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Hello, Young Man! Want Massage?

July 26, 2009

July 14th, 2009

1:3o AM…Somewhere in Kuala Lumpur

They were everywhere! Just about everywhere. It’s scary to see something like that past midnight in streets close to Petronas Towers. Trust me on this one. There were people just about on every corner of the road (called “Jalan” in Malay) and the sheer number of people offering Body/Foot/Fish Massage is mind blowing. It’s a thriving business in this part of the world and it’s not hard to guess why! Anyway, the point is, we were supposed to reach Kuala Lumpur sometime around 8:00 PM the previous day but thanks to a series of unfortunate events, I find myself in this concrete jungle that too in a Jalan like this! So, how did I end up here?…

It all began the moment Sun rose in the skies of Singapore on July, the 13th. Luckily we didn’t find any Tiger or baby in our apartment! And neither was it ransacked after last night’s madness in the streets of Singapore. Ahhh…Good for us, A Night to Remember was still fresh in our mind! Manjunath, Grover and Siddharth had gone to talk to the chap who was renting us a Honda Stream for our road trip to Malaysia. They were gone for like 3 hours and in the mean time, clouds of boredom were beginning to strike with vengeance. Thank God, a popular TV Show in Singapore came to our rescue. Here’s a tip about the sense of humour-> You have to understand the difference between a Chinese stereotype  and someone genuinely funny! No wonder, it took me 15 minutes to realise that the artists in this show were being intentionally funny…something like our “Lola Kutti” show on Channel V. It was a travel programme where the hosts had gone to Penang and Langkawi in Malaysia and they were airing the stuff on local attractions and food. Yum…Laksa and Hokkeinen Mee were clear winners.

July 13th. 2:00 PM

Somewhere in Singapore.

Finally, the trio arrived with the car and I think it was the nexus of all our great confusion! Ravi Chandra had misplaced an Immigration slip, which had to be kept safe as long as you were in a foreign country. After some tense moments, we found the slip and started off from Grover’s place. Another criteria for Singapore cars entering into Malaysia is that the fuel tank has to be atleast 3/4th full before entering Malaysia otherwise they levy a $500 fine! No surprise, because Gasoline is much more cheaper on the Malaysian side…1 litre costs around RM 1.40 (around Rs.18-20). And moments later,

Fuel-Tank Full, Check!

Music, Check!

7 in the car, Check!

Seat Belts, Check!

Food…..blurppppppppp….ahhh! It’s terrible to travel on an empty stomach!

Alright….Malaysia, here we come.

the trip

3:10 PM

Thank you GPS for screwing my happiness! On a busy road, it just makes your head spin! Ahh…technology, I tell you!

3:30 PM

Woodlands Avenue, Still in Singapore.

We had come quite far from the usual hustle bustle of Singapore and somewhere here in Woodlands Avenue, as we see signs of skyscrapers in a distant horizon, you know that’s the promised land (atleast for me!), Malaysia! The immigration officials on the Singapore side showed no signs of suspicion when they stamped all our passports and we zoomed off with the signature style, You say, Terima Kasih (Thank you) and cameth the reply Selamat Jalan (Have a Nice Day)

3:40 PM

Location: No Man’s Land.

The Beginning of Chaos

Six of us, except for Manjunath had no problem with our Malaysian Visas and the moment I thought, it was all going to be fine and maybe I would end up staying for couple of hours in Melacca, God had some other plans for us. The reason, Manju didn’t have a Visa beforehand! Some Visa Agent had told him that he could get one while entering Malaysia. It’s possible when you are entering via an Airport, but the Immigration Check Point at Johor Bahru doesn’t have a provision to issue a Visa On Arrival! After an hour of discussion with an official, Manju was given two options. He could go back to Singapore and enter Malaysia from another Check Point, Tuas. Or, he could go back to Changi Airport in Singapore and fly to Kuala Lumpur Airport. We decided to go ahead with the first option. In that hurry, neither the immigration officials, nor we were wise enough to get the Exit Stamps in our passports. Technically, the 6 of us had entered Malaysia! And Manju was refused an entry. By the time, we went to the Singapore Check point, the immigration official there was rather puzzled to have not found an Exit Stamp of Malaysia on 6 passports. So, we were sent to his officer. They were already interrogating someone there and moments later we were called upon and Amitansu clearly explained what the problem was. The immigration officer cross checked all our Visas and was kind enough to treat Manju’s case as a special one and let him enter Singapore. He told us that even entry through Tuas, might be a problem for Manju. And that left us with only one option. Manju and RC would go back to Changi and fly to KL and the rest of us would continue our road trip to KL and meet them there. Ahh…Confusion rules here too! Mine, Grover’s, Ghosh’s, Thakur’s and Kara’s passport don’t have an Entry-Exit Stamp despite our entry-exit from Singapore.

6:30 PM

Malaysian Check Point, Johor Bahru.

The Immigration officer cross checks our faces and the moment he scans through the entry-exit stamps, he asks us to come along with him. If the same situation had happened in an Airport, I am sure we would have been taken to a huge room and someone would have taken our statement on record! We were freaking roaming around in No Man’s Land for atleast 2 hours now without entering either countries! That definitely looks suspicious to anyone. We again explained the situation to him and when he didn’t understand what has been happening, he took us to his higher officer. Luckily for us, he turned out to be the same one who had denied an entry to Manju. It didn’t take him a long time to understand what we had to go through and was kind enough to let us go…I mean get into Malaysia! Phew! Atlast!

7:30 PM

The Sun was about to set and 2 minutes into Malaysia, seems like a world apart when compared to Singapore. Speed Limits broken, people crossing the road without a care, bikes zooming on the roads like a bullet and of course, a sudden burst of air filled with aroma of Laksa, Mee, Nasi, Chicken, Lamb, Pork, Beef and every other cuisine you can imagine. Johor City reminded me of India. The people, the crowd, the chaos. Of course, Roads are way better here in Malaysia! We stopped near a restaurant to appease our appetite and I think that was the most I had eaten in the past 2 days. Chicken Maggi, Rojak, Chicken Mortabak…woah! I have already fallen in love with the food here. This restaurant was just 2 metres away from the main road and for those eating outside, they were screening Star Movies on a big screen. Nice Concept I guess, someone should do that in India as well.

8:00 PM

The Expressway in Malaysia is easily the best I have seen till date. Touching 150-160 Kmph should be child’s play if you can drive a car well. We must have travelled over 350 Km in less than 3 hours. Phew! Driving on Malaysian roads is sheer pleasure! At night it’s like playing NFS, Underground and I believe during daytime it’s pure orgasmic with all the hills and greenery around. And throughout this journey, we left no stone unturned to keep our spirits high. Kara didn’t fall asleep, somehow! And Grover kept the music numbers rolling one after the other and within no time we were inching closer to Kuala Lumpur International Airport which is about 70 kms from Kuala Lumpur.

11:30 PM

KLIA

I was almost about to vent my anger on the GPS for screwing up again during such tense moments! After all the High-Drama throughout the day, this isn’t how one would