Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just a brief catch-up

It's not that nothing has happened for the last three or four weeks... quite the contrary, really. But I moved into my new condo on October 5th, and, three weeks on, STILL don't have Internet access there. However, I'm assured (ha!) that it will be up and running by Wednesday, which is, by some evil coincidence, the same day that the condo management company are doing rectification work on the main water tank in my building, so there will be no water supply for FOUR DAYS!! I have to clarify with management if there will be literally no water flowing whatsoever, or if we'll just have a limited amount for that time period. (Most buildings in KL have a huge water tank as a backup.)

I went to Jakarta last week for five days, too, and I'll write about that and post some pictures soon. It was a good little escape! Next on my list is a short jaunt up to the Malaysian island of Penang, about midway up the peninsula, just off the west coast.

I also got perilously misdirected last Friday night in what proved to be my worst navigational blunder ever. I emerged from the SMART tunnel (a two-level storm water/traffic tunnel that's an engineering marvel... read about it here), trying to make my way to Taman Bukit Desa to pick up some friends for a night out in the city, and at one of the 50,000 forks in the road, went straight when apparently I should have gone left. I wound up on a highway with no turns, no exits, no chance for U-turns, no services, nothing... for over ten miles. Meanwhile, of course, my gas tank was nearly empty, and about five miles along this epic voyage, the low fuel light came on and stayed on. Panic didn't really set in until I crested a big hill and saw the highway laid out before me, stretching on for miles and miles with nothing in sight. I was on the E20 highway to Putrajaya and it was over ten miles before I was able to make a U-turn. Naturally, the exit was about 100 yards past a toll booth, so I got to pay a double set of tolls (one in each direction) for the privilege of doing a U-turn on a road I didn't want to be on in the first place, and then I got to drive, sans A/C, all the way back to relative civilization, then drive around, lost as an Easter egg, desperately searching for a gas station.

Speaking of which, gas has dropped in price here, although not as precipitously as it has in the States (from what I've been reading). It's RM2.20 per liter here, which is the equivalent of about US$2.30 per gallon. So it's cheaper than gas in the States, but not fantastically cheaper.

The new condo is quite nice, and I'll post some photos once I get proper Internet access. The unit is rather small, but it's very nicely appointed, three bedrooms, two baths, nice kitchen (hooray!), and a nice Samsung flat-panel LCD TV in the living room. I also purchased an LG LCD panel for the master bedroom. It's only 32", but it's plenty big enough for that room, and it's dual voltage and only 26 lbs., so when I return to the States, I can presumably bring it with me.

Today is Monday, October 27, and it's Deepavali, the Hindu festival of lights. It's celebrated by the Indian community in KL, but it's a public holiday for all, and everyone loves a day off, so it's appreciated by everybody here. The day celebrates the triumph of good over evil within the human spirit. Listening to one of the English FM stations here today, the DJs were exhorting their non-Hindu listeners to "get their enlightenment freak on." I nearly wrecked my car into a pole laughing so hard at that one. "Get your enlightenment freak on!" Yeah!

More later, with pictures!!


angel _on _d _loose said...

i came across your blog 2 mos ago and been reading it..i came to it by accident as i want to read abt blogs in actually just visiting friends here in damansara...

Pkr said...

I had experienced driving around and desperately looking for a gas station before. It was a total nightmare. So, I can totally understand how you felt.

Yup. Surprisingly, some of the roads in KL are actually not well-planned (even some major ones!) If you missed a turn, it may end up 3km++ of extra drive.