Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kay El

​My first jetlag experience. Hitherto I’ve heard only stories about it, second-hand experience. Today I know what it means to be in a state of confusion regarding time. The wake/sleep rhythm is totally out of whack. We check in at a place called Dengba Hotel. It is located on a bustling street full food stalls and massage salons. After dinner we go to sleep… at least that was the intention. Waking up at night totally awake – it’s 2 a.m. Falling asleep again. Waking up after what seems like an entire night – checking the clock – it’s 4 a.m. Sleeping…. … … and waking up at noon! Getting up the question arises: What to do? I feel resistance and slight aversion to this big Babylon. We decide to walk to Botanic Garden. The free bus GoKL makes it very easy to get around the city.

One of numerous water fountains in front of Masjid Negara (National Mosque)

Botanic Garden in the west of KL – a perfect place to relax amidst lush nature and huge butterflies!

This first day is over soon. In the late afternoon Joy meets Melody, a yogīni friend she met in Bali. I go to Wynn’s Place to stuff my belly with roti canai and nasi goreng with veggies, carrot juice. Back to Dengba Hotel. Feeling tired. Hot feet. Learned some Malay words today, mostly to do with food hehe…

Next day, we get up and get going quite early. Destination Kuantan, on the east coast. We are going to participate in a 10-day Vipassana retreat (as taught by S.N. Goenka who deceased in November 2013).

We arrive at 24/7 Hotel, check in and explore the town. Mostly, we are here to charge our batteries after the long flight. This can be done best in lush green areas with many trees and fresh water.

Taman Gelora – a great place to spend a sunny afternoon in the cool shade of palm trees, only 20mins busride from the city centre

We particularly like Taman Gelora, a wonderful park with palm trees and lotus pond – easy to reach by RapidKuantan local bus 201. So many animals live there! We see monkeys copulating after territorial disputes, we see munching squirrels and cats chilling in the shade. We share half a water melon and spot birds chirping their way thru life and mini-crabs crawling into sandy holes on the beach nearby. I have a short walk in the river.

At Botanic Garden KL a huge butterfly poses for a photo session

In the evening we dine again in the deli restoran: daal, naan, mee goreng, teh tarik, a most fabulous combination 😛
In general, I feel a bit weary and irritable today. Jetlag symptoms, we agree. Joy hurts her toe cuz of flip-flops. Only to have some alternative she buys some red plastic footwear which she decides to leave behind two weeks later. All in all, it seems to be a pretty little town, Kuantan. Of course, we are curious to explore more of it.

At the esplanade

How could we know what awaits us in the days to come?! An adventurous plot ahead, with two beginner’s minds like us, not-knowing proves to be a blessing, no doubt.


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