I may have spent Christmas at home, but after the celebration ended, Kassandra and I packed up our bags and headed to Abu Dhabi airport. You didn’t expect me to stay home the whole winter break, did you? This time our destination was Malaysia.
Now you have to understand, for this vacation I did very little research. In fact, besides booking the flight and hotel rooms, I did no research. Well, I take that back – there is a short listening activity in our coursebook that we play our Level 1 English students all about Jason’s holiday in Malaysia. So when Kassandra asked me what the weather would be like so she would know what to pack, I responded with, “according to Jason, the monsoon season is between the months of April and September but it is still very humid and the average temperature is around 31 degrees Celsius.” Then when she asked me if I have figured out the transportation from the airport to our hotel, I answered with, “according to Jason, the people of Kuala Lumpur ride motorscooters everywhere, but he thinks it is too dangerous, so we will be taking taxis.” I don’t think Kassandra was amused with my new method of planning.
We took a quick hour flight to Doha to catch our connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur. While at the Doha airport, waiting to board, the TVs all turned to the announcement that the AirAsia flight 8501 had gone missing. It’s an eerie feeling to be seconds away from flying when announcements like this happen. Nobody said anything. A few people started taking pictures of the TV and frantically texted. Contacting loved ones? I sent my mom and Kassandra’s dad a message reminding them that we were not flying AirAsia until a few days later.
The 7.5 hour flight to KL was uneventful. We ate, watched movies, dozed, and ate some more. It is going to be hard when I start just flying within the US again and don’t get food served to me non stop. I watched “The Fault in Our Stars” and cried through the whole darn thing. I have only cried during one other movie in my whole life. Kassandra looked at me like perhaps an alien had taken control of my body.
When we got to KL, it was easy enough to buy tickets for a taxi. It was about an hour drive to our hotel. We stayed at the Hotel Maya, across the street from the Petronas Twin Towers. The hotel was nice. One of the nicer ones that we have stayed in on our recent vacations. The picture on the left was the view from our hotel room, and the picture on the right is me looking up from the lobby at the hotel. The hotel had a pretty pool although it was a little bit chilly.
Because we were so close to the Towers, we walked everyday to the Suria KLCC which is a large mall housed with the towers. So although we walked past the Towers, we didn’t ever actually go up them. But don’t worry, I was able to teach Kassandra all about the Towers even though we didn’t go up, “according to Jason, the towers are the tallest twin towers in the world and each tower was built by different companies and they had a race to see who could finish first. There are 88 floors and the bridge between the towers was added later because the towers moved too much in the wind.” This was met with an eye roll from Kassandra.
We went to the Petaling Street night market where we bargained for purses, makeup, and magnets. We ate dinner at a questionable looking street restaurant.
On another day, we took a taxi to the Central Market. We got our feet rubbed, ate corn, and did even more shopping. I hate shopping in daily life – can’t stand Dubai mall, and yet on vacation seem to spend tons of time shopping. Not sure why. Maybe it’s part of the cultural experience? The coolest part is that we walked back from the market to our hotel and I didn’t get us lost even once! If you haven’t read previous posts about vacations we have taken, you may not understand the significance of this statement. Just take my word for it – this was huge!
Then it was New Year’s Eve. We decided to eat the buffet at the hotel. Ha! Guess even though we didn’t eat our Christmas dinner at a hotel this year, we still worked in New Year’s. Each table was set up with a party pack, so throughout the dinner, you could hear people blowing their horns and popping their poppers.
From our room, we had a fairly good view of fireworks going off in three different parts of town. The celebrations didn’t stop at midnight. We could hear people shouting, honking, cheering, and lighting fireworks until about four in the morning. It didn’t make for a good night of sleep, but that’s okay. You only see the end to 2014 in Malaysia once in your life.
New Year’s Eve 30 second video clip of the countdown.