A Final Snapshot…….

A final snapshot of Kuala Lumpur……

May was hot and humid, as the weather tends to be year round.  The heat can be stifling and it builds throughout the day before releasing with stunning afternoon rain storms.  These storms shape lovely afternoon skies before the rains come to cool it all down…….just a little anyway.  Do be brave and walk in these rain storms without an umbrella.  They are so lovely, they will just about cure any ailment.

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Malaysia is such a such a peaceful and respectful place with mosques next to churches next to temples next to beautiful colonial and art deco buildings next to religious icons next to modern sky-scrapers next to rustic and charming markets next to deities next to just about anything.  The people are happy, hard-working and welcoming…..and they smile.  A lot!  I guess for me, it is their genuine modesty and sweetness which is most endearing when so very often goodness and kindness has become rare.

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All seems quite right with the world when an eagle soars daily above a city skyline……….

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Public transport in KL is great!  It is clean, inexpensive, easy to understand and it is reliable.   Grab a ‘touch and go’ card and just go….on the light rail, monorail and KTM Komuter rail.  Apart from that, simply walk!

Right in the heart of KL is the Bakit Nanas Forest Reserve, one of the oldest original forest reserves and one of the only remaining tropical rainforests in KL. You will find butterflies, birds, bugs, pythons, monitor lizards and monkeys plus 110 year old Jelutong trees along with the KL tower, the fifth tallest telecommunications tower in the world.  What was most lovely while ‘lost’ in this forest was hearing the ‘call to prayer’.  This beautiful melodious sound echoed throughout the forest and its surrounds and it was a blessed moment to stand on the canopy walk and watch the worshipers kneel and  touch their heads in almost perfect unison to the ground while praying together.

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The stunning monkey filled limestone cavern of the Hindu Shrine, The Batu Caves.  After 272 stairs straight up your legs and heart will know it but it is worth ever moment to climb to the top…..

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Followers of my blog will know of my love for pre-loved and vintage clothing and I very happily picked up a ‘baju bundle’ which is some second hand (pre-loved) clothing while in KL.  With a little patience and a keen eye…okay, and a pair of disposable gloves, you will find something quite wonderful among the jumbles of clothing.  How perfectly lovely……

Before heading off to Malaysia I was suffering with a bout of hay-fever but in this smog filled city I was absolutely fine.  Not a single sniffle, sneeze or snuffle.  My hay-fever completely disappeared.  Carbon monoxide it would seem, very clearly agrees with me 🙂

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At times travel can be devoid of comfort and it doesn’t smell good and you may experience things that will challenge you, sadden you and confront you.  For me, these are sights of animals suffering or of inhumanity but in all that, there will be so many things which will dare you to risk, render you grateful, elate you and change you for the better.

The road less travelled is always the most enjoyable journey.  It is my preferred option and as with any adventure, there is no going back for you are headed in the direction you are truly meant to be travelling ……..xx

A parrot, a grain of rice and a Cemetery on the streets of KL Malaysia…..

Sometimes I just enjoy a little alone time.  It is how I best re-energise. I am a rather solitary person by nature and I never believe that is a bad thing.  Solitude is my sanctuary and I also find it to be the best way for me to relax.  FB on the other hand finds a massage the perfect way (as do many) to unwind.  Personally, I find absolutely nothing luxuriating about a complete stranger running their hands over my naked and oil soaked body!  For me, seeking out something wonderful is my Zen.

At times I like to wander the streets alone and here it KL it was no different.  No plan, deep in thought and very much in love……with this incredibly beautiful country is how I like to while away an hour or ten and it is in these moments of tranquility when I usually stumble across something quite special.

When I left Australian shores, I was given a little guidance (which could have been more of a request) and that was ‘please do not go wandering off alone and do not go down any deserted alleyways’.   Naturally, I ignored my head and that sage advice to follow my heart down an alleyway of sorts – or as I like to refer to it – ‘places your mum would not want you to go’!  

