Wednesday, December 13, 2006

No motorbikes today

No motorbikes today, only cars and shopping malls, Malaysia having already become rich on it mineral, oil, rubber and oil palm resources, amongst other things.

The Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur was perfect, a full plane with comfortable black leather seats, delicious food served at very low prices and arriving 25 minutes early to the LCC, Low Cost Carrier Terminal outside Kuala Lumpur, where we were met by Uncle Malcolm who had got a little bit lost finding the recently opened terminal. It was good to see him again and we had an hour in his car to catch up with news, driving along empty roads before arriving at hisn house in Damansara Jaya, where Aunty Nina had stayed up to greet us. She was looking very well, I am happy to say.

We stayed chatting until about 2 before going upstairs to sleep in air-conditioned comfort, me waking up a good deal later than Richard, in time for a continental breakfast on the terrace at the back of the house, overlooking the fish pond, with the lilies opening up in the sun. Aunty Nina had already got up early and was out at her sister's plantation, getting durians for us to eat later in the day. There has bene too much rain here the past weeks/months, so not so good for durians, but Aunty Nina was hopeful of coming back with a good crop. And so she did, eventually.... and now I am stuffed full with too many of the delicious durians. Unfortunately she had cut herself while cutting through the durians and we just missed seeing her sister and garnd nephew as they came home just a few minutes before we eventually did.

We spent most of our relaxing day, wandering around a couple of shopping malls in Petaling Jaya, namely The Curve and Utama One, both very large, with a wide selection of shops and some excellent places for eating and great places for studying the local middle classes as they too wandered around eating, drinking and shopping. Bought some New Balance running shoes, the mountain trekking shoes not being in my size. Quite cheap, but the price of things like electronics looked to be uncannily teh same as tehy are almost everywhere else, the new Sony A-1 camera with standard 18-70 mm lens costing a thousand US dollars, the same as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Holland! Mum had sent us off on a search of a new Ninentendo game console, something none of us knew anything about, but whatever it is, it seems to be more expensive here than in the UK.

Surprisingly, a little, there were many book shops ot be found and Richard is quite keen to get his hands on Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, but even more surprisingly, it was sold out and on order at every place we asked! Other creationist books however seemed to be in great supply, due no doubt to low demand. As it was Richard bought Sam Harris' End of Faith and UNcle Malcolm bought a book about Malaysia and the Club of Doom (The collapse of Islamic countries). He thought he had better be quick about it before such a book gets banned!

A day's rest from photography, we might take the camera out tomorrow as we go to the hills out to the east of KL, weather permitting as we had a very heavy downpour this afternoon. Nice to be listening to the frogs croaking in the garden behind me as I sit here in Uncle Malcolm's study, getting ready to look through some photos of his travels.

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