Friday, October 11, 2013

A Night in the Malaysian Capital - The Long Road to Oz Part 1

On my way to a land down under, I had to swing by Kuala Lumpur for a couple of days of relaxation. I wasn’t sure what was going through my mind, to be honest. There were indications this was going to be one heck of an adventure. I could say I wasn’t exactly nervous. I am so used to packing and flying that the usual nerves that come with traveling has evolved into calm. God, I miss the jolt of electricity that used to punctuate these arrivals. To start the journey, Air Asia emailed me for an unexpected “task”; that as a frequent flyer, I’ve been chosen to be their “Eye in the Sky” for my flight from Clark Field in Pampanga to the Malaysian Capital. Was this a practical joke? Or has serendipity played a little game on me? Am I an “Eye in the Sky”? Guess.

There was a shortlist of things I had to take note of: How many people were on my queue at the check in counter? How long did it take to accommodate these people before my turn came? The difficult part was getting the complete name of the check-in counter staff and the flight attendant who served me. Did they seriously think I was going to ask for their phone numbers next? Ultimately, I had to ask for the attendant’s name because they didn’t wear name tags. They’d ask why, and I had to explain myself. They’d be anxious and I’d have to explain further.

At the end of this task, I will be sent a set of questions I had to answer online. If I complete the task, I am guaranteed a 50 ringgit (US $15) voucher which I could use for my next booking. How peachy, right? I was lucky there was a Filipina staff on board the flight so it was easier to explain to her because the rest of the girls were uncomfortable. Weren’t they briefed about the program? It isn’t as though the “Eye in the Sky” could guess their names without asking. The attendant had an unusual name – Lyrizza Nyx Nadiama, the prettiest of the lot. How apropos. After all, the year’s reigning Miss World is a Filipina.

The rest of the KL flight was uneventful. After clearing immigration, I hopped into a Skybus, half empty, lugging around my 12-kilogram bag. At high noon, the comfortable whiff of the AC eventually induced me to sleep, canceling out an hour of my life into a dreamless slumber. Upon reaching KL Sentral (the city’s main transport hub), it was an easy walk to the Monorail; paid my 1.80 ringgit to Imbi station, then walked to my first hotel, Beltif, along Changkat Thambi Dollah Street. 

It was another normal day in the capital. With nothing planned for the rest of the day, I took a quick meal (below) then decided to just disappear into the dark world of movie halls: Hong Kong’s “Cold War”, a police thriller about the mysterious disappearance of a fully loaded police van, including the five highly trained officers who manned the vehicle. It stars some of Hong Kong most gorgeous cast too (and three male Superstars – Aaron Kwok, Andy Lau and Tony Leung). The second movie was a Tamil flick called “Thuppakki” (The Gun) which follows the adventures of a special agent (Vijay) as he traces the whereabouts of the 12 sleeper cells who wrecked havoc during the Mumbai terrorist attack. I am not too fond of plump guys shaking their booties all over Jammu and Mumbai, but this Kollywood number, the second highest grossing Indian film of 2012, was indeed a compelling nail biter with an equally unnerving antihero.

That night, I slept with images of the Indian army and their overweight lead star shaking their derriere to a pulse pounding song.  You think that was healthy? But who can say the same about their first day in Kuala Lumpur?  

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Sinfully delicious noodle dish admixed with slices of chicken at Berjaya Times Square.

Sunny Luk and Longman Leung's "Cold War"

A.R. Murugadoss's "Thuppakki" (The Gun) - Dancing soldiers in the midst of terrorist attacks. Where else can you find that combination? Only in India. ;)

Bintang Walk near Pavilion mall. 

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