Hi Singapore! I Need A Wee…

The plan was to leave at 12 and act rich and posh in Singapore by 1:30. However by 3:00 I was still in the queue at immigration. I had an itinerary which was pretty much thrown out the window by this point. I needed to get to the tourist area and felt I had wasted enough time. I was wiggling like a five year old needing the toilet when I got to the train station and made the incredibly intelligent decision to jump on the train just before it left instead of, well, you know…

’52 minutes’ the Singaporean train said the journey was to some place called ‘Raffle’s Place’. I sighed, and realised my plan was to wiggle for the next 50 minutes to survive. I looked at the sign and it said there was a $500 fine for eating on the train. I wonder how much the fine would have been for wetting yourself…?

I survived though and got off at Raffles Place. I went through and was in some sort of mini indoor shopping area.

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“Right, the word of the day is ‘toilet’!” I said to myself as I desperately weaved through all the shoppers. Sadly I was about to find out that Singapore had a ‘hard mode’ when it came to discovering toilets, exits, or anything for that matter. I wandered around for five minutes wondering why the country was trolling me.

“Seriously, I’ll pay ten Singafuckian dollars to find a toilet right now!” I muttered out loud. It worked and I found a toilet just to my right. I didn’t pay the $10 though because I’m not a man of my word…

Panic over! My bladder was empty and my mind was alert. It was time to explore! As previously mentioned half my itinerary was out the window, so no Marsilling Park on the way, and no Buddha Tooth Relic Temple or Sentosa at the end of the day trip either. So this was strictly just the Merloin statue thing, the floating football pitch I had seen on Wikipedia once and thought it was cool, and some weird tree things in the gardens that looked photo worthy. UFC commentator, where are you…?

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I found the Merlion statue easily enough after getting lost for a bit again, then asking a (probable) local for directions and getting lost in another underground pathway that looked simple enough from the outside. However once I found the statue it was simple from there on out. I took photos as proof, because you know, you can’t trust the English…

So yeah… Merlion – or fish lion – was pretty nice to see. I’m not joking either; it is half fish because Singapore used to be a fishing village called Tamasek (translation from Javanese: sea town) and the original name of the country was Singapura – or ‘lion city’. See? I do come out with helpful shit when needed…

Off to the floating footy pitch next over the jubilee bridge. It was cool to see the pitch because I’d always wanted to go (well, once I saw it on Wikipedia that one time…) then it was straight off to the gardens, which were also immense.

By 6:00 it was time to go home though. So after getting lost in another shopping mall in true Lewis fashion, I got the train back to Woodlands and prepared for my journey back to Johor Bahru. Did you know that thousands upon thousands of Malaysian people work in Singapore on a daily basis? I didn’t. But I soon found that out whilst getting a bus back, then spending another hour or so trying to get through immigration…

I got back to my hotel at 10. Long old day! Word of advice; if you do want to go to Singapore, make sure you fly in. Also, they should rename the shopping centres there ‘Alice In Wonderland’ because once you go down that rabbit hole you are pretty much stuck down there trying to find the exits and singing to yourself to keep your sanity. Unless you like shopping and have a large disposable income, then by all means go nuts singing ‘a very happy unbirthday’ to yourself…

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Oh yeah, and I will be back. (1) once I get more money, and (2) to see the places I missed out on. Cheers Singapore! It was worth it despite the issues I gave myself during my stay…

Kuala Lumpur. I Guess I’m Back Again…

Here we go. Take three. I feel like a shit actor…

I got to the hostel and was nursing my re-injured toe, so I had zero interest in climbing to the top bunk. The lady at the hostel had already given me a discount, but I was willing to sacrifice that in exchange for the another room which had lower bunk beds available. This didn’t matter in the end though; as the hostel manager reserved my old bed for me.

The Indian guy lying on a bed on the top bunk across from me didn’t look too impressed, but I was overwhelmed by the kindness of the hostel manager. Reason number 142 to come back to Malaysia…

As mentioned in a previous post (https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2019/11/15/malaysia-vs-thailand-at-bukit-jalil-national-stadium/) I’d cut my trip short in Malacca just to watch the Malaysia vs Thailand game at the J-Lo’s ass stadium (big in a good way), so I had a quick shower, then headed to the match.

After the match I saw some really cool looking football shirts being sold outside the stadium. I asked how much but didn’t have enough money for one. I wasn’t bothered because I assumed that the shirts were overpriced by the stadium and in fact cheaper in the markets. That is until a Malay guy on the train told me the opposite. “Oh well, looks like I’ll have to come to the Indonesia game as well so I can get a shirt.” I said to myself, knowing full well I didn’t need that much convincing.

