picked us up around lunchtime and once the car had been parked we all went for lunch at Shirley's recommended teppanyaki restaurant.

She wasn't wrong about the place and it was easily the best teppanyaki I ate during my holiday. Everyone sits round a hot plate area and they cook all the food right in front of you and then dish it out. If they had a similar place in Leicester I would definitely be a regular, but then I could probably say that about a lot of places I have eaten over here!

Then it was on with the shopping as guys and gals separated mainly so that the guys wouldn't get bored 8) Our first stop was the Louis Vuitton shop so Rich could pick up a purse for his missus. We had popped in before to look at the purse, Rich had asked for discount and had been refused. But with a couple of nights bargaining experience under his belt from the night markets in Penang they must have seen in his eyes that he meant business the second time around and promptly knocked some money off. Shirley was most amused by this later as her friend buys a bit of stuff from there and hasn't received discount before.

Trainers, CDs and headphones later we were bored of shopping and so went and had a beer instead while we waited for the girls to finish. About an hour later they arrived weighed down with a fair few bags each. Carl went to get the car and we went back to the apartment to drop off our shopping and get ready for dinner.

Dinner this evening was at a Korean BBQ restaurant in Hartamas and was a new experience for Doug as well as the Brits. Basically you sit at a long table that has two hot plates sunk into it. They come and put hot coals under the hot plates and then cook your chosen meats for you. You also get a massive selection of pickles and mini salad type thing with it as well as various dips so your whole table ends up a mass of little white dishes. The food was excellent and we sampled a fair amount of what was on offer. Particularly good was the belly pork cooked with big bits of garlic, mmmmm.

Carl, Shirley, Calvin and Brendan had all joined us for dinner so afterwards we went out for some drinks at a cafe. The cafe we were at also happened to have a Ramly burger stall on it so we thought it would be rude not to get some bungkus for later. Ramly burgers are a brand of burgers used all over Malaysia but each stall has its own take on how it serves the burger. This particular place does a double burger wrapped in egg with all kinds of salad and chilli sauce etc. The resulting burger is normally a sloppy mess, but they always taste good!

We said our goodbyes to Brendan and then headed back to the apartment.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Another Hangover

Everyone was feeling a little worse for wear today so we weren't even up until 4pm. By the time we had managed to properly open our eyes Doug was due to go training with Carl so we got picked up and went into Hartamas.

Just as we were parking the car the heavens opened and we all got pretty wet in the 5 yards in between the car door and shelter. Even though Reet had planned ahead and brought two umbrellas with her we decided to take shelter in the gym for a while until either the rain stopped or the psycho cat that lives in the gym took us out. The cat is called 'Dog' and, although it looks sweet, I think it has spent too much time around violent activity, as it seems to have mean right hook.

Once the rain had calmed down a bit we choose to make a break for food. Plain was the order of the day as we had delicate stomachs and so we just grabbed some sandwiches and fries with plenty of soft drinks on the side.

We wandered about a bit and met Carl and Doug for drinks once they'd finished training before going back to the apartment for a while. Once Shirley and Calvin had managed to escape work we went out to SS2, which is quite a well known food court in KL.

We were at SS2 in order to eat Bak Kut Teh, which is a kind of herbal pork soup. It was served in two big dishes one with the bits of pork we eat in the UK, and the other containing the stomach and intestine pieces. Also in both were bits of tofu and various vegetables and the soups itself tastes amazing. I quite happily tucked into both dishes although the others weren't so keen on tucking in.

Along with the soup you get these little batter rings that you dip in the soup and then eat and your normal chilli / soy sauce dip for extra flavour joy. We also had some sort of cold sweet soup thing with ice in which is a Chinese dessert I think. It looked a bit like watery coke in a bowl and had some fruit bits in it and a boiled quails egg. Very bizarre and not exactly my thing but I ate the egg and gave it a go anyway.

