Wednesday, July 14
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I stopped by for one last lunch at my second favorite Kuala Lumpur food stall, located in a drab alley right off the main market in Chinatown. Yeah, the buffet-style food was only luke-warm, but it was full of at least 100 essential vitamins and minerals! Plus, the lady who works there cracked me up every day with the way she talked and her mannerisms. She was so adorable. Then that much-dreaded creature known as the Travel Day reared its ugly head. The express train to the airport was pleasant enough--silky smooth and fast as hell, covering the 30 or so miles in just 28 minutes. The only problem was once I arrived at the airport, I couldn't find an Air Asia counter anywhere to check in. A lady at the info counter informed me that I had to take a bus to another terminal 15 miles away! Is it just me, or do you also think it's kind of crazy that Kuala Lumpur's airport is divided up into two parts that are miles away from each other? There was no mention of this fact from the Air Asia ticket agent, the train ticket counter, my guidebook or anywhere else. After I made it to the other terminal, I was waiting for the plane to arrive when two young, blonde German ladies sat next to me. We didn't speak to one another, and it was a strange coincidence that when I went to sit down in my seat on the plane, there they were again, posted up right next to me! My, how odd.
Unfortunately, the only affordable flight was either super early in the morning, which was not really do-able for me, or late at night, so I chose the night version as the lesser evil. I made it out to the front of the airport in Phuket, Thailand at 9:15 p.m., a half hour after the last bus departed to Phuket Town, home of cheap backpacker hostels, 20 miles away. There was a mini-bus available for $3, but required a minimum of 10 passengers, and I was the only one waiting for it, as most other people go to resorts in other towns. I ended up splitting a taxi with a friendly young Thai man to Phuket Town for $10 each. The driver dropped me off at Phuket Backpacker Hostel, a really clean, nice-looking place. I was really lucky to get a bed in a dorm room bunk, because this is peak holiday season, and Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. After I showered and lay down in bed, I got a bunch of mosquito bites on my legs. Let's hope there's no Malaria or Dengue Fever here!