(written by Nancy)
We had a day off (I know, another one) today in Klang. We have a bit of time before we meet up with my sister in Penang in early September so we are taking it easy and trying to really get to know this country. And, since Dave passed his cold off to me it was good to have a nice place to relax and try to recuperate a bit.
After that great Indian dinner last night Dave really wanted to go back to try out their roti chanai for breakfast so that is what we did. The food was good and we managed to get the roti with egg but no onion this time. The standard seems to be egg and onion together and we have tried to get egg only before but have been unsuccessful until today. The place was hopping – lots of people in and out so it appears to be a well-known restaurant. We also tried to order another Indian breakfast item that we have seen in other restaurants that looks a bit like a savoury donut. We had it at one of the restaurants in Melaka and knew it was called something starting with a ‘v’ and we saw one of the other patrons in the restaurant have one this morning so we tried to get a couple but we ended up with something else – a white kind of ball with some dipping sauces. It wasn’t bad but wasn’t as good as the donut! I looked it up when we got back to the hotel and what we were trying to get was vadai (or vada). Perhaps we will have better luck next time if we get the name out right!
After breakfast we did what all Malaysians seem to do during the hot daytime hours and that is to go to the shopping mall to wander a bit. Our hotel has a shuttle bus that takes guests to the main shopping mall, which is only about a 10min drive from the hotel. In most places we would just walk but it is so hot and humid out that it is really uncomfortable to walk even that far in the sun. The mall is huge with all kinds of stores and restaurants. Unfortunately they have imported many of the American fast food restaurants – in one corridor we saw a Starbucks, Pizza Hut, KFC, Kenny Roger’s Roasters, Pappa John’s Pizza, Hagen Daz and Subway stores. Pretty amazing. They all have a slightly localised menu and at this time of year many have their own special mooncakes to celebrate the Autumn Festival – even Starbucks.
We have been riding through relatively rural areas so it is a bit odd to see these huge shopping malls with all of these relatively nice stores full of people buying things. It doesn’t really fit with the small villages that have poor housing, water and sanitation facilities that we have seen along the way. We are obviously in a more middle to upper class area here. We are close to KL and the area is pretty developed. The traffic certainly is a lot heavier than we have seen – hopefully we will ride away from that tomorrow. It’s also pretty shocking how poor the roads are for pedestrians. There is very little in the way of sidewalks and also very few crosswalks to get across the very busy roads. Crazy planning (or lack of it) in a city of this size – makes everyone very car-dependent.
We decided to stay in for dinner and picked up some fruit, yoghurt, a baguette and some cheese for dinner. We also found a bottle shop yesterday (yeah!) and picked up a bottle of Penfolds shiraz-cabernet so that almost made it feel like a picnic in our room. First bottle of wine since we left Australia!
Tomorrow we head off, continuing north to a place called Kuala Selangor, which was the old capital of this state. There is supposed to be a nice firefly viewing spot there so perhaps we can get out to see them. Hopefully the traffic will be lighter on a Sunday and we can get an early start to beat the heat.