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Dankof KL Update #2
11-09-2011, 11:38 AM,
Dankof KL Update #2
This marks my second missal on my journey here to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I am taking good care of myself at the Park Royal Hotel here (!) with their gym and my diet. I am beginning my days here at 0500 hours with an orange and some Japanese Green Tea in the morning, using a British 220 volt tea maker that fires up hot water almost instantly. After that, I'm hitting the hotel gym which has the same equipment I use at my home gym in San Antonio, chiefly the pullup bar, the leg extension and leg curl machines, and the high speed treadmill. The TV is constantly set to CNN when one comes into the facility, so my 5 mile walk at an incline of 15 is accompanied by the electronic transmission of all of the usual garbage related to the news these days. The only adjustment is that the treadmill uses figures in kilometres, not miles, which necessitates reacquaintance with the conversion formulas. The weight of 70 pounds for the leg machines is marked as such, with the accompanying 32 kg in metric figures right next to it.

This regimen is followed by a hearty breakfast each morning on the first floor of the hotel. I am staying away from the considerable bread and pastry bar at the buffet, and sticking to fruit, yogurt, and some good protein. I drink more hot tea at this meal, with plenty of bottled water.

In my room, my refrigerator was stocked with Diet Coke (which I gave up completely and for good some months ago), and large cans of Heineken beer. As the staff here figures out what individual guests want in their rooms, the daily room cleaning service leaves tons of bottled water and tea bags, along with the unpeeled fruits I use each morning (oranges and bananas). As a precaution, although it is probably safe at the hotel, I'm avoiding apples, grapes and other more exposed fruits until I return to the United States on 18 Nov.

My wife will be envious of my brief tour yesterday of Kuala Lumpur's foremost technology center, Plaza Low Yat, which as it turns out, is right across the street from the Park Royal. The stores and kiosks in this place are endless, and sell laptops, ipods, PDAs, MP3s, phones, cameras, you name it. I procured an updated 8 GB memory card for my mother's Canon camera there. The Texas businessman I am traveling with obtained a special cell phone in the same kiosk where I got the memory card. Through it all, I observe that in atmosphere, the place seems to be a weird combination of Tehran's Bazaar on that southside of that city, and Silicon Valley.

The Islamic sabbath in this city is on Sunday. Tomorrow is some sort of Islamic holiday for the people of Malaysia. Given these facts, I won't be queuing up with the people I came here to see until Tuesday at the earliest. This is fine, as it gives me time to learn more about this place and to tour the most critical sites. The Islamic Arts Museum, Central Market, the National Monument, and the National Mosque, are all in the same part of KL. I plan on covering all these tomorrow and Tuesday.

My traveling partner has been in KL numerous times. I talked him into trying the Monorail system here, after doing some reading and studying about it. This train system covers much of KL, going from a place called KL Sentral (the Union Station of KL if you are familiar with Washington, D. C.) to a final stop in the city's North End called Titiwangsa. I believe we were the only Americans riding yesterday, in an environment quite different from the Park Royal Hotel. KL Sentral is the place where one can catch the so-called KLIA Ekspres high speed train to the Kuala Lampur International Airport (KLIA). It can reach the airport in 28 minutes, whereas it took a literal one hour ride by taxicab to reach downtown KL from the airport. Perhaps on our return to the airport to return to the United States, we might try this service, which claims to be the best in Asia. Time will tell.

This is a most interesting place, but I will be glad to return to home confines in San Antonio with wife and canine companions. What I don't look forward to is the 33 hour trip (21 flying hours and 12 hours in layovers) involved in going from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore to Moscow/Russia to Houston/U.S.A. But Singapore Airlines is an excellent carrier, frankly better than what I have seen of any of the American domestic carriers in recent years, and will get me back into the United States intact. I will have to drive from Houston to San Antonio for the last leg of this journey.

That is it for now. More in a couple of days. I will await return to the States before dealing with sending out any photos. . . .
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