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I spent the next couple of days relaxing. I did go to an area called KLCC where the Peter Griffin buildings (big in a bad way…) were. This is where the Petrona’s Towers are though; They actually look pretty cool, so I took a few pictures to win the day, then walked around the local park. I must admit the botanical gardens behind KL Sentral were far more tranquil.

I also went to another boutique chocolate shop called Harriston’s. I must admit I was disappointed though; the chocolates were absurdly overpriced for what they were. Maybe they are a well known chocolatiers worldwide and can justify those high prices? I don’t know. I do know I walked out of that shop singing, “They tried to make me go to rehab, and I’m like…”

Tragedy struck the next day when I found out the Malaysia vs Indonesia game had sold out, despite the J-Lo’s ass stadium holding 87,000 people. So I accepted defeat, however one of the girls in the hostel found out I wanted a Malaysia shirt, so she got me one as a surprise. Reason number 143 to come back…

I then met an Egyptian guy at the hostel. We hit it off straight away and he called me his ‘habibi’ which I’m told means ‘buddy’. I resisted the urge to say ‘I’m not your habibi, buddy!’


‘I’m not your buddy, guy!’

 

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…and we went to Chinatown together. (That’s not a euphamism, we actually went to Chinatown…) The Egyptian guy loved a photo though; and insisted I was a world class photographer. Maybe he said that because he now had his own personal photograger and about 300 photos later I realised I should have been paid by the hour. He had the same three poses for all the photos, which we did together at the same time on his last day before he went back to Egypt. See you again one day habibi!

I’m not your habibi, buddy…

After spending a few more days at the hostel – destroying my heart as Burger King had an offer on – I realised that it was time for me to move on soon. Kuala Lumpur has been my base on this trip and I am very comfortable there, but that is the primary reason why I in fact needed to leave. I wasn’t doing much travelling and soon I was in a room with four other guys who either slept during the day or were constantly in the room watching loud Youtube videos with cricket commentary, then making equally loud phone calls during the night. It was time to go and actually start seeing some places…

So I paid up until the end of the week and got ready to go somewhere else. I’d heard of a place called Terengganu, so that was enough for me to go there and see if it was any good. I spent my final day in KL (This time around. We both know I’ll be back soon…) walking around another local park and taking the calmness of the scenery in. Then got a McDonald’s (Burger King’s offer had ended…) for my last dinner there.

I left KL on a positive note, however my destination changed at the last minute when I found out buses to Terengganu were unusually high, and the next bus was leaving in two hours. The buses for Johor Bahru were leaving in ten minutes and were much cheaper despite being a longer journey. So next stop; Johor Bahru! Let’s see what you have for me, literally. I actually have no idea what is there…

24 Possible Surprise Entrants For The 2020 Men’s And Women’s Royal Rumble Matches

The Royal Rumble is so much fun to watch every year. On top of it being a really gripping match with lots of twists, they normally have a few surprise and/or joke entrances into the rumble to keep it entertaining and in some cases light hearted. Hopefully this year will be no exception.

Last year FOUR of my predictions came true (https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/20-possible-surprise-entrants-for-the-2019-mens-and-womens-royal-rumble-matches/) so I’m hoping to have similar success this time around as well.

This year is a complex one though with the emergence of AEW. This means that there will be far less possibilities with indy wrestlers or legends making a one time appearance (or signing a longer contract) without everyone knowing about it beforehand (thus rendering the ‘surprise entry’ pointless) so it is likely that WWE will be using their inflated rosters as surprise entries this year. 

Some still may be very unexpected though; here are my predictions:

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CM Punk

Let’s start with an illogical one. I know what you are thinking; this is obvious! Is it…? WWE may be triple bluffing us here. Most reactions would be that it is obvious since he joined Fox, which means people think it would never happen because it is too obvious. What if WWE makes CM Punk enter number 30, wins it, then gets his main event Wrestlemania moment? I think most fans would hate the idea, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make money…

Scotty 2 Hotty

Comes in, does The Worm, then gets thrown out by a heel. Seems easy enough to book. A nice pop for the casuals. Plus as he works at the performance centre so this wouldn’t be hard to arrange. Speaking of which:

Rikishi

If not Scotty 2 Hotty, Rikishi would be great! I don’t know what shape he is in, but have one of the Usos as number 1, the second come out as number 4, then once they chuck out the other wrestlers (Maybe another tag team?) have Rikishi come out so they can do the Too Cool dance together.