After eating the girls went home and the lads went to Hartamas Square to watch the Liverpool vs Spurs game. A disappointing end to the day cos Liverpool won.

Friday, January 13, 2006

On The Town Again

Calvin had booked us a table at a club in town this evening so we decided to laze around and not do too much. We wandered down into Hartamas for lunch and then I did some blogging while the others went back to the apartment to watch a film. Nim and Sophie had flown out to Borneo this morning which left me, Doug, Rich, Charlotte and Reetu in KL.

Once I'd finished at the internet cafe I went to pick up my suit from the tailors. I'm very pleased with it especially for the price I got it. The final worry is how I'm going to fit it in my bag on the way home!

When I returned from Hartamas Doug and I played squash with the same result as last time - a 5 games to nil Doug's favour. Considering he claims to have never picked up a squash racquet in his life before this holiday he seems to be pretty damn good. I just can't believe that it's related to fitness at all.

We went out to Hartamas Square for dinner and I ate more beef teppanyaki. Shirley assures me that this isn't the best teppanyaki and has said she's going to take me to a better place in KL so I'm looking forward to that.

A quick change back at the apartment and then Calvin picked us up to head into KL centre to go clubbing. Tonight we were going to a club called Velvet, which is attached to Zouk but hopefully with less CS Gas. The club was a bit smaller than Zouk but a bit more relaxed and once the Black Label was flowing everyone was soon having a good time. I still found the whole bottles on the table thing a bit strange and couldn't help thinking about the carnage that would ensue if the situation were the same in all clubs in England. People in the UK seem to manage to drink enough without being encouraged to drink several bottles of spirits in one evening because when the bottle is on the table, it disappears a lot faster.

Shirley and Carl met up with us in the club and we also met some guys that Carl trains with including a guy who is / was Malaysian Kickboxing Champ or something similar. All I know is that I've seen a photo of him in the gym kicking two people in the head simultaneously so I wouldn't mess with him! Plenty of whiskey and beer later we left the club and went back to the apartment.

A special mention has to go to Calvin who stayed out and partied with us until the small hours only making it to bed at 5am when he had to be up for work at 7:30am. That's some fine commitment to a bunch of Mat Salleh he'd only met the day before.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Dinner At 282m

Our time in Penang was over and it was time for us to make our way back to KL. Brendan couldn't let us leave on an empty stomach and so took us out to eat some seafood noodles (these do have a Malaysian name but I can't say it never mind spell it) at a tiny cafe which is famous throughout the whole of Malaysia. They were fantastic.

The drive home took up most of the rest of the day and a visit to the suit lady to have a final look at my suit before she finished it meant it was nearly dinnertime before I knew it.

Dinner this evening was at the KL Tower restaurant. It is quite a posh restaurant that does a variety of Western and Local food, but in comparison to the food you get on the streets it is nothing to write home about. The main attraction is that fact that you eat dinner 282 metres above ground in a room with a revolving floor so you can see out across the whole city as you eat. It rotates 360 degrees in about an hour so you get to see everything in the time it takes to have dinner. The view is absolutely amazing and it is worth paying English prices even for lower quality food.

After dinner we met up with Calvin, one of Doug's old friends, and went out for a couple of drinks at Spicy Kitchen. Doug is very amused that I am now better known there than he is after my attempts at speaking Malay and get welcomed by all the staff on arrival. I'm still convinced that most of them are having a joke at my expense but as long as the mango shakes are flowing I'm not really too bothered.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Beach BBQ

Today we met up with Brendan, a friend of Shirley and Carl's, who is from Penang and wanted to take us out to show us some of the sights and taste some of the best food. He met us at the hotel around lunchtime and we went straight to a small chinese restaurant that specialises in chinese style roast pork, duck, chicken and bean curd. I thought that the roast pork and duck we had eaten in KL was good, but this was something else [Tim, you would have stayed and eaten this until you burst!!].