Sometimes the most wonderful experience can be found by accident. A journey can become indifferent when we know the destination but when you are unsure of the path something quite lovely can await and this was one of those times because at the end of this rather cumbersome alley……

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Was this.  A piece of tranquil beauty right in the heart of the city.

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I spent hours here walking around in the heat, occasionally seeking shade and solace under the huge banyans and rain trees which are planted throughout this most peaceful and spiritual of places.  Although the Cemetery is also located in the heart of a bustling and busy KL, I heard no traffic noise.  Skyscrapers tower over the graves like sentinels, silent and ever watchful yet the mix of modern and traditional is respectful and humble.

I stopped and spoke with the workers who tend the sites on a daily basis and they told me this was the oldest Muslim burial ground in KL.  They were interesting and interested and it was great to converse with them in broken language.  Communication should never be a barrier when travelling and sometimes it is not the words but the meaning which becomes most important.  Apart from the workers, I was the only other person there and during our conversation one of the men asked if I was afraid of being there alone.  My reply to him was ‘No, because the dead cannot harm you. The living however, are far more treacherous’.  He nodded and smiled and said ‘These are wise words’.

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Tip:  Always be respectful, do cover your legs (occasionally arms) especially when visiting temples, mosques and other religious places.  And btw, it is easier to use the entrance to the cemetery which is tucked away down off Jalan Ampang (Jalan meaning road or street) than trekking the alleyway and climbing through a small hole in the brick fencing 😉

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And on the streets of KL you can also have your fortune told.  By palmistry, by casting bone, by spiritual vision, by sticks shaken from a bamboo cup, by tea leaves or by a parrot…….. as any sensible and rational woman does!  A dear little bird will muse over a spread of cards then randomly choose.  Your fate is cast and either way your future is about to significantly brighten or darken.

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These are moments of complete whimsy and I am still a little unsure of fate and destiny and the belief by some that everything happens for a reason.  I do struggle at times with this concept as I have always believed we are the captains of our own boats and therefore we steer our passage through life just as we are the only ones to fulfill our happiness dependent on the effort we put forth.  I wonder too if the need to believe in fate and destiny allows some to ride that big heady wave of life and the trust they have in these intangible moments allows for times to be a little easier.  There are some things I do believe in and I believe in them with all my heart.  Those beliefs being that you always need to be kind.  That you need to be brave.  You cannot be helpless either for we are the only ones responsible for our lives.  I believe in integrity and humanity and I will always strive to appreciate everything and all…..and I believe in love.

So what was my fortune.  My fate or destiny if you like.  After much thought and serious contemplation the Tamil said ‘You will live in another country and you will marry and you will have great happiness in your life’!!

I didn’t have the heart to tell him he had got it a little backward and given the prediction I will admit a little skepticism began to creep in.  More than that, I convinced myself that he must say that to all the women because he, in all probability, believes that is the one thing that all women want to hear.  That they will marry, live happily ever-after, the end!

I looked at the Tamil who smiled and wobbled his head in that lovely way some Indian folk do.  He then said ‘It is your destiny, this is true’. I then looked at the little bird for reassurance.  She suddenly appeared much wiser as she cocked her head to one side as if to say ‘You may be cleverly disguised as a responsible and sensible adult but you just put your faith in a bird who frankly gets paid a tiny grain of rice for this gig’!

Perhaps the dreams and wishes that do come true are the ones you do not yet realize.  Those which are hidden, waiting for us to one day seek them out.  Though fortune telling is a little bit of fun, I cannot see myself living anywhere else but Newcastle. I will of course continue to travel and roam but there is a pull that will always see me return here.

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 I have a favorite song.  It is my most loved song of all time and it has lyrics in it which go ‘like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through, when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true’.

Perhaps in some small way I do believe, just a little, in fate because for a moment or two you get to dream and believe there is perhaps something much greater out there which guides you to more.  So rather than being skeptical I should be grateful.  I should be appreciative that my prediction was not ‘You will die alone and be found several days later surrounded by cats very poorly dressed!  You will be the one poorly dressed by the way, not the cats!!’……. xx