Velveteen Dream

The Dream is currently injured with a back issue, so this may be a dead pick. However if he gets cleared before then they could keep him off television until the rumble and have him come out and fight. Maybe against the Undisputed Era once they come in and establish dominance in the rumble.

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John Morrison

I put this post off in case he was the surprise pick in NXT Wargames. He wasn’t, so he could easily come in half way through the rumble instead with his red carpet style entrance and surprise everyone. If the younger fans don’t know him they’ll soon get behind him once he does a few flips. Oh, and Starship Pain…

Shawn Michaels

‘Mr Wrestlemania’ is always a possibility for a rumble entrant. It makes sense as well because he can add to his rumble stats (cumulative time in the ring, eliminations etc…). Typically this role is given to Kane, but as he is the mayor of Knox County this might be one rumble he misses. Plus Kane comes in so much that it isn’t really a surprise entrant anymore. Shawn would be better, unless they want to add to the number of rumbles that Kane has entered.

John Cena

Really…? Well, it is possible. Well, WWE likes to tease things for Wrestlemania. I’m not saying John could win the rumble, but he could do a storyline where he would do anything to become a 17 time champion. Personally I think the fans would reject it as they would feel Cena was ‘burying’ the wide range of talent already available, but there is no denying that Cena is a draw wherever he goes. Even more so now he is in Hollywood.

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Mansoor

This one makes a lot of sense; at the moment Mansoor is primarily being used to strengthen ties with Saudi Arabia. The thing is the guy is actually a pretty good wrestler though. He had a great match with Cesaro at Crown Jewel, however it doesn’t add to his legitimacy if he only wrestles two big PPV’s a year (especially against someone like Cesaro, as Cesaro could even make me look like a good wrestler…). But if he enters the rumble, he won’t just be a cheap national pride pop; he’ll be one of the boys. He’ll belong.

John Laurinaitus

“Ha ha! The crowd will absolutely hate it!”

That’s the point. For some reason this guy has nuclear heat. I don’t know why, but as far as I’m aware he hasn’t been in the rumble. So he could come out, do his spiel to get everyone to boo him, then have everyone in the ring do their finishers on him before tossing him out. Admittedly a cheap pop, but it could work.

Tyler Bate

He was the first NXT UK Champion, and he was only 19 when he won the belt. Recently WWE hasn’t put the most obvious NXT standouts in the rumble as they would be too predictable. This could catch everyone off guard and get the technical wrestling fans off their feet.

EC3

The thing is, this wouldn’t be a surprise entrant, but it would be at the same time. EC3 is in this strange position where he isn’t used, and seems completely disillusioned by life in the company. It is impossible to know whether he is doing this deliberately or not, but he is getting people’s attention. He was great in Impact, and fans would like to see him given a fair go. This may not necessarily be a traditional surprise entry, but it would be treated with intrigue, provided he isn’t thrown out after a minute or two.

Matt Riddle

If I had to guess one NXT men’s wrestler to be in the rumble, it would be Matt Riddle. He is getting momentum at just the right time and there is no reason to bring him up to the main roster right now, so come January he can come out, show us what he can do and go back to NXT, possibly challenging for the main title.

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Keith Lee

I was going to pick Lars Sullivan, but at the very last moment I changed my mind to this beast instead. Now this guy is a tank. He acts like a high flyer despite being 300 lbs, and simply oozes confidence and charisma. Lars could have been a good call, but I think Keith Lee would be a better one at this time.

Dominik Dijakovic

This guy came on my radar after some epic battles with Keith Lee (above). Recently he is getting a much bigger push and was in the Wargames match. Either two things will happen; he’ll be in the rumble come January or he’ll firmly be in NXT in a deep storyline, possibly dethroning the Undisputed Era one by one (Most likely with Keith Lee. I’d like to see Dominik win the North American Championship and Keith win the NXT title, or maybe they’ll win the tag titles…or both)

Enzo Amore

Could this really happen? The short answer is no, not for this rumble anyway. But Vince is a businessman; if it makes sense financially then it is always a possibility. Enzo is a draw, and Big Cass isn’t ready yet. So have Enzo in the rumble to get people cheering (or booing). There is no denying it would be a massive talking point for fans.

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The women’s rumble is far harder to come up with surprise entrants as quite simply there are far less wrestlers in the women’s division to choose from than the men’s. Despite this, I still feel there are ample surprises available for the 2020 women’s Royal Rumble.