After lunch we decided to go to a buddhist temple which Doug assured us was the only 'touristy' thing worth doing in Penang. The temple is one of the largest in the whole of Asia and was very impressive. It is built on a hill side and separated into several levels the highest of which you have to take a cable car to get to. As well as being in awe at the number of huge golden statues, the views across Penang from the top were incredible and something you could not see from any other part of the city.

The supermarket was the next stop to pick up supplies for the beach barbeque Brendan was planning. Half a tonne of food was purchased at the massive cost of three quid per head, and then we went back to the hotel for a quick swim and shower before going to the beach.

Brendan is a bit of an expert at beach barbeques and produced bricks, wire mesh and charcoal from the boot of his car before telling us to get digging. Half an hour later the pit was dug, the fire was lit and the first batch of chicken satay was on the go. A four hour food fest followed with sausages, burgers, chicken satay, prawns, squid, sweetcorn and fish balls all on the menu. We ate, drank and watched crabs running around like mad trying to catch food in the waves until the small hours when we went back to the hotel.

No beach barbeque would have been complete without someone getting wet, and it was Charlotte who was unfortunate enough to have a bag full of ice cold water poured on her head. She was then soaked again while trying to get revenge on Ken for what he had done as Doug filled a bag with sea water and threw it over both of them. I stayed dry so it was all just amusing in my book! Charlotte seemed less impressed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Burns and Stings

After a nice long sleep we got up and went down to the beach at the hotel for a bit of relaxation. The beach is only accessible through the hotel and consequently there was hardly anyone on it apart from us for the whole afternoon. The weather was absolutely scorching hot and after an hour of sitting on a sun lounger I decided it was time to have a bit of a swim in the sea.

A big sign near the water saying "Beware of jellyfish" sparked a conversation about being stung and within 10 seconds I had managed to acheive just that. Fortunately the little blighter only just got me and so after half an hour of itchiness and red blotches on my foot it calmed down and I managed to escape without having to get someone to take a leak on me 80)

Shirley, Carl and Doug taught me to play Chinese Poker and we spent a couple of hours sitting in the sun and playing cards before going back to the hotel to get ready to go out in the evening. Back in the hotel room the full force of the sun could be witnessed as Rich's back was now lobster coloured and even I was looking a little pink in places. Rich's sunburn kept us amused for a while as he had a kind of half handprint where he had missed a spot while putting on suntan lotion.

We had spotted a massive food court on our travels the night before and so went back there for dinner. I finally got to eat some Asam Larksa which Susie had highly recommended after her trip here and I was not disappointed. Very tasty!! The food court had a very well stocked fruit stall and so we were introduced to a number of fruits you wouldn't see in the UK most of which were pretty good although I was struggling to tell how there is any difference between apple and guava - Doug was confused as to how I could think that so I guess I'm just not a fruit person. Ah well, bring on more noodle soup then!

After dinner we made another trip to the night markets and spent plenty more money. The fake clothing trade over here is massive and the quality of the fakes is extremely high. You can buy pretty much any brand you want for about two quid and so I came back with a selection of Quiksilver, Billabong and Oakley gear which would have cost me a small fortune in England.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Off To The Beach

It was an early start today as we set off on our little adventure to Penang - food capital of Malaysia. Doug went to pick up our hire car and then we loaded up before getting some breakfast in Hartamas and meeting up with Shirley and Carl. We had hired a big comfortable executive car for the journey but Rich, Nim and I decided to sacrifice comfort for the four hour journey in order to have a ride in Carl's BMW M3 instead.

The trip up to Penang flew by and was almost without incident. Unfortunately about two hours in we went through a police check and Doug, who was following Carl, got pulled over for speeding. We were a bit bemused as to how he had managed to get pulled over and we hadn't but Carl explained that a lot of the time people in faster, more expensive cars just get ignored. He also quickly assured us that the second the policeman saw that there were three English girls in the back of Doug's car he was going to regret pulling them over.

