Twin towers

Trip Start Mar 10, 2007
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Trip End Jan 01, 2007


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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Wednesday, September 19, 2007

note:-Wrote a shit load for this entry and it got erased, so I'm pissed off and am gonna try to condense it down, though I'll probably fail like i always do on that front

Arrived in Kl and things immediately got off to a good start; i met Farah, a Singaporean/Malaysian girl who used to be a tour guide here in Kl but now works in the Film industry. She was unbelievably kind and helpful and offered to find me accommodation, however when i explained that i was looking for dirt cheap dorm rooms she left me to my own devices, as this wasn't her area of expertise. She gave me her number and said to ring her a lunchtime if i wanted someone to show me around. Wicked, haven't even found a hostel and i already had  a plan for the day with a very kind very friendly person.
     Got to a hostel in Chinatown then decided to wander around the area, checking out the sights and getting my bearings until lunch, when I'd call Farah.(SCAM WARNING) Along this wandering i was accosted by a very friendly lady and her equally friendly lady boy friend. They started asking me all these question about where i was from, who i was with, where had i been etc, the usual stuff.Then they said that they had a cousin who was going to be studying in England and was really scared and asked if i would be able to go with them and speak to their cousin to reassure her about england. I was a little apprehensive about this to say the least, but they really wanted me to help their cousin, and when they said they would have me back in time to meet Farah, i couldn't think of a plausible excuse, so i agreed to go (6 months on the road and I'm still an idiot).
      The taxi dropped us at their 'uncles' house, where we were to wait for the cousin, who hadn't arrived yet. During the wait, they gave me coffee, fed me some nice Malaysian fish (despite my protests i was meeting Farah for lunch) and chatted for a while. Then their 'uncle' started talking to me about his job on a cruise ship, specifically how he worked in the casino, was due to retire in 4 years and how his wage wasn't very good for people in Malaysia. Then came the punchline; the uncle has a card scam that he wants to run on the casino, which of course is foolproof,  and guess what? thats right, its my lucky day, for he needs a partner in crime to run this scam and i just happen to be that lucky person! (So this is why I'm here) They took me into a little room and, after explaining the rules of blackjack incredibly patronizingly to me like i was a five yr old, he dealt out a few fixed hands so that i got 21 each time. Obviously therefore this scheme was foolproof, and all i had to do was 'front' $2000 to get the ball rolling. 'Ahhh, of course, its that easy'
         Now i may do some stupid things, but I'm not that stupid. I kindly laughed off and politely refused all the the variations of this scenario that were offered to me. At which point they became rather keen to get rid of me. Thankfully they weren't forceful or violent at all, as in retrospect i could have put myself in a very dangerous situation. As we were leaving i was soo desperate to say to them 'but what about your cousin?', who obviously didn't exist (especially as they had all given me different names for the cousin when i had asked) but i didn't wanna take the piss and thought I'd just get out of there now. In the end they dropped me at a bus stop, not at Chinatown as promised, but i was just glad to be rid of them to be honest.
      So thats a scam to avoid for anyone going to KL, though if your lucky like i was, you could come out of it with a free lunch, but personally i wouldn't chance it.
      So i met up with Farah at the central market building, now a 'cultural bazaar', full of arts& crafts shops, food stalls and cafes. After a quick wander around we took the bus to the petonas towers and the KLCC, where we wandered around the shopping mall whilst we waited for our time to go up to the sky bridge on the 41st floor. Farah is an unbelievably kind person, showing me around KL (and later, round her families' houses) out of the goodness of her heart, despite the fact she's very very busy, and expecting nothing at all in return. I learnt a lot from Farah, and she made my visit to KL a lot more insightful than it otherwise would have been.
    The view from the sky bridge is pretty cool, especially as you don't have to pay the 20 ringgit you have to pay to go up the KL tower! After here it was onto Masjid India, or as the guides call it, little India. Due to it being Ramadan this area is even more alive than usual, with hundreds of marquee like stalls set up along the streets, offering colourful arrays of foods, drinks and various types of clothing. We met up with one of Farah's potential future boyfriends (understandably she has several guys chasing her) and bought food from the basaar Ramadan (Ramadan market) then went to Mederka square, the square where the 50yr Independence celebrations were held, to wait for the time when Anuar and Farah (and all other Muslims) could break their fast and eat dinner. This area is littered with fairy lights:- draped from the trees and lamp posts and covering the surrounding buildings like a rash, making it a truly beautiful place at night. After too much food, i went back to sleep, great first day.
    Agreed to meet Farah again the next day, and she took me to the KL tower, the 4th largest communications tower in the world. The view from the 276th floor is worth the expensive entrance fee, as its one of those things you can't go to KL and not do i guess. In the evening we went to break the fast with one of Farah's other potential boyfriends, though it turns out (i found out when i got there) that he had no idea i was gonna come along, and was thoroughly pissed off that he couldn't spend the time alone with Farah. He refused to eat with us, and threw a strop and went off into the kitchens of the place he works  (h works in the mall food court, where we were sitting with our food) Farah followed him, leaving me with her phone (with its radio playing very loudly) and a table full of enough food for 4 people twiddling my thumbs for 15 mins. Now after all the stupid stuff I've done since i left england i don't embarrass too easily, but this left me pretty red faced. Not a great end to the day....
           Met Farah the next morning for a trip up to the batu caves. A system of 3 caves. access is via a steep 272 steps and is guarded by thieving monkeys, very adept at stealing food from unsuspecting worshipers. The most impressive of the 3 caves is the temple cave, I'll let you guess why it has its name, where people still come to pray and present offerings.
       After this my original plan got changed several times and i ended up going with Farah in the morning (12am) to her fathers house just outside of Kauntan.
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Comments

klccman
klccman on

i was so foolish
I experienced this scam as well. Being a musician, i was invited by two women and a man, who said they were phillippino, playing in a band, to a birthday party and maybe play some music. Once there the host insisted on showing me his blackjack tricks. I am completely uninterested in gambling, but OK, you are polite, so I accompanied him to the closed part next to the kitchen with a playing table. That gave me a problem when another woman came, against whom i was supposed to cooperate in my host's scam.
In Europe, as long as you play with chips, the debt cannot be enforced by law. I started to worry quickly , however, when i realised this need not be the same in malaysia. When it was getting too ridiculous, (the woman took out a pile of money saying 50000 $!), I gave up with a winning hand to end the situation, and give the woman her chips ('worth' 300 us$ or so) back. My host extorted the money from me, as I was supposed to have borrowed it from him to play. There are at least 2 men waiting in the parlor. I was glad to get out.
The took me back in brown car with licence plate 'WLC 598'. The old woman is easily recognizable: bad skin, in fat whitening powder, and she has a short, sturdy nose with a high ridge. The younger woman is average looking, hard to describe. The host is in his fifties, blushing face, short fingers long thumb nails. The house was around Jalan Indah.
for the psychologists: I got trapped because I was too lazy to be alert: I do not even like playing cards, I was just too tired to be careful or take the initiative!

klccman
klccman on

Re: i was so foolish
Update. It is the drug. I wrote this still under influence: I could not understand why I just did not say that i do not play for money. That evening and next morning i noticed my pupils were constricted. After googling a little, i think my sluggish behavior is what you get after a mild benzodiazepine dose. i had acccepted a tea when i came in!

Hakim Hamzah on

An interesting article about your visit to Kuala Lumpur. You may want to consider posting it to www.blog4ft.com to win great prizes!

benabroad
benabroad on

:) Nice idea, don't think its quite the positive promotion of KL they are looking for though. Thanks for reading. I still need to finish off about 5 months of entries from a long time back.

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