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Ronda Rousey

And this would make the crowd go mental! In every media outlet Ronda is effectively retired, but the WWE are smarter than you think and can easily make you think something about a wrestler if they want to. If Ronda comes out near the end, wins it and Challenges Becky at Wrestlemania for the one on one rematch we all wanted, I’m pretty sure most people would agree that was ‘best for business’…

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Aliyah

Aliyah is a world class wrestler. Don’t believe me? Watch the video with Rhea Ripley. She sold that submission so well that everyone sat up and went “Whoa…that Rhea Ripley is a machine…” When props should also be going to Aliyah, who made the submission look like torture.

She was 20 when she joined WWE, so she is clearly no slouch, it is just the role she is in right now that doesn’t allow her to wrestle, similar to Allie in Impact a few years ago. She may not be a main eventer right now, but she makes others look a million dollars, and that is part of the job that most people struggle to master. It also helps that she is ethnically Arab, so there is a future possibility at Crown Jewel like they have done with Mansoor.

Deonna Purrazzo

Deonna has kind of fallen off the radar a bit after such a promising start. I’d like to see her in the rumble to show us what we’ve been missing. I’m pretty sure no one would expect it since I actually forgot she was on the roster…

Dakota Kai

This is more of a case of will she be on the main roster before the Royal Rumble, which means she’ll be a normal pick as opposed to a surprise one. Wargames showed that they plan a storyline around her so this might not be her year. Then again, she could always do a one night thing whilst engrossed in a storyline with Tegan Nox. Which leads me to:

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Tegan Nox

Imagine these two coming out at one and two, and kicking seven shades of slime out of each other? One thing WWE is keen to do is show that their women are bad-asses. Having these two destroy each other for two minutes – possibly with weapons – would definitely make people gasp in awe, show interest in two new wrestlers and be pumped for the rest of the rumble

Eve Torres

There have been a few legends come back, but not Eve for some reason. She doesn’t have any bad blood with the WWE as far as I know, so unless she doesn’t want to do it, I don’t see anything stopping her.

Kaitlyn

Same thing with Kaitlyn. She was loved by the fans before she retired, then met with a warm reception when she came back for the Mae Young Classic. I’m not sure whether she is in the indy scene now or taking a break from wrestling, but a one night appearance or a short term contract could be great for both parties.

Melina

Melina was a tentative pick, but after seeing her backstage for the Raw Reunion show that says to me that there may be a possibility for her to come back for one night only. She is now 40, so she can still perform but time is not on her side if the WWE want the best out of her. If they want the Melina we remember, she’ll have to enter the rumble sooner rather than later.

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AJ Lee

Or maybe…just maybe… The whole CM Punk thing could be a whole ruse and open the door for AJ Lee? AJ never left the WWE on bad terms. On top of that, she has goddess like status in the WWE. If she came back between numbers 25-30, not only would it be completely unexpected, but the whole crowd would erupt. What if her and Ronda Rousey were the final two…?

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Malacca – Or Melaka – Depending On Which Hotel You Go To…

Spellings are always different, so I’m going with Malacca…

I wanted somewhere to go for a few days before coming back to KL, so after deliberating for a while I settled on a nearby place called Malacca. I knew nothing about it, which made it the perfect place to explore…

I got into Malacca and thought the same thing that most people do; “Fuck…” Not because it was bad, but the bus station is in the middle of nowhere and I needed to get to the town. After asking an attendant who only spoke with elaborate William Shatner style hand gestures I got the number 17 bus to ‘somewhere in the town’

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I met some German girl on the bus, so I scared her with some Thai teaching stories until it was time to get off (not like that, off the bus. Calm your tits…). We got off at the clock tower and she walked the other way. Goodbye forever, random!

“Shit particles, where do I go now…?” I thought to myself as I walked confidently in one direction hoping it was right. It was, and I found a hostel for 15 ringgit a night. BEAST MODE!!!

You got what you paid for in the hostel though, as the corridors felt like a real life version of The Last Of Us. Not to mention the showers; they didn’t even have a shower head, it was just a fixed pipe that sprayed water from above like a softly turned on hose. No arousal jokes, you’re better than that…

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So after going through the corridors shouting “JOEL!” “ELLIE!” and “HOLY SHIT, INFECTED!” and then giggling to myself, I went to scout the place. I didn’t want to go far, but I wanted to get an idea of my surroundings at get a feel of the place. I got a feel alright; I smacked my toe into an uneven bit of concrete on the pavement. And before you ask; yep, the same toe…

I think I shouted five different swear words in less than a second, and limped the rest of the way back to the hostel. I couldn’t believe I’d whacked the same toe so I just hobbled back speechless in disbelief, and took that as a sign to do very little for the rest of the evening.

Day two was tourist day, so I walked – very slowly I might add – around the city. Fortunately everything was pretty close so I went to an old church that was falling apart. It was…old. Then I went to Chinatown and saw a few things there including the clock tower, the bridge, and other generic things that make people go ‘oooh’. Pictures? Sure, why not?