The police are a little corrupt over here to say the least and when you get stopped for speeding you have two choices

a) Get a ticket and receive a 200 RM fine in the post
b) Offer to settle the fine there and then, give the policeman 50 RM and no more is said or done.

The reason the policeman was going to have regrets about pulling Doug over is that they don't like to be seen to be corrupt in front of tourists and so when Doug asked if he had received a fine he was told it was OK and that he could go. Crazy!

We arrived at the hotel around late afternoon and grabbed a quick snack at a roadside cafe and then relaxed for a while before dinner. Everyone was feeling pretty tired after the early start and I had a nasty headache so after curried Stingray for dinner I went back to the hotel while the others went to check out the night market in Batu Ferringhi. They returned a couple of hours later with bags full of clothes, more bags and DVDs and still talking about doing more shopping the next day.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

All Sports Day (For Some)

We got up a bit late today after staying out for the football and went with Doug over to the gym where Carl teaches to have a look around and let Doug have a workout. He has been feeling very lazy as in England he trains three or four times a week and thought that he'd better do something to keep in the swing of things. Rich and I are not really martial arts boys and so we just sat around and watched with amusement as Doug demonstrated his Aikido moves to Carl which basically involved Carl trying to punch or kick Doug, and Doug taking him down with a variety of arm and leg locks.

Rich and I went to eat, obviously, and left Doug to finish tiring himself out before we all headed back to the apartment to play some badminton. I haven't played in years and so I made sure I was on Doug's side and we beat Rich and Carl two games to one. I wish I could claim that I had been a major factor in our victory but with Doug covering the back and sides of the court all I had to do was drop the shuttlecock back over the net when it came short. Rich, who is a decent player, seemed to be having fun making me run from side to side and then just beating me when he fancied it. He also smashed one of my serves straight back into my eye, which was nice.

Tired out from all this activity we crashed out in the flat for a while and watched some Lost before meeting the others at Hartamas Square for dinner on their return from Singapore. There was no rest for the travellers as post dinner entertainment was getting ready to go to Penang in the morning. It's a hard life!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Food, food and more food

Today some of Doug's parents' friends took the three of us out for lunch at a Malaysian restaurant to sample some more of the local cuisine. As Rich and I eat pretty much anything it is good as we don't have to take part in the ordering process we just get tasty food put in front of us and have got therefore got to sample a lot of new things. On the menu today was a turnip based rice dish which you wrap in lettuce leaves with chilli, a fish curry, deep fried chicken with some sort of tasty sauce and the most amazing spring roll I have ever eaten in my life. We also got to try some traditional Malaysian desserts including a kind of sweet porridge, bananas in coconut milk and a kind of rice pudding made with black rice. All were very sweet but good.

Doug needed to go and pick up some new contact lenses and have some new glasses made so we went over to Bangsar where his optician is and then went for drinks at Coffee Bean. If you think there are a lot of Starbucks and other coffee houses in England it is nothing compared to over here. Everyone seems to have a serious addiction to the ice blended drinks they do and so the streets are lined with Starbucks, Coffee Bean and San Francisco Coffee particularly in the city centres. I have no idea how they all afford to stay open as the competition must be crazy.

Later in the evening Doug and I played some squash before Shirley and Carl came over with dinner. It is extremely hot in the squash court over here and you start to sweat bucket loads after about 30 seconds. It is even harder for me as Doug is very quick around the court and seems to be able to get to everything so he makes me run around a lot. Still, it is good for the fitness and despite the amount I am eating I swear I've lost a bit of weight since I got here.

Shirley and Carl arrived with battered prawn rice, some sort of beef and chilli dish and a vietnamese noodle soup for us to tuck into and then we watched a film before heading out for some more food. I don't know what I'm going to do when I come home as I have got quite used to eating four or five meals a day here as we are up around the clock and tasty food is always available. Supper this evening was tandorri chicken and double cheese and garlic naan all served with a variety of sauces. Particularly good was the coconut and curry leaf chutney which cuts through the spicyness of the masala sauce very well.

