that one time i went to KL alone

Since obtaining a car temporarily (and I cannot stress enough that it is ONLY TEMPORARY because news seem to have spread around about my current status), I have been feeling a lot more like myself, partly because I feel a lot calmer at the thought of having a car at my discretion, ready for me to leave the hostel anytime I like, and also partly because I finally have the freedom to entertain every single whim of mine.

I’m the most self-serving person I know.

Anyway, it’s been fun bringing my friends out, but I decided that it was time for me to do my thing alone. I’ve never driven out alone in KL before, because of the many horror stories I’ve heard regarding women who get kidnapped in parking basements, break-window robberies, flat-tyre scams and the such. But despite all that I felt that I needed to go out alone to finally live the freedom I’ve always associated with having a car. I needed to prove that the freedom is indeed tangible.

When my craving for pisang goreng wasn’t able to be satiated in the past week after driving to several locations, I decided to drive to the one place I knew definitely would sell pisang goreng: KL Sentral. The search for these deep-fried banana goodness would eventually become the theme of my journey, and humorously, or otherwise, banana fritters would become the symbol of my freedom.

On Saturday morning I woke up with a purpose. Equipped with metal knuckles in my pocket and distrusting eyes, I set off for the Federal Highway.

It felt pretty amazing driving on the sparse highway. It always feels amazing, but being alone it felt differently so. I parked my car at Pavillion because I felt a lot safer there (also my cousin works there so if I felt threatened I thought I could ask him to walk me to the car). Then I got out of Pavillion and walked to the monorail station to get to KL Sentral.

 

Ironically, I now realize, the walk to the monorail station, and public transport, probably proved to be more unsafe than parking my car in unfamiliar basements. Either way, I survived the ride from Raja Chulan to Tun Sambanthan. Irritatingly I had to get off one station earlier because this teenage dude who was with his friend kept staring openly at me. I felt pretty freaked out and walked out of the monorail station so quickly you’d have thought I was being chased.

The pisang goreng wasn’t too far away, but it was still closed. I went into the coffee shop and ordered a bowl of Peter’s pork noodles (apparently it got rave reviews). And it was pretty good! I finished everything: soup and all. I looked outside and saw that the pisang goreng stall was already opened.

Pisang goreng had never been more meaningful. Being right in front of the pisang goreng stall felt like everything in my life before has amounted to this: testing the waters of freedom and entertaining myself driving all the way to the city to grab a couple of banana fritters. I’M NOT EVEN EXAGGERATING WHEN I SAY THAT WHEN I STOOD THERE, I FELT THE INTENSE FREEDOM OF BEING IN FULL CONTROL MY OWN DESTINY. I FELT LIKE EATING BANANA FRITTERS, SO I GOT MY OWN ASS OVER HERE, AND NOW HERE I AM, ABOUT TO BUY SOME FRITTERS. I CAN DO ANYTHING AFTER THIS.

With my banana fritters in hand, I walked to NU Sentral as a new person. I found some pedestals which also functioned as my seat where I gleefully and buoyantly ate a banana fritter while people watching. I kept the other fritter and checked out my new favourite shop, MONKI. Nothing I fancied was on sale though.
KL Sentral now officially has three of my favourite things:
1. Banana fritters
2. Pork noodles
3. MONKI

When I was tired of KL Sentral I decided to head over to Kinokuniya. To get to Kinokuniya I had to go to KLCC, which was just a few stations away from KL Sentral. But the crowd in KL Sentral annoyed me so I left the LRT Station and walked back to the monorail station where I came from. To my dismay I hadn’t studied the routes properly so I found out too late that there was no monorail stop at KLCC. Too lazy to walk back to KL Sentral and tolerate the crowd, I took a monorail to the nearest stop possible. While it was physically as close to KLCC as I could get on the monorail, I still had to walk one kilometre in the sun (I walked using Google Maps as my guide). I don’t think the walk was any more comfortable than squeezing into crowded LRT trains, so I’d probably do the latter next time.

Upon arriving in Kinokuniya I realize I actually have nothing I wanted to buy. I walked through the aisles and then left to go shopping. After awhile I got bored because I couldn’t afford anything, so I walked back to Pavillion using the interconnected walkway between KLCC and Pavillion. Normally I would keep my ears open for potential threats, but I felt pretty safe on the walkway (probably because there were so many other clueless tourists around) so I blasted my favourite electronic music on my wireless headphones and walked through the crowds feeling awesomesauce.

I reached Pavillion and found out that my cousin hadn’t turned up to work that day. I definitely should have called beforehand because parking proved to be cry-laughingly expensive.

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