KL & Beez to 18th
Kuala Lumpur and Beez Neez to the 18th of March
Monday morning up bright and early. I didn’t have to wake up as I hadn’t been to sleep for more than a hour the whole night. The wall beyond our bedroom housed the workings of two of the hotels five lifts and each time one passed I heard a rasping and an ‘eeee-ing’ just the sort of noise I cannot blank out, with thirty six floors the lifts were only silent from about four until half five. Of course that was not a bother to Bear but when I got him to listen he did hear what I was on about.
Dressed smartly we packed our information for our nine o’clock appointment, a quick stop en route for a picture of Bear. Application forms, Passports (with two blank pages), copies of our last entry stamps to Malaysia, copies of our Passport information pages, two photos each, copies each of our Chinese flight tickets and our Letters of Invitation from the Travel Agents. Twenty minutes on foot and there we were on the fifth floor with about a hundred people in the queue. We showed the security man our appointment slip and he bade us jump the queue to present ourselves to one of the initial check people. A local pushed between Bear and me but one of my ‘stop a speeding train’ looks, a few curt words and order was resumed. Our checker queried with his next door neighbour if my two blank pages – on one leaf as opposed to next to each other was OK and a relieved me took number 92 and we sat to wait. Half an hour later we were in front of a young lady with poor English, she got a colleague to explain that we had “low to zero chance of being granted our Visas”. We explained that we had checked everything on the website and even telephoned to check we could apply here as opposed to in the UK. She was having none of it. “Don’t come on the collection date” as she handed us our application receipt “wait until we ring you with an answer one way or the other”. I had to sit down, so dejected after all the palaver of form filling and the lack of sleep. We trudged back to our digs and laid down with a cup of tea.
The squealing lifts did it. I leapt up and went to reception.
New room hallway with toilet (to the left inside the door) and our new dining area.
Very calmly I explained and the very nice lady said “Of course we will find you another room, will it matter if you have a room the smaller size you booked?” not at all. “Come back at six and we will know your room number”. No sooner than we had finished our lunch and were half way through a game of backgammon than the room phone rang. Front Desk were sending a porter up with a key for down the hall. The hotel seemed not to want to downgrade us having given us a free upgrade. We were given a two bedroom apartment so long as we didn’t mind them locking the spare bedroom. We spent the next half an hour shifting our stuff.
Kitchen left and right.
The lounge area, with Bear plugging in our media player and to the right, the office area with locked second bedroom beyond.
The boys just shrugged and settled on their new bed. Another office and TV in the bedroom. We took our pillows with us and returned the fresh ones, along with the towels as not to be wasteful.
Along our bedroom corridor between the two enormous glass-fronted wardrobes to a huge bathroom. This time with a dedicated shower and bath. I think I spent time on taking all these pictures as to stop thinking about what I wanted to do to the lady in the Visa place. Painful and slowly terminal. Our last apartment, which we thought was huge took sixty four paces to do the joined V’s, this one took one hundred and eleven......... All sorted we went to explore with the idea of ending up at the pool.
Most of floor seven was made up of a laundry, shop and games room.
On floor nine we found fountains, a kiddies play area and the pool. The water kept at twenty four degrees, I thought it was freezing, even Bear moaned and we didn’t stay in too long. While we dried off a bit Bear had a snooze and listened to more gore on my IPod. The tall picture above, the same view as taken with Bear en route to you-know-where......... Still reeling from that experience but deep-down we still remain hopeful. It’s all we can do for now.
From this floor we could see the full extent of the building works beside the hotel.
Tuesday began with a long lay-in watching Fox Movies, How Do They Do That and HBO, lunch and then our next Uber ride. This time with an air traffic controller who was finishing for the day after dropping us to go and pick his wife up, who was a teacher. We took in the Petronas Towers and the KL Tower before Bear;s date with a fine drill through his gold crown to rummage out the recurring abscess troubles.
Bear’s appointment was from two until six, I did wonder what was going to take all that time but the first twenty minutes was filled with form filling. I went in with the patient and we endured a lecture more suited to four year olds about which tooth was which. At one point I wanted to grab the model and clap upper and lower on the chaps lips to give us a breather. Next, I (why me ???) was shown a tray of ‘interesting things’. I’d rather stare at a plughole for all the interest I was now feeling. After having to nip out twice whilst x-rays happened, I could take no more and resumed a series of lectures on the Fall of the Roman Empire. Sometime after three Bear was finally lowered and things started to buzz. No fine drilling, a dustbin bag was waggled from a support and a tooth ring held it in place as I watched a golden fountain appear. Little gold chips shot up into the air, really stunning save for the loss of Bear’s favourite chewing instrument. Underneath all was not well. Our chirpy – actually my mum would have said that “he had got ‘is tongue out of pawn and lost the bleedin’ ticket to put it back”. No arguments from us. I turned my volume up as Julius Caesar was having a bad day just as Bear was told to report tomorrow for “a thorough clean, polish, small filling and extraction” of said favoured chewing machine. “Not by me as my extraction skills are not there, I spend my working life doing root canal work” and talking I wanted to add. Again two till six, mercy, I may get as far as Pax Romanus at this point. Poor Bear, bad news after enduring a dentist chair not one bit suited to anyone over five feet two inches. We both left very dejected. No service on the phone so we trudged out into the street for a taxi.