We sat and watched the Luton v Liverpool game after dinner which left Rich happy but Doug and I disappointed as at 3-1 we were looking forward to texting Bish with praise for the mighty Hatters.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Take It To The Tee Lah

We'd been having some problems sorting out playing golf over here as there is only one municipal course which requires a handicap certificate for you to play. After unsuccessfully trying to forge fake ones for the Leicestershire Golf Club (there is no Microsoft Word on the computers here and a printed email really doesn't cut it!) one of Doug's friends was able to get us some vouchers to play as guests at her club for the day and so today was chosen as Golf Day.

With everyone else jetting off to Singapore it was just Doug, Rich and I in the cab out to the Bangi Golf Resort shortly before 9am ready for a morning of stick and ball. Everything about the golf club was so different to most of the clubs I have played at in England. If you have your own clubs you pull into a little entrance bit and someone comes and takes you club out of your boot for you and gets a buggy ready while you park your car. We were hiring clubs and even we only had to carry them out of the door of the hire shop before someone came to relieve us of them. The clubs you hire aren't shoddy either, certainly not the mixed bag of irons and ten year old woods you can be given back home. You could even choose to hire Mizuno, Taylor made or Callaway if you felt inclined and wanted to pay a bit more.

We were soon off round the course in our buggies and as the sun beat down all of us felt we were truly on holiday. The course was immaculately kept and buzzing with people working away tending greens, trimming the plants and clearing leaves to keep it that way. It is not a course that you are allowed to walk round as it goes up and down big hills in between holes and spans across a massive part of the area. You wouldn't want to walk anyway as we were still boiling hot even though we weren't having to walk much at all. The scores in the golf are best left unmentioned apart from Rich who hit a very respectable 88, winning 15 ringit off me in the process as we were playing for a ringit a hole. We have a lot of photos and videos of us on the course but I can't get any of them online here so I will have to update my whole blog with pics when I get home.

We stopped at the golf club for some food before heading back to the apartment to take a much-needed shower and relax for a while. We watched some more Lost and a movie before Shirley and Carl picked us up to take us out for the evening. We have seen a bit of them during the week but with them having to work they haven't been able to take us out properly.

As Rich and I haven't stopped going on about the Satay since we first ate it here, Shirley had decided that she needed to take us to a restaurant called Sate which specialises in our new found favourite food. The place we had been eating it before only offers a choice of chicken and beef, and most of the time the beef is gone before we get there. This place had chicken, beef, lamb, deer and rabbit satay - all of which were amazing - and the rest of the bits that come with it were just that little bit more special. The sticky rice that you eat with the satay comes wrapped in woven leaves and the peanut sauce is thicker and served with sambal (the red chilli paste I mentioned very early on) so that you can give it more of a kick if you want.

We demolished two plates of satay sticks and then drove back over to Hartamas (the area we are staying) to play some pool at Breakers. Here we met up with some of Carl's friends, who obviously spend too much time in pool halls as they beat us easily, before jumping back in the car and going over to Bangsar for drinks at a bar called TSB. This was the most lively bar we have been in since we got here but it is in a touristy area and there are English people everywhere which for some reason offends me a bit when I'm abroad.

Rich and I have been practising our use of the word "Lah" which is a Malaysian slang word you hear a lot over here. Doug managed to get away with a good week before I asked him what it was all about and he had been dreading having to explain it to me. In turn I am finding it hard to think how to explain it here but I will try anyway. "Lah" is a word Malaysian's use to express emotion in there sentences but they don't just use it when they are speaking Malay, it is when they speak English as well. It can be used when joking around so if we're mocking Shirley she might say "What you saying lah?" but also complaining about things "money, money lah" or just in short sentences "yes lah", "no lah" and "whatever lah". The main thing is that it has to fit in the flow of the sentence or it just sounds stupid and I've failed to use it properly at least as many times as I have got it right. Shirley, Carl and Doug all find it very amusing as well as keeping on making me practice my Malay food ordering for their entertainment.