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I wasn’t done yet though; as I went back, had a shower in the derelict looking shower then sodded off to Malacca island. It was walkable so I thought I’d have a cheeky gander.

…except it was kind of like a industrial estate. I walked around with an oblivious smile pretending I meant to be there, then subtly got my app out and frantically opened up maps whilst pretending to act cool. Eventually I saw there was a cool as fosque Mosque, so I strolled there whilst singing Ludacris songs…

Mosque photos? sure, let me throw some at you. I’ll even add the one of my finger with the tower in the background because that is how talented of a photographer I am…

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My decision to stay one more night was abandoned though when I found out Malaysia were playing Thailand the next day in KL https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2019/11/15/malaysia-vs-thailand-at-bukit-jalil-national-stadium/ and I went to the night market in Chinatown to get a feel of it before I left.

Only the night market didn’t exist. I asked around and some guy said “Friday, Saturday and Sunday!” so my plan was thwarted. The  I walked past a place called Oriental Cafe and they said they had live music later. The prices were slightly above my budget, but I hadn’t treated myself since getting here so I let my guard down and got some food there. It was OK, the Asian food looked a lot better than what I had (the fish and chips) and the hostess was super friendly. The singer was really good too! The hostess asked me to ‘challenge’ him with some songs, so I duly obliged and picked a few songs that were good but not necessarily mainstream. I won, as he panicked and sang ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ instead…

And that was it! I was in and out of Malacca like a normal traveller would be. There have been certain things keeping me in Kuala Lumpur so my travel has been unusually slow, so it was nice to bounce through a place and not overstay my welcome so to speak. But now I’m back in Kuala Lumpur it will be interesting; I’ve exhausted most of the touristy things to do so now it will be like living there and will have a different feel to it. I wonder how it will go…

Kuala Lumpur: Part 2 Of I Don’t Know How Many Parts It Is Going To Be…

I got back to Bullockcart hostel and said hello to everyone at the hostel. They were very surprised yet happy to see me back since I hadn’t planned on coming back soon. It was nice, but the hostel was very busy, which meant I had to climb up to the top bunk with my bad foot/toe. Oh, middle class problems…

I woke up and saw that there were some blonde German gym instructors in the hostel. Not only that but they were walking around with their shirts off showing me up with their chiselled bodies. The hostel temporarily looked like this Simpsons episode:

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…But I survived – and felt slightly motivated to work out more – then decided I needed to do something that day rather than sit around and do fah-kool. So I went to Chinatown and took a few photos of the temple there. On the way back I walked past a Beryl’s chocolate van and began to fantasise. Most people fantasise about other people, whereas I drift off and smile when I think about chocolate.

“I wonder where the van is going to…?” I thought to myself. Then I looked past the van and saw a hidden chocolate shop that was 100% not on Google Maps (Trust me, I would know…)

“EVERYBODY DANCE NOW!!!!!!” I thought as I wondered in, tried all the free chocolate on offer and bought a few items for other people, and of course myself. Productive day!!!

The next day involved The Batu Caves. I wrote about it before, so here’s a link, and here’s a couple of pictures:

https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2019/11/08/batu-caves-kuala-lumpur/

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Then it was Joel and Raj’s last day in the hostel. Joel was going back to The Philippines and Raj was moving into a new apartment with some workmates. So we had one night out like lads do. We put on our finest clobber (I say we; they did. I was in tracksuit bottoms and a football shirt because I ooze style…) and hit the town. I’d love to lie to you and say we drank until 4 in the morning, but the reality was we went to the tourist area, got schwarmas, and, erm… went back…

Still a great night though since we had a laugh. I also bought a massive Malaysian Diary Milk chocolate similar to an Aero bar called ‘Diary Milk Bubbly’ beforehand:

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…so we all scoffed on that when we got back to the hostel. Joel bought a schwarma (Middle Eastern style kebab) for Julia – the hostel manager – as well. We had our feast, and before you could say ‘AEW reference’ everyone was out of the hostel and I was on my Todd…

I was sitting in the hostel by myself wondering what I should do next, then I got a couple of messages from separate friends saying they were going to be in KL briefly (not at the same time) so I went to see them. One was a girl called Kate whom I met in Macedonia a few years ago, so we caught up to see how each other was doing. Kate bought all my books before, so it was great to be able to chat about the books and not worry about giving away any plot twists. And more importantly, it didn’t feel like a sales pitch!

