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From Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi Island

For our regular readers We know it's been ages but we're on vacation! It takes work to do this blog. What, in the name of all that is holy, do you want from us??

For our new readers Welcome to another quick update to our timely travel adventures!

Shirl reading in her upper berth.On February 26th, we took a night train to the island of Langkawi for some well-deserved R&R. You already saw the train station of KL in our Feb 27th entry. Before we started our trip almost nine months ago, we thought we would be on trains all the time, going from one remote station to another, ridin' the rails, fending off robbers, and singin' the blues. Instead, we're stuck in our two-berth lockable cabin with sink and fresh linens as the train huffed and puffed along the Malaysian countryside. At one point we thought we had arrived but instead we were stopped due to flooding of the tracks where it had just rained. Our train pulls out as we barely have enough time to gather our things and get off.Turns out if they can't see the tracks because of water, they won't go forward because the ties are so old that the track could be off and derail the train. Somehow they figured out how to route around it and we continued on, arriving at the train station for the island of Langkawi a little over two hours late, but giving us some extra time to sleep right up until the conductor came through to tell us we were arriving in a few minutes. Thanks for the heads up!

After an uneventful ferry and even more un-uneventful taxi ride to our hotel called Mali Perdana, we discovered how much Shirl's hard work in snagging the best room on the end had paid off. We had a view of the water and unlike many other "on the water" resorts, this one was actually, really, on the water. Oh, and the water temperature was that of a warm bath. So we donned our suits in regular fashion and got moisturized with the goodness that can only come from the energetic meeting of a couple of frisky hydrogen molecules when putting the cosmic moves on an unassuming oxygen molecule (which science still hasn't figured out how that happens and isn't too clear about the love thing either).

But what we needed most, just hangin' and not doin' much, is what this island town is all about. After a few days it does get a little repetitive, so we found ourselves looking around for something other than decent Internet (which doesn't exist) and glomed onto the cable car as Rowan and Shirl's Big Adventure.

A bridge across the sky.When we got on, it's a gondola style car much like a ski resort, it seemed like it would provide a great view, which it did. What caught us off guard was not realizing that once we got off, it was only the first of three platforms. Two more brought us to much higher vistas and onto a semicircular bridge that spanned a lot of nothing except gave us amazing views all around.

 On March 5th we flew directly out of Langkawi back to Singapore for the fourth time, getting some things done and then making our way back to Chiang Mai, Thailand, where we are now.

Wait! You've read this far? You must either be one of our diligent readers or a process server trying to figure out where we'll be next. Well, either way, here's a treat. In addition to the boat-loads of books Shirl reads, she also scans the local papers for quintessential news items of note.

And for those of you who are trying to keep up with world news, here are some tidbits from the March 3, 2012 edition of the New Straits Times, published in Singapore and obtained in Langkawi

Credit: ODDEE1.  "Japan slaps curfew on cat cafesTokyo:  Times are looking tough for Tokyo's cat cafes, where feline afficionados can drop in for tea and some time with a cat.  At most such establishments, it's the post-work rush that brings in the most cash, with tired and harried professionals dropping by on their way home to pet and play with the animals as a way of relieving stress.  ...  A revision to Japan's Animal Protection Law will slap a curfew on the pblic display of cats and dogs, forcing cat cafes to close at 8pm." 

If only we had known about these when we were in Tokyo!

and 2. "Indonesian women get husbands' pay to stop affairs:

Credit: AFP PhotoSulawesi:  Thousands of male Indonesian civil servants had their monthly pay transferred to their wives' bank accounts this week in a bid to stop men having affairs.  The Gorontalo administration on northern Sulawesi Island issued the recommendation early this year to its 3200 civil servants, saying it would help control funds usually spent on mistresses.  ...  'Men are usually unable to control their behaviour if they have too much money in their pocket,' government spokesman Rifly Katih said.  'I'm sure this will eliminate the possibility of love affairs that undermine families.'  About 90 per cent of the workers are voluntarily taking part in the initiative,' Rifly said.  'This will also empower the employees' wives to learn about household budget management . . . .'  Rifly did not know how many civil servants had cheated on their wives."

Oh, boy.

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