August 16, 2004

KL Sentral

Well I've made it to Malaysia with no problems this time. Funny, Malaysian customs didn't even ask about an onward ticket or how long I was staying or anything. These new "security measures" are such a joke. It's a placebo for the masses, trying to make people think they're more secure when actually all they're doing is creating enormous hassles for legitimate travellers. Any terrorist that has two brain cells to rub together can easily get around the so-called security measures as I did. Oh well, life in the modern world.

About Malaysia. Arriving at the airport was one of the easiest, most efficient international arrivals I have ever experienced. The airport is super high tech and the model of efficiency. I was off the plane, collected my bags, and through customs within half an hour. I took a skytrain thing to the baggage collection area and my bags made it there before I did.

Then comes the tricky part, I have no Malaysian cash. Fine, I'll just go to the ATM and withdraw money from my bank card, except all of the ATMs seemed to be out of order. Fine, I decided to grab the train into town and try my luck with the ATMs there. I go to buy my train ticket with a credit card and they told me that they don't take credit cards after midnight. It's 12:05 and the guy tries my card anyway and fortunately it goes through. Great. Once again, the train into town is high tech with video screens showing slick news, stock, and weather updates. I get into town and try to use the ATMs there. No joy. Seems that all of the ATMs "close" at midnight as well. How fucked up is that? Anyway, I finally just go to the taxi drivers and manage to exchange some of my emergency greenbacks that I have for just such occasions. The rates they gave me were highway robbery but I wasn't in much of a position to negotiate. Anyway, I made it to my hotel and had a very good night's sleep.

After wandering around a bit, I am very happy to be here. They have fresh squeezed fruit juice for next to nothing, food stalls with scrumptious looking asian dishes and all of the hustle and bustle of a third world big city. Plus, I'm walking around in shorts and t-shirt again and still hot! It's good to be back in the developing world.

Posted by Pedro at August 16, 2004 09:14 PM | TrackBack

pedro, onwards and upwards. aside from the recent travel hiccups it sounds like you're in for more good times. live it up for the rest of us. when you're feeling bummed about missing tickets and no atm access, remember what we're doing and where we're at and give us a smile! :) big ups and big love. i want to see pix of high tech malaysia!

Posted by: souris at August 16, 2004 09:40 PM
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