Friday, March 25, 2011

KL - Dilemma in KK and the Comfort of Familiarity

KL, Malaysia - Before making it back to KL, I had to see Atkinson Clock Tower right up a hill. It has somehow symbolized Kota Kinabalu, and I couldn't leave the city without paying my respect (sort of). Little did I realize that the clock tower was just a few walks at the back of Borneo Backpackers which, on its own has a historical anecdote worth telling. (It rises on "Australian Place" - and one of the three backpacker hotels habitating this "place". Australian soldiers who arrived in the island long time ago first settled here. The name stuck!)

Atkinson Tower is a homage to Francis George Atkinson, the first district officer of Jesselton (KK's original name). He unfortunately died of "Borneo Fever" at the age of 28. As a memorial, they secured a two-faced clock that was given by Atkinson's mother as a present and incorporated it to the tower. From BB, I crossed the street then immediately saw a hill. There it was! Nothing fancy, in fact it would be in its early state of disintegration.

From the tower, I walked around the hilltop. It was used as a parking lot for the nearby police (or was it army) academy. I continued to walk further, made my way down until I reached the City Hall and the adjacent City Park where a memorial of Australian soldiers who fought two 1960's wars stand. It was just a stone with names written in the middle of the slab.

I saw an Internet Cafe nearby, as well as a foreign exchange counter - two of the essential items I was looking for the first night I arrived. Great internet connect at 2 ringgit every 30 minutes. I then rushed back to Borneo Backpackers to checkout (they're rather strict with their 11AM checkout time).


The dilemma here was: do I "commute" and venture on a city-bus-and-minibus combination? It would be fun and educational if I had enough time. Or do I just take the taxi which is faster and dependable but more expensive. I wanted to experience the bus commute, so against the persuasive logic of a taxi ride, I headed to the nearby Bus Stop just across Milemewa Store where a bus was indeed waiting. I asked the "conductor", "Wawasan Bus Terminal?" He nodded, and I paid 50 cents. It wasn't quite 11 yet, but my departure was at 12:30PM. I am used to being at the airport early. I wasn't too comfortable playing with time because a lot of things could happen in between. Upon reaching the bus terminal right across Wawasan Center, I rushed to find the L.T.T. mini-bus. (It wasn't the Puputan that LP mentioned. The guy I asked instructed to look for "LTT" - so I did! The driver was also the one collecting fees - 1.50 ringgit. "Terminal 2?" I asked. He nodded. Then time started to agonizingly run ever so slow.

But I finally made it to T2 at 11:45AM!

The ride to KL was a bit bumpy and took 2 hours and 15 minutes. Arriving into KL feels like arriving at a familiar room; no more butterflies; no surprises; no photos worth taking. It was somehow comforting. But am I not here for the adventure? That will have to wait.

This is the Eye in the Sky!


Siddhartha Joshi said...

Which one is the Atkinson Tower?

eye in the sky said...

I don't have the photo in this post. Couldn't upload from my camera just yet as I am on the road, but here's its photo:

Siddhartha Joshi said...

Its a beauty!