Friday, September 30, 2011

(Travelogue) Oriental Outings Day 15: Penang to Kuala Lumpur

March 15, 2011

Twin Towers in the evening

That was almost the end of our short – two night – stand with Penang and also the start of a similar thing with Kuala Lumpur.

We were again late for the ‘Best of Penang’ breakfast; however, we had enough time to have a chat with the University troupe, before catching the 11 hrs KL bus, we met yesterday, and their group leader who volunteered in Pakistan after the earthquake of 2005.

She was speaking very high of Pakistani hospitality and the entire group– some of which may know the country through CNN – were listening with all their ears. It was awe-inspiring the way she explained the natural beauty of our gifted homeland.

Scope of the discussion started widening, from life in America to the differences between Western and Eastern cultures. Before it would have got unending and we would miss our bus, we said goodbye to them after exchanging our email addresses.

The Labour Day
We had to take the bus from outside the Prangin Mall, close to the famous Komtar building, which was walking distance from where we were staying. But that was not an easy walk with the heavy rucksack on my back, a loaded stroller in the front, and a hot sun over the head. For Urooba also, it was hard to hold Misha who refused to keep stuck in her pram due to humid weather. I got dehydrated and even started fumbling.

Thankfully, we reached to the bus stop well within time and without any major happening. Taking the time advantage we did some quick haggling inside the shopping mall.

Yet Another Bus Journey
The Mesra Liner Express first took us to Sungai Nibong, the main bus station of Penang, before tracking back to join the Penang bridge, which connects the island to the mainland. Rest of the journey was uneventful except for two brief stops, first somewhere midway to have a quick snack-cum-lunch, and then at a local bus station in KL to offload some passengers. It was around 4 pm when we reached KL Sentral, the trademark transportation hub of the capital city.
Long sot of Penang Bridge from inside the bus

Misha in good mood

Spacious seating of 2x1 buses
Umair of Lahore
Unlike Penang, we did have clues where to stay in Kuala Lumpur! Umair Rafiq, a Pakistani expatriate – and a Couchsurfing member – was kind enough to spare a bedroom of his cozy flat located in Wangsa Maju, one of KL’s residential neighborhoods.

As per Umair’s instructions, we first took LRT – Light Rail Transit – from KL Sentral to Wangsa Maju and then walked a couple of furlongs, with all the luggage, to finally find our couch.

March 15 will be remembers as a labour day in mozumbus’ history!
Back to Work
It was around 6ish when I received a phone call from Saad, a Travel Buddy member from Karachi who was also visiting KL at the same time to attend a youth conference, informing that he and his colleagues are planning to visit the city center, referred to as KLCC in the local jargon, and that we could join them too.

We did not waste much time and, after setting our bags in the room and getting a bit refreshed, made it back to KLCC, again through LRT, this time without the heavy luggage. Our tummies could not afford any further socializing, so we chose to have dinner first.

While we were discussing if the food taste’s differently as compared to what it does in Nando’s Karachi outlets, Saad managed to spot us. Actually, it was our first meeting, and that too in a foreign land, while we share the same suburban town!

Saad et all
The group with Saad was multicultural; one from Thailand, one from Indonesia, a couple of guys from Malaysia, and one from Bangladesh. Xxx guided us to the popular showground to take some night snaps of world famous Twin Towers!

From inside LRT

Roof of KLCC

Twin Towers
It was past midnight when we got back home and had a brief chat with our host Umair – a young software engineer who grew up in Lahore and Dubai before settling in KL with his equally welcoming family.

A long shot from Wangsa Maju

Misha and Umair's son Rayan
A decorated mosque from Umair's window

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