Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm alive!

I realize it's been quite a while since I've blogged last. Thinking that we would have more internet access in Kuala Lumpur I decided to try and wait, but when we got there we didn't seem to have much luck. Right now we are in Taman Negara and today is kind of our free day so we all headed up to the internet cafes. My writing probably isn't the best but I'm just gonna try to catch up on everything we've done. Anyway, Singapore was an amazing city- and it was definitely a great transition from America because it's very westernized. Everyone speaks English, it's easy to get around, there are PLENTY of places to eat. The only differences were really just the basic- currency, people, and the food. But I think it definitely made it a little easier for us because it wasn't all that different. Our first day we walked quite a ways- out to the harbor area, and then back towards where we stayed to grab some lunch. Transportation was easy as well I might add, because they have taxis everywhere and the MRT which is their name for the subway. Later in the day we headed to the National University of Singapore and got a brief history as well as learned quite a bit about government influence. One of the things I thought was crazy was that if you are even caught with a gun, they will kill you for it, unless you are military, police, etc. That night we went to Chinatown and checked out the local street vendors. By this time I think the jet lag started to kick in because when it was 2pm my body still felt like it was 2am and that I should be sleeping so I was all over the place. I wasn't feeling very well for the first couple of days so I didn't eat a lot either..but I will say that everyone else thoroughly enjoyed it I think. The next day we headed to a local coffee place to meet up with a friend of Dr. Kennan's. After that we decided to head back to Chinatown and then Little India. However, my camera battery decided to fall out along the way so while everyone else went ahead, Stephanie and I retraced our steps to see if we could find it. No such luck. Instead we headed to a camera place and I got a new one. That night we went to Lau Pa Sat night market for some food with another friend of Dr. Kennan's.

Sunday we headed to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Once there, we checked into our rooms at the University of Malaya and then headed to Petaling Street. This was definitely an experience- and the place to put your haggling skills to the test. If they say 75 ringgit, you say 40 ringgit. And eventually you'll get a price you want. The next day we met with Lucy, yet another friend of Dr. Kennan's and she took us first to meet with some of her colleagues at the university. After that we headed to the Batu Caves (272 steps to the top) This was absolutely amazing to me and definitely worth walking the steps to the top. However, the monkeys are a little crazy there. We got some lunch, and then headed to Putrayjaya which is where most of their government offices are.

Tuesday we headed on our way to Taman Negara. Took a bus ride to a boat and from there are 3 hr boat ride to where we are staying. It started to pour so most of us ran out in the rain for a little bit and then headed to dinner. The next day (yesterday) we took a short boat ride up towards the canopy walk. Since it was closed we decided to come back later. We came back for lunch and then from there they took us through some rapids to a village called the Orang Asli. Their huts are from leaves and whatever else they can find but they are still heavily influenced by modern culture (crocs, normal clothes, etc..not that I blame them) That night we went for a long walk through the forest with our guide to try a see any animals. We really didn't see a whole lot- some birds and deer, and lots of ants. Today we went back to try the canopy walk and it was incredible. It's the longest canopy walk and the view from there is beautiful. That brings me to where I am now. Their main mode of transportation is boats and bikes. Because where we are staying is separated from the restaurants, internet cafes, etc by a river, we take a boat back and forth every time we need to go to the other side (it's not far)

Nearly everything costs money too- internet usage, sometimes the bathrooms, boat rides, etc. Anyway, as I said my writing isn't what it usually is but I had a lot to write in- hopefully I'll have more time the next time to write a little better. And I probably should have listened to my dad a little better when he was asking me what they use for the bathroom because they don't use toilet paper- they just have a hose so we've had to buy more and more as we all use it. Where we are staying is a pretty nice resort though-and we're staying in the hostel part of it. Anyway I think I'm done writing for now- hopefully I'll write again when we get to Siem Reap- or maybe I'll just clean this one up a little bit. hope everything is well back in the states for everyone reading this..I miss everyone a lot.

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