I will try and blog again tomorrow (Sunday) before we head to Penang on Monday, otherwise I'll speak to you from the beach!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Suits You Sir

Got up at slightly more reasonable time today and headed out to Bangsar for a pork noodle breakfast and to visit a badminton shop Doug and Rich needed to go to. Unfortunately they didn't have the racquets they were looking for but we did manage to buy another pretty decent squash racquet for just over a tenner as we only had one with us. From here we went to a supermarket so I could buy a variety of pastes and sauces that I want to bring back with me.

We headed back to the apartment and sat around watching Lost until the others arrived back from the airport. Having seen the end of the first series we couldn't stop ourselves from buying the first half of the second series and starting to watch that too. So much better than the first series! If it doesn't get confiscated on the way through UK customs it will be available for loan on my return.

Once everyone had returned and sorted themselves out Nim and I had to go for our first suit fitting. The big boss lady in the shop is a short, bossy chinese woman and pushes you and pulls you around complaining if you even move your head too much but she does a fine job. I have never owned a properly fitted suit before and even in the basic form the suit has for the first fitting it looks amazing. The jacket is the main difference at it goes with the body at the sides rather than hanging square. Everyone agreed that it made me look taller - finally I've gained that last quarter inch to take me to six feet tall!!

After we were done being bossed around we went to a little deli for some basic non-spicy food for a change before heading back to the apartment to play squash and have a swim (I'm not just making this up because my Dad was asking if I'd done any of the exercise I said I was going to). Squash is extremely tiring in the heat over here and Doug and Rich (the badminton boys) easily outlasted Nim and I for stamina so they carried on playing while we took a swim.

We went out to SOULed Out for dinner where I ate an extremely spicy dish called Asam Mee. It is a bowl of noodles with squid and prawns in a curry sauce and it is hot. I don't really enjoy eating very hot food in England as a lot of the time it is just hot and quite bland, this was not like that at all as you get amazing flavour in every mouthful along with the chilli heat which made me sweat a lot!

After drinking enough beer to cool me down again we went over to Breakout, a pool bar, and drank some more beer and played pool. Shirley and Carl had joined us for drinks as well and once the Thailand travellers had dropped like flies (there were some tired faces) and headed home, we got a lift back to the apartment instead of walking in the heat - which was nice.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Learning The Lingo

After not going to bed until about 6:30am we had a bit of a lazy day. We didn't even get up until gone 3pm and with the rain fast approaching we needed to try and find food without getting too wet. We went to a local bar called SOULed Out and ate some very tasty oysters followed by beef noodles. A lot of the time when you get noodles or rice over here they give you chilli, garlic and soy sauce in a little dish on the side so you can spice as required. When we first arrived the chillies were going uneaten a lot but as time has passed you start to need them to give it a kick. Bish is going to struggle to cook curry which I consider spicy by the time I get home!

As I'm writing this I have actually realised that it was today we went into the city centre for shopping and pork and in fact yesterday we just sat around and watched movies before we watched the football. Anyway, imagine what I said yesterday here and we'll all be ok 80) I'm writing this blog a few days behind most of the time and it's hard to keep up when I haven't really had to pay attention to what day it is never mind the time of day.

So, once we'd got back from the city and watched some more Lost, Rich and I decided we were getting a bit peckish again and fancied some curry and egg rotis. Doug was feeling lazy and didn't want to trek out in the heat with us to get food and decided it would be easier to tell me how to say our order in Malay. Most of the guys that work in the cafes here do speak basic English but they get very confused talking to us because we use so many words that they don't understand. We have been working hard to drop the unnecessary words and more recently I have found myself speaking in a kind of broken English even when I'm talking to Doug and Rich which is a bit weird.

