Kuala Lumpur: "R x T = D"

Kuala Lumpur


July 7, 2006

Dear Family and Friends, 

Selamat pagi. Good Morning.

Did you know that the lift at the Menara Kuala Lumpur travels at an ear-popping rate of 276m in 58 seconds?

The lift at the Manara Kembar Petronas travels at the rate of 5m per second.

So, can anyone tell me the kph for each lift? How about mph? Don't ask me! I was an English major, remember?


Pulau Pankor: "Island Paradise?"

Pulau Pankor


July 9, 2006


Dear Family and Friends,

I am on the beach, sitting on a white-gray, very long driftwood log deposited on the golden sands of Pulau Pangkor, in Perak. I am facing the sun setting in the Laut Andaman, at the northern end of the Selat Melaka.**

I am on Pangkor Island, a four-hour uneventful drive north from Kuala Lumpur on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. After three hours the bus driver was kind enough to stop and wait for me when I said "toilette!"

Then a ferry ride to the island and a pink Volkswagen van-taxi to the charming-sounding Hornbill Hotel. The bus was scheduled to leave KL at 12:00 and the ferry from Lumut at 4:40. In both cases, those times were, I am sure, the honest hope of the ticket seller.

Ipoh, Kuala Kangsar, Perak Tong, Kota Bharu: "Loosen Up? My Good Luck"



July 13 2006

Dear Family and Friends, 

I am up before dawn and in the dark I leave behind one of my favorite shirts drying on the line at the Sunset View Chalet. The ferry leaves for Lumut at sunrise.

Ipoh! Ipoh! Announces the driver of the red Roadway bas as we depart the stesen bas at 07:30.

At one point during the two-hour ride to Ipoh, through small towns and villages, stopping here and there for local school children and shoppers, I call the Hotel Excelsior!!!

Yes. I sprung for a HotLink Malaysian SIM card.

Loosening up a bit more, I check into a top-of-the-line mid-range hotel and head out for my stroll of the city.

Pulau Perhentian: "Loosen Up? My Bad Luck"

July 15 2006

TO: Resident Manager

Perhentian Island Resort

Pulau Perhentian



Dear Sir:

I know that in Southeast Asia it is considered outrageously insulting in the extreme to raise one's voice in anger. I know that it is considered quite rude to complain.

So, instead I am writing you this letter to tell you about my "bad luck."


Kuala Terengganu: "Stuff Happens"

July 25, 2006

Kuala Terengganu



Hello Everyone,

On my way south from the pier at Kota Basut to my next destination, Kuala Terengganu, in a completely unrelated incident, I re-injured my knee.

Fortunately, and I do mean fortunately, all of the mid-range hotels were "completely booked" for the celebration of the Sultan's birthday. I arrived at the four-star Hotel Grand Continental limping on my walking stick and in pain.

Kuala Lumpur: "The Batu Caves"

Kuala Lumpur
23 April 2010
Dear Family and Friends,

Fifteen kilometers (nine miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves lie inside a towering limestone formation. 

Standing 42.7meters tall (140 ft) the Hindu deity, Lord Murugan welcomes the devotees and visitors to the caves and the shrines.
To get to the main cave, I climb the 272 steps, while the resident monkeys eye my water bottle.
The cave complex is filled with colorful carvings of the Hindu pantheon and scripture.  I recognize my old friends Shiva and Ganesha.