The other guy was an Aussie I met in India about ten years ago called Sam. It was nice to catch up after all these years and pick up where we left off. It is bizarre how our lives have both taken such different paths since we last met (He’s been living in Sweden with his girlfriend, whereas I have not been living in Sweden with his girlfriend…) yet we saw each other, had a laugh like we hadn’t missed a step, then went on our respective ways. I guess that happens a lot when you travel. See you in 2030 Sam!

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Unrelated photo inside the chocolate shop. Because sex sells, but so does chocolate…

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My toe was feeling a bit better, so I decided to go away for a few days. It seemed like the right decision since the hostel room was getting packed and everyone had staggered sleep patterns, which led to the lights almost always being off. I looked online for somewhere close to go because I needed to get back to KL in a few days (More on that another day) and settled on a place called Malacca, so that’s where I went. I said toodle-oo to Kuala Lumpur for the second time and was off to place number three on my trip. Funny really considering that I’ve been on the go for over a month, but that’s what my heart wanted so slow travelling in is. A far cry from when me and my mate Matt did France to Greece in 13 days…

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https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/stops-7-8-and-9-nice-diano-marina-and-cervo/ 

Malaysia Vs Thailand At Bukit Jalil National Stadium

A last minute scramble led me to abandon Malacca and rush to Kuala Lumpur so I could watch Malaysia vs Thailand. I’d never seen an international game before, so now was as good a chance as any to take advantage of the spectacle, and considering the two teams involved I was almost guaranteed to enjoy myself.

I got into KL at 4, and planned to leave my hostel at 5:30. I knew the bus from around the corner would take me just outside the stadium and was by far the most direct form of transport. So I set off early in case anything went wrong.

It was a good job I did; an hour and twenty minutes later the bus still hadn’t arrived. After a few angry grunts from fellow travellers when I asked for information I cut my losses and jumped on the train instead.

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The train from KL Sentral to Bukit Jalil (Change lines at Masjid Jamek) was 4.90 rm – or 90p – each way. 40 minutes later and the enthralling experience of taking a packed bus full of Malaysia fans, we arrived at the stadium.

“Right, follow the crowd…” I muttered to myself. I needn’t have bothered since the stadium holds 87,000 people and was visible from the station. Also there were a huge trail of shirt sellers all the way to the stadium. I wasn’t getting lost anytime soon…

I didn’t know how much a ticket was, so I was armed with over 100 ringgit just in case. I saw on some unreliable website tickets were between 40 and 60 ringgit. At the stadium it was open tickets for 40 ringgit (~£8), back of the net!!!

The stadium had a pulsating energy about it, and even though I had lived in Thailand for so many years I was definitely a Malaysia fan for the night. I took my seat on the second tier (the first tier was saved for the die hard fans known as the ‘ultras’) in the third row and waited for the match to start.

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Kick off…couple of photos…scene missing…one-nil to Thailand. I did my best not to cheer the goal and get lynched, then looked around and wondered if it was going to be a long night for Malaysia.

Thailand never really put much pressure on Malaysia though, and despite dominating the game Malaysia began to grow in confidence, and against the run of play randommalaysian#9 slotted the ball into the far corner. The 39,363 in the crowd (presumably not the Thai’s though…) went wild!

Thailand were rocked, and it showed in the second half. The only thing really saving them from the constant Malay counter attacks was the colossus at the back of the Thai defence called Manuel Bihr, or as I nicknamed him: ‘Virgil Van Thai-yke’.

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The Malay ‘ultras’, who were vocal throughout the entire match

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Eventually the Malay attack swooped in and some fella called Brendon Gan Seng Ling dinked a delightful chip that not even Van Thai-yke could stop, and that left secondrandommalaysian#9 to volley a shot off the bar and in.

TWO BLOODY ONE!!!

If anything Malaysia could have got a third. They had a few two-on-twos and two-on-ones, but they lacked composure at key moments of the attack. Either that or Van Thai-yke had it covered…

So yeah. Two one Malaysia. It was a cracking night and I photobombed over five Malay photos because I wouldn’t be Lewis if I didn’t. Now looking forward to the match against Indonesia on Sunday and this time I want to get a Malaysian shirt while I’m there…

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

Every so often some local person would rave about this place called the Batu Caves. I’d done some very dangerous caves before in The Philippines so I was a bit apprehensive, but in the end I decided ‘bugger it’ and went for a day trip, since I had nothing else to do and it didn’t involve walking too far…

I got to KL Sentral and took a train straight to the Batu Caves, It cost a grand total of 2.60 ringgit (50p) each way so naturally I gave them the money as frantically as possible in case it was a mistake and before they realised it.