Anyway, with my lines written on an envelope in my pocket Rich and I headed out to Spicy Kitchen to get some food. Ordering went ok at best but considering that what I was ordering was pretty basic they still found parts of it hard to understand. The main problem is that I don't say my vowels properly, for example, "Kari ikan" is the fish curry to dip your rotis in and when I see that written down I want to say it as "carry ee-can" which is totally wrong. The "a" sounds are more like in the word "car" so "car-ee ee-carn". The guys at the cafe did seem to appreciate the fact that I was trying to speak their language but the problem is that once one of them doesn't understand you, they get someone else, and when they don't understand you another one comes along so you end up with three or four guys listening to you trying to speak Malay which is a bit unnerving.

After finally getting to the bottom of what I was trying to say, the food was cooked and we headed back to the apartment to eat. I explained to Doug what had happened and repeated what I had said at the cafe. He didn't stop laughing at my accent for a good five minutes.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Another Late Night

Sitting in a bar at 5am eating the spiciest butter chicken ever, drinking mango shakes and watching Arsenal vs Man United is quite a bizarre experience, but that's how today ended. We were busy finalising plans for our beach trip during the afternoon before heading into the centre of Kuala Lumpur to get some food.

Some of the shopping centres in the city centre are amazing particularly the one which has all the expensive shops (Prada, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton etc). The whole place feels like the lobby of a very very expensive hotel and it would certainly be a very dangerous place to take a woman if she had you're credit card!!

Went out to eat at a roadside cafe as we are trying to fit things like that in while it is only me, Doug and Rich who aren't too fussy about potential hygiene issues. Ate the most amazing Chinese roast pork and duck with rice and drank chinese tea. They bring you a rotating container thing (like those they use in indian restaurants for chutneys in the UK) filled with garlic and sliced chillis to put in your dipping sauce for the meat. I had plenty of garlic and some chillis but was not brave enough to eat the tiny birds eye chillis that were on offer.

We headed back towards Doug's place around 10ish and met Shirley and Carl for drinks and pool at the local pool hall. Doug also spanked Rich and I at table football, in fact the only goals we scored were the ones he accidentally put in his own net. We chastised him for wasting his youth.

Went back to the apartment and watched a movie before coming back out to eat and watch the football. There are loads of people around even at 4am, and especially when Manchester United are playing. In the end it was a rather disappointing game of course, but it was worth going out just to soak up the atmosphere.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Rest and Relaxation

Now that we've settled into full holiday mode, we were pretty lazy again today. Went out to eat just after lunchtime before going to the internet cafe to sort out our plans for next week. As the others have all gone off to Thailand and are going to Singapore at the weekend we have delayed beach plans until next week. We managed to book a nice hotel and sort out hiring a car for the week and then we just relaxed back at the apartment and listened to some music until dinner.

Met up with Shirley and Carl again in the evening, ate dinner at the food court (Rich and I are slightly addicted to the chicken satay and I'm loving the Teppenyaki BBQ) and watched the West Ham v Chelsea and Liverpool v Bolton games.

Grabbed some takeaway from our favourite local restaurant (Spicy Kitchen) on the way home and ate and watched a movie before bedtime.

Not the most active day but we're just enjoying being on holiday rather than at work!!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

The Day After The Night Before

Today was a bit of a relaxation day for us after our late night. Some of the others headed back into KL city centre to book their travels to Bangkok and Singapore while Rich, Doug, Charlotte and I went back to the apartment to get some rest. Rich, Charlotte and I went out for some food in the afternoon, while Doug caught up on some sleep, and managed to get ourselves stuck in town on account of the rain. It was a choice of getting soaked again or staying around until it slowed up a bit. Four hours later we managed to get back to the apartment without getting too wet but still a bit soggy!

Went out to a very nice restaurant in Doug's old neighbourhood for dinner and then took a quick wander around the night market but everyone was tired and the others needed to pack for their trip to Bangkok so we caught a cab home reasonably early.

Definitely the quietest day so far but we felt we deserved it after partying hard the day before!