My flight from Auckland was messy. I must first recognise that I wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t even know how long the flight was. I was only having a hard time with the carry-on luggage, as always. When I got in the plane, I knew I had a stopover somewhere around Australia called Gold Coast. That was pretty much it. When I finally got in, after tricking all the airline staff and hiding all my over weighted baggage, I met the lovely little kid that would sit next to me the whole journey. He was a little Chinese kid that was speaking fluidly Chinese and English and was super cute. I couldn’t get annoyed to have such a lovely kid sitting next to me.
The first leg of the journey was short and we landed in Australia, as promised. On the way out and back to the very same plane, we had to have the bags scanned. That’s where the crazy situation started: the security staff thought that there was a bottle or something similar in my bag. I ensured them there wasn’t and they started opening pockets to find nothing of they were looking for. I insisted that there was nothing and the bag was scanned for a second time and then, they let me go. Two steps further I had another person looking at me because according to him, I had been to long passing security and he had to test me for explosives. WHAT?!?! I couldn’t really gather what was going on because I was still half slept and my brain definitely didn’t decide to wake up. He passed some stick around me and my belongings and tested it with a machine after, to confirm that I was clean.
A few minutes later I was getting in the same plane and sitting in the same seat that before with the same cute boy next to me. The stopover was only ridiculous situation and that was it. I got back to a nice sleep and arrive at 5am local time. I had lots of sleep during the flight but somehow I was cranky and definitely not ready for what I had to put up after. Since Kuala Lumpur airport happens to be located quite far from the city, once you arrive to the airport you still have an hour and a half more to arrive to your destination. During this time, in the bus where I was hoping to spend my journey without being bothered by anybody else, I had some man asking to be sitting right next to me, where I strategically left a bag. Mainly because all the people getting in the bus were men and it was too early for anything at all, including inquisitive looks although I am quite used to those. The man asked me the typical two first questions (name and country) and then pass on to asking my phone. Well man…No. Straight away, no. I don’t want to. He asked me why and I replied: because I don’t know you. He introduced himself by name, told me he was a business man from Indonesia but originally from Congo and then stated that by then I knew him, so maybe now he could have my phone. I couldn’t believe how cheecky he was and told him no, and even then, he was still convinced that he was going to have my number by the end of the journey, as it was long and I would change my mind. I was shocked…Because it was too early to put up with it!
Finally, I got to Kuala Lumpur and got to my guest house, only that I booked the other guest house they have and had to change. Shame, because at the reception of the first one there was this ladyboy from Thailand that seemed super fan.
And after all that and some lovely roti for breakfast, I met Angel who is friends with Eve who is the Malay girl I met in New Zealand. She was all ready to help me not to be cheated when buying a new phone. It took me a while but yes, I decided to get a new phone because I cannot trust my old one, as much as it makes me sad. I suppose it will be my own birthday present, a bit ahead. I ended up with a very nice and not too expensive phone, quite big for what I am used to! But that wasn’t the highlight of the day. After that, she took me to Genting Highlands. It was a mountain, very high which implied a relief from the humid heat of the city. At the top, there was the biggest hotel in the world, a huge casino we also visited and a Chinese Temple that I particularly loved. Outside, there were these figures to represent all the legends and hell stages and things like that in the Chinese Buddhism. I particularly enjoyed these sights, as I had been away from temples and religion for a while and these ones were quite new for me. Plus, they were explained to me by a local. It was brilliant.
After that, we visited the inside of the temple. Many of the things on display had been brought straight away from China. I was fascinated by the inside of the temple and loved it. And then, I saw the Chinese sticks that I had had the chance to do some other times at some other places. I wanted to do them again and I had a translator for the result, so it was perfect. I asked what was going to happen in the next few months. I was unsettled about this matter because I had just arrived to KL and had no idea of what I was doing or how difficult it was going to be to plan my next journeys. I got number 10 and got a yes throwing the stones at the very first attempt. We took the paper with number 10, all written in Chinese and waited for the main man at the temple to hear what he had to say. Then, he asked Angel to ask me if I was an impatient person or if I am very temperamental. If this question had been asked to me months ago, I would have said yes straight away. But I am not that person anymore and I answered no. Then, he insisted saying something to Angel, I couldn’t really understand what was going on and Angel asked to me again very kindly so I said the same and she said the man then was telling me to keep going like that. When I got to understand what had happened, I understood the whole thing. The man was insisting that I was a temperamental person because that is what the number 10 was saying and these things do not lie. He then said she must be, she must be or she has been. And yes, indeed, I have been very much I reckoned. I told Angel than then, I understood why he was saying that and then she added that just by keeping like that, everything will be alright. I went back home amazed by the fact of being discovered like that, despite my denial.