We bimbled to the shopping centre, crossing over the walkway and taking in the evening traffic in a hot, humid city that see thunder and lightning as commonly as we do in Pangkor. Bear chose something happy for supper. I got a jar of silverskins and finished the lot over a tin of tuna, gosh things are low. Bear had a long soak and we both vegged in front of the TV.
Wednesday. Of we went again, today’s Uber driver was an electrician working on a big construction site but worked Wednesdays and weekends as a driver. After our ‘chatty friend’.......... had taken more x-rays, I sat that one out with my easy to listen to professor, then we sat in reception for a solid hour. Bear used the time to dose, I listened and took in the workings of a busy reception.
The next hour and a half was taken up by a nice lady, who would have made Mick McManus scared to face in the ring, undergoing the ‘deep clean’. I knew it must be uncomfortable as she kept shoving a caravan wheel wedge in between his teeth and every time he had to rinse I saw blood.
Half an hour for the tiny filling and after more topical anaesthetic out came serious tools. Lots of wiggling and pausing “to let the tendons rest”, Down went the Roman Empire, up went a silent prayer and an even bigger tool came out, easily big enough to change the propeller on the QE2, more tendon resting and finally the ‘crack’ I was waiting for but just a chunk came out. “Deep so and so this one.”...... Insert swear word in here.....as yet another BIGGER set of pliers was chosen from a huge drawer-full. This set, cut to the chase and never mind the middle man, could make short work of changing the track on a Chieftain tank........My nerves and my wish to vent on the young lady in the Visa place rose in earnest. Twenty more minutes of rocking, pulling, resting and wiggling and the next bit came out. Repeat, silent swear word, pulling, resting, wiggling and hoorah – three bits were exhibited for their photo as if they were First at a Women’s Institute Flower Show. One final insult, to pay the bill and we then fell out the door exhausted at ten to seven. Uber chap was between jobs and driving full time for a few months dropped us at the supermarket. Bear needed soft, tasty food, I needed another jar of silverskins. Repeat last night of Bear soaking and us falling into bed. Tomorrow, Thursday, we simply wrote off.
Friday morning we had yet another lie-in, having heard nothing from the Visa place we decided to take a slow stroll there anyway. Couldn’t do any harm, our collection date was yesterday and with nothing to lose we went to the sixth floor of Hampshire Place. (I am a Hampshire Hog, county of my birth, so please......please.......) Our ticket said G00295, below the number was the cheery little fact that we were 206 in the queue. Every time the door bell sounding chime happened everyone in the waiting room felt the need to look up at the TV displaying the counter-free number. Two hours of sitting with our fingers crossed. We knew if we were asked for 74 wingnuts each we would have failed, but, looking around at several different nationalities we felt slightly more optimistic than when we had left on Monday. Fingers now cramping in pain, we went to the payment booth when our number chirped. The lady smiled, took our chitty and asked for four hundred and four wingnuts, about forty pounds each. We chance a little look at each other, took the receipt and only had to wait for one chap in front of us at the collection window. Next to us was an Australian lady who was flying to China on the morrow and her Passport was nowhere to be seen. We wished her luck and scurried to the lift. Waiting the ages for the lift car to arrive was fine as it gave us chance to sneak a look at our Visas. Dated yesterday.........I now only want to stab a cocktail stick in the arm of the original lady so things are looking up.
The unusually coloured orchids in reception, back to our digs seemed to say well done.
Saturday morning we left our room all clean and tidy with the dirty linens folded with the towels. I always feel so sorry for the room maids at some of the horrors they have to face. Uber with another full-timer and soon aboard our train which pulled out on time at 10:35. This time sitting in Silver Class (six pounds each and little difference from Gold Class) for the two and a half hour journey to Ipoh, yet again facing backwards, the scenery was less than interesting. No sooner than we had cleared the city than we had mile upon mile of palm oil plantations. We enjoyed our picnic and as my IPod was running low on juice Bear loaned me his IPad to watch a couple of ‘old favourite’ films. Our Uber driver all the way from Ipoh to Pangkor said one sentence, that was to whine about going back with an empty car. I have to say I prefer the short taxi ride to Sitiawan, the coach to the airport and the express train to the city anytime over this malarkey.
As soon as we got back 404 (around four o’clock) Bear hurried off to work on Beez. I unpacked the cool bag, changed into scruffies and sought to take the week out on some rapid painting whilst listening to a good book with lots of gore. Before climbing aboard, I had a good look at Beez paintwork and soon called the skipper down from his pedestal work to take in the number of ‘tears and runs’ especially on the port side. I thought she was too dark a cream to the point of beige – a serious chat with Jimmy for sure. Now at full speed through frustration and annoyance, I finished the sea toilet ceiling, first coated what I could reach in the sea berth and the lounge, and sorted the office of ‘forever homes’ for bits and bobs. Bear declared at seven it was time to go back to 404 for a shower and supper. Salmon and salad but not yet satisfied, I took the sharp knife to the onions as I made two portions of butter chicken and two of chicken stew, all to be frozen when cooled for Bear’s suppers next week when we move back home – hoorah. After we were both showered, we fell into bed. Sunday, I spent half the day packing and cleaning 404, the other half second coating the bedroom and lounge. Bear finished his prep work on the pedestal and we managed to use the swimming pool from half six to half seven.
So, after a week of more downs than ups, I still keep checking our Chinese Visas and sighing.
ALL IN ALL A WEEK NEVER, EVER TO BE REPEATED
WHAT A PAIN.........