I did take a while to get there, but that was only because I had to wait 40 minutes for the train to arrive. I’d already put my weird coin thing through the turnstyle so I couldn’t exactly go anywhere. So to pass the time I was studying the train map. I’d love to tell you that I could now smash an exam about the Kuala Lumpur train lines, but I think we both know that that isn’t true…

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So about about 30 minutes (I don’t know, I wasn’t paying attention, but lets just say 30 minutes…) I rocked up to the Batu Caves.

“Right, where the Finding Nemo do I go now…?” I asked myself as I looked around. Everyone else was not-so-confidently walking in a general direction so I thought I’d follow them, and aggressively blame them for no reason if it wasn’t in fact the way.

It didn’t matter because after 3 minutes of walking I eventually saw a beasty looking tourist attraction to my left, complete with a big ass buddha (or BAB)

“I’m guessing that’s the fella…” I thought confidently, and walked like a champion towards the steps.

After taking a few steps I was acting like a tourist until suddenly I was face to face with a monkey sitting on one of the poles, something like this:

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“JESUS!!!!” I shouted in jest as in moved my head back as if I was Tyson Fury dodging punches from Tom Schwarz.

After I realised I wasn’t close to death and the monkey didn’t give a shit about me, I headed up to the top of the steps and waltzed around the caves. I saw some gorgeous scenery and the raindrops coming through the caves added to the tranquility.

The steps coming down were a bit more challenging as they were steep, and it was raining. I managed to not fall down the steps like this and have Stewie laugh at me…

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…And I then ruined a few people’s photo’s by accidentally walking through them at the worst moment. “Incredibly sorry old chap…” I should have said in a posh English accent to charm them, instead I kind of blurted out “…OH! SORRY MATE!” in a lower class English accent…

Then I got the train back to KL Sentral and treated myself to a McDonalds. It’s only £2 for a meal out here, so I might as well take advantage of it while I can. I’m double cheeseburgering the shit out of this country…

 

Random Chinese Restaurant in Penang

When you travel you expect to have these grandiose memories of doing amazing things. For example going up a mountain, meeting your future spouse in a stunning resort by the beach, going to the worlds most beautiful tourist attractions that most people have only seen in a photo… But usually that isn’t the case; your memories consist of little snippets of things that happen while doing your trip. Usually things you don’t think twice about while doing them, but when you look back all you can do is smile.

In my case it was Sam, the owner of the small Chinese restaurant down the road.

There was nothing assuming about this place. I simply wanted a cheap lunch and to sample some local food. I saw a sign, and it opened up my eyes I saw the sign:

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…But the sign was just a menu in English.

Sam ran out and offered for me to sit down, asking if I wanted bbq pork with noodles or roast pork with noodles. I would have felt like an arsehole if I walked away, so I sat down and munched the afternoon away, and it only cost me 6 ringgit (£1.20) for the privilege…

The next day I was wondering where to go for lunch, and knew Sam’s restaurant was 100 metres away from the hostel so I felt lazy and tried the roast pork. Sam looked genuinely elated to see me come back, so I felt welcome. He didn’t even mind that I didn’t order a drink. (drinking water is not free in restaurants in Malaysia, and even a small bottle of water is at least a third the price of the food. So most people don’t order drinks.) I’d been in restaurants that either charged you for not drinking water, or flat out kicked you out if you didn’t order a drink, so it was nice that he didn’t mind.

So the next day when four of us decided to go to the national park but get some food beforehand, I took them to Sam’s to give him a bit of business. He was surprised, but obviously happy for the custom.

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I didn’t go back for the rest of my time in Penang, except for the day I was leaving. I got lunch there just before my bus came and told him I was going. He said he hoped to see me again soon, talked about Watford (as you do…) then gave me a tea for free as a token of friendship. I didn’t give him a Watford shirt in return (I can’t even afford my own!) so I took a selfie with him instead…

So cheers Sam for creating a positive memory of George Town for me. If someone mentions they are going to George Town I will mention all the generic things that most people say – and specifically for me the Thai restaurant my old student runs by the coast – but I will also mention Sam’s humble Chinese restaurant by Just Inn Hostel, and say to them to tell him that the Watford boy sent you…

George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Let’s Get This Visa Rubbish Sorted…

You know the score, I had to sod off to Penang to get my visa sorted. Personally I wanted to leave it until the end of the trip but after all the drama I went through I thought it might be best to get the visa now, then enjoy the rest of my trip without thinking about it.

