Malaysia Trip 05 / 06

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!


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