Holy Holy, Batman!

As always, I am behind on my updates.  I do my best to keep notes but internet access is sporadic at best.  I'm tired, jet lag has caught up with me. I wrote this a few days ago when I was at the Sea of Galilee, sitting next to it not walking on it. 
My next update will be a crazy tale of Bangkok.
Oh hey, things are great! I'm having a blast. Wish you were here.

6.21.11 Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
Today is either the longest day of the year or the shortest, it all depends on your coordinates. Or your mood relative to the number of hours of daylight. Around the equator though, the heat is epic and the day is over-done.  The beginning of summer is just another sweaty day here and I'm on my way to Kuala Lumpur.  KUALA LUMPUR!

We ate brunch at Whole Earth Vegetarian Restaurant, doing our best not to sweat before getting on the train. An hour later, sticky and gross, we boarded the KTM Eskpres Train from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur.  At one point we considered flying for a whopping $28 USD, but I am really happy we didn't. Palm trees for miles and dark red earth, the rebuilding of train tracks and scooters flying down country roads.  From the garbage filled backyards of make-shift homes, children ran to wave at the train. I am grateful for everything that I have.
I miss my big brother.


I had to go.  "Sit toilet" or "Squat Toilet." Light shines up through the toilet bowl, suggesting that either the Malaysians have tethered a piece of the Sun to the bottom of this bowl or the toilet dumps onto the Earth.  There are also two signs that I don't understand: one involves a foot and a pedal and the other a body and a hose.  The cookies they give us for snack time are the accidentally vegan equivalent of Famous Amos.

"Dundundundundundun"  This is how the conductor begins every announcement, obviously not English, but I am pretty certain he is saying "ladies and gentlemen."  After we disembark, we follow the tiny ink-jet printed signs to the monorail, passing through a cloud of toxic construction fumes that engulf the gritty city. 

When in Kuala Lumpur, do try the charcoal bread -- delicious white bread that is black and made from bamboo.


6.22.11 Kuala Lumpur
The breakfast buffet is amazing.  I think we went through 6 plates, 2 bowls and 6 cups.

We took the train to Chinatown but ended up at Lake Garden Park [truth in advertising -- there was a lake, a garden, and a park].  Kuala Lumpur is not even a little pedestrian friendly and highways slice up the city.  To cross the street: 1. Wait  2. Look right, left, right, left, right [repeat] 3. Watch out for scooters on the sidewalk, driving on the wrong side of the road, and breaking every other traffic law 4. Run really really fast. 

It turns out I am allergic to Kuala Lumpur but I managed to make it through the day without completely ripping my skin off.  We visited the Butterfly Park, the sad and beautiful home to many [too many] butterflies and turtles in tanks too small.

There is a monkey crossing the street. THERE IS A MONKEY CROSSING THE STREET!
I took some photos before it raced away and turned around to see a mommy monkey and a little baby monkey walking on a fence.  It was adorable, even when the mother viciously bared her teeth at us to stay the hell away from her baby.  She climbed the tree to get food and brought it back down to share with her little boy.

6.23.11 Kuala Lumpur
The best way to ensure gaining weight while traveling is eating at a buffet. Usually those things are too expensive and not too vegan.  Not this time. This time is decadent.

Tim's first words when we stepped outside this morning [about the weather]: "It's not so bad out today. Better than yesterday." Later, he would take back those words.

We went by train to the Batu Caves, probably the biggest tourist destination in Kuala Lumpur.  It might have something to do with the giant golden statue, the 272 steps to the cave entrance, the 400 million year old caves, the aggressive monkeys that will steal food from your hands, the ten kinds of bats, and the cockaroaches.  We gather around our guide for the Dark Caves Tour while she explains some general points, including and repeated 'Never shine your flashlight up -- keep your flashlights pointed down at the path at all times.'  I can't focus on her though since I am consumed by the high pitched squeal of the bats. Oh, bats. I do not love you.
If you shine your flashlight up, they might fall down.

Turtle in a helmet shell. Butterfly Park, Kuala Lumpur

Angry mommy monkey.  Kuala Lumpur

 Monkeys like to eat.  Kuala Lumpur.

 Monkeys don't eat plastic [although she tried]. Kuala Lumpur. 

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur. 

 Duck, duck, goose, swan, Lake, Garden, Park.  Kuala Lumpur

 Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur

 Scooter brigade.  Kuala Lumpur.

 Chao Phraya River Boat.  Bangkok, Thailand.