I got off the bus at some randomino town just south of George Town. My map decided it was a good idea to not help me, so I decided to go old school and figure it out myself. After getting some vague directions to go to a bus stop, then avoid the army of taxis saying the bus didn’t exist I found another straggler wondering aimlessly in the same direction. He must have got the same info I did…

His name was Michael and he was from Portsmouth (I think. Definitely somewhere in the south. I’m going to take a wild swing at it and see if it hits…) and after a load of kerfuffling we finally got a bus to Komtar, the main bus station.

“Do you know where you’re going?” I said to him as we got off the bus.

“Yeah.” He said assertively. then we said our goodbyes.

“I’m glad he does, because I haven’t got a fucking clue…” I thought to myself as I got off the bus and confidently strode into any general direction.

I wandered around in circles for a while whilst following my phone map (fake it until you make it. Maybe I should set my goals higher…). I then eventually found my hostel, settled for the evening and went to beddy byes.

After a few nights of doing nothing I looked around the hostel and saw everyone on their phones. It was depression central. “I got to do something about this…” I thought.

“Hey fuckers, do you fancy going out for dinner tonight?” I said…no I didn’t. It was a lot politer than that.

So me and my newly acquired Germanator went to get some Indian food, then the plan was to meet my former student a the bar area called Love Lane at 9ish (more on her later.)

We rocked up at 9:30 and got some drinks, I didn’t want to drink alcohol but I had one because Ger-Man-Ji was drinking and I didn’t want him to be drinking on his Todd. After a while I found out my student wasn’t coming because her restaurant was full and she couldn’t leave, so we went to bar number two.

I was ready to call it a night, but Germs Lehmann convinced me to go into this bar and sit next to some above average girls innocently drinking on their own. It’s a good job he did because we ended up having a great night. We also played some kind of sexually aggressive jenga where every block had something sexual on it. I’m guessing they were all written by a guy named Imran because most of the dares involved kissing Imran. I feel sorry for his wife…

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Proof the above average Dutch girls exist. I know your eyes are more drawn to my GLORIOUS Watford shirt though, and I don’t blame you…

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The next day involved going to Penang national park, but I’ve already written about that so here’s the link to the post:

https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2019/10/28/day-trip-to-penang-national-park/

The day after that, I was looking for something to do so I browsed through Google Maps looking for something to save the day when I noticed something on the map close by.

Two chocolate shops.

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“BACK OF THE FUCKING NET!!!!!” I shouted to no one in particular, and set off like one of the seven dwarfs to get some chocolate for the mother, and of course for myself.

“Would you like to try some chocolate?” The lady offered as she held out various samples.

“I would LOVE to try some chocolate!” I replied as I attempted to bankrupt them. I got my chocolate – and chocolate for the mother, and headed off on my merry way…

Monday was visa day, except it wasn’t because the Thai embassy celebrated Diwali for some reason and closed the embassy. I was getting too comfortable, so even though I didn’t fancy dealing with the rush of visa people on Tuesday I went anyway. It wasn’t fun, but I got the visa in the end. Hooray for me!!!

Oh yeah, slightly off topic; our hostel nearly got flooded because why not? Here’s a picture to prove it:

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In the evening I was reading my book and a Spanish girl sat next to me. We ended up chatting for hours about Spain and Catalonia, and other various serious topics.

The evenings entertainment was about to start though; as her door lock decided to die, with her on the outside and her boyfriend on the inside. So I got some food and enjoyed the show. The grand finale was the guy working there smashing the door in with a screwdriver and a hammer at one in the morning. The door knob was off completely, but the door was still locked. Poor old Oscar on the inside calmly said he would be fine as long as someone slipped some cheese under the door. Eventually we broke in (I say we, I did literally nothing…) and I retired to my room feeling like I got my money’s worth…

After going to see my former student at her restaurant (See? I told you I’d talk about her later. I’m a man of my word:

https://sirlewisofclarke.wordpress.com/2019/10/30/teacher-student-reunion/

I went out with the Spanish couple. I also showed them my old teaching book that contains English lessons. One of the lessons was to do with swear words, including 15 different ways to use the word ‘fuck’. Students don’t need to constantly go through boring verb tenses; they need to know to correctly use the words ‘shit’, ‘bollocks’, ‘bitch’ and slightly more aggressive words in the right context. That’s why I’m good at what I do. Actually I don’t have a job right now, so maybe that is why…

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The Spanish couple, the hostel owner, and moi

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And that was pretty much it in a nutshell! I’m back in KL now deciding what my next plan of action is. I might travel, but I might just stay here. I’m definitely sticking to hostels though because I enjoy interacting with people who come in and out. Hotels are fun if you are on holiday, but I’m looking to have fun, and you can’t have fun sitting in a hotel room on your own scrolling through Facebook until two in the morning…