(written by Dave)
We’ve had a very low-key day here in KS. I’ve chose the words “low-key” quite intentionally, as you would be hard pressed to call it quiet. The non-quiet part started about 5AM with the call to prayers at the mosque across the street. The mosque is right next door and they have an outstanding PA system. It was not too troublesome as it did not go on all that long – more one of those sleep interruptions that neither of us were sure about later in the morning.
The real fun started around 7:30 when a construction crew started knocking out the front wall of our building, on the floor right about us. It appeared that the wall was only a false wall that covered over some window openings. This was a real gippo construction effort. All they were trying to do was knock out the window openings but they had no ladders or scaffolding. And they did all the work from the inside without closing the footpath. The guys had to chisel ever expanding holes, catching all the bits before they fell to the ground. To do this, ideally they would been on the outside, but that would have required a ladder. So the workers had to make a hole that they could lean out – no OSHA here I guess.
Sleep being out of the question, we got up and went for brekkie and then a walk in the nature park, all the while the hammering continued. When we returned from the park we asked to move rooms. The poor pregnant woman running reception clearly had a headache. She spoke no English but with the help of a friend on the phone, she figured out what we wanted and she moved us to a new room further back from the front of the building. It was not quiet in the new room, but it was at least better. Best we could tell later in the day, the crew finished the job as there are two nice window openings in the wall – hope it does not rain tonight.
The nature park walk was quite nice. Getting out before the heat of the day made it much nicer. There were some mozzies but we used some good old Deet and stayed safe. We saw more monkeys, lots of birds, crabs of all kinds and a few large lizards. We missed the otters and stayed off the more dilapidated towers and walkways. As with many things here in Malaysia, maintenance is sometimes a challenge. They mow the grass a lot but wood structures in this environment really stand no chance.
For lunch we hoped on the bikes and went out to the strip mall area and Oldtown White Coffee again. Food there is basic and the coffee quite good. We wandered the nearby Tesco for some breakfast supplies. Heading home we stumbled on a large food market. It was about 4PM and clearly just getting set-up for the sunset end of the day’s fasting. All the stalls had fresh food and big piles of it. We had a few things, almost a second lunch – quite tasty.
Back in the room now and the construction has stopped for the day. We can still here the mosque every few hours but even that is lower volume in this room. Tomorrow we are looking to head to Sangai Besar – 50k up highway 5. Nancy’s cold is better but will still not push it too much.
And just one more thing before I close – Happy Birthday Mum – It’s the 15th here so we are not technically a day early!