The next two days I spent the whole day working on my itinerary, buying flights in and out, getting a letter of support from an agency, etc. It was like a job, organising everything, making sense of stuff and making sure I had proof of everything so I could gather all information before applying for the visa on Monday, when the embassy was opened. After almost finishing, I got an answer from the agency that made me the letter saying that I would need 100% pre-paid hotel booking as the embassy in Kuala Lumpur was requesting so. It was Friday night and there was no way I could double check this information and started worrying. By Saturday night I tried to stay calmed and positive and finish all my good work by printing out every single thing.
I spent my Sunday away from my computer at last. It had been too much work, sometimes even postponing eating to get things done. All I could think of is: it will be worth it. It will. So I went to a park where I enjoyed nice nature, butterflies, monkeys, huge lizards, a lake, a pre-concert… It showed me that KL still had so much to offer me and it relaxed me. Then I took one of the free buses the city offers and got down where I saw a market and a nice Indian place to have food, just following my guts. And had a nice roti to eat, wondered in the market with no tourists at all and had a nice iced drink. And then I walked to the Petronas towers once more because they are just beautiful and they just deserve. I walked through a Muslim neighbourhood, some parts not very nice and wondered what the people seeing me would be thinking of a tourist just wondering like that in this neighbourhood. And by the time I reached the Petronas I was exhausted and the heat and the humidity were killing me and I just had to take a bus back to the hostel. It was way too hot.
At the hostel that night, I would meet again Ainhoa, this Spanish woman I had such a great connection with a few days before and we shared dinner in an Indian, of course! She was one of those that you meet and instantly become close and talk about stuff and share a great great time with them and exchange the contact with the hope of seeing them again somewhere, somehow! One of those with good vibes to share and that’s all it matters.
So, Monday came and I woke up early and checked out of the hostel with the hope of getting things done and getting out of KL, as the city was burning me already. And I made my way to the embassy, full of good hopes. Trusting that all I needed to do from now was to trust a bit more and be positive, trying to bring all the positive energies in the universe. I walked in, waited for my turn and said hello and started handing my papers to the administrative attending me. She kept looking at my passport and while I was not even half way presenting her my papers she just said that she was unsure about my passport. More specifically, about the stamp on my passport. I looked at her, surprised about this inconvenient and explained to her that I had previously enquired by email to the embassy and they have told me that I could get a visa in Kuala Lumpur with my passport and visa and then, she was the one surprised. Following this, she went to talk to the consulate officer and left my documents with this person an asked me to wait to see what the consulate officer had to say about this. They had me waiting for more than half an hour. She came back with a printed copy of the email. Thay had been searching and looking at it. And then, she explained to me that they said I could apply as long as my Malaysian visa was not less than 3 months. Well, I get 90 days. That’s three months for me. Not for them. For them, 3 months are 91 days and then I had less than 3 months. I tried to explain to her that technically, we were both right and that I had understood that way and that in Mars there might be water (well, I didn’t explain that, ok… but I explained everything and my travel arrangements, and how I was fulfilling every requirement and I had made my arrangements based on their email….). It didn’t make a difference. It was not going to happen. I asked and asked and asked for an exception and asked to talk to the consulate officer myself…But there was nothing that could be done. Her only solution was to apply for it in my country. I felt like crying in front of her only to see if she would pitty me… But her soul was made of ice. Russian ice.
I only could do one thing…leave the consulate knowing that I would not go to Russia and not being certain of anything else anymore. My thoughts, schemes, dreams and efforts were now thrown to the bin. My idyllic idea of getting back to Europe in a train, covering time zones, countries and long distances was not possible. My thought of working hard to make possible things was now invalid. Probably that was the worst one. That and my travel arrangements. With all my planning, I had also planned my return to Europe, to my family to some old friends but also to some special people. Two days before I trusted my secret to one person I thought I wouldn’t be seeing anymore but in fact I was dying to see again and it just happened that at the same time I had planned my return, this person would be around and we would most likely be meeting again! I didn’t say anything to anybody else because I wanted it to be a huge surprise for everybody, just showing up like that. And it was going to be a big challenge for myself to keep the secret, but was part of the story, to keep a secret and learn to live with my mouth closed for a while.
Now, everything was falling to pieces. In my head, nothing else was making sense and didn’t know what to think, what step I should be taking… It was too much, I also had planned a long stay around Malaysia in order to be able to get the visa, which would take 10 to 14 days to be processed. I couldn’t make sense of anything and by the time I got back to the hostel I didn’t even know if I was going to stay there one more day. I checked a few things on my computer and confirmed one thing: it would be impossible to get the Russian visa and go to Russia.
With that thought and the fact I didn’t know what to do but I was dying to out of KL and see new places and maybe get some beach time, I took my backpack, asked where to take the bus to Georgetown and went in that direction, unsure of getting there, when I would be getting there and where would I be getting any accommodation but with the conviction of leaving KL and coming up with something quickly. I needed a plan B, but I was so annoyed that my head would not let me think straight. So a change at least would be good. And I had heard good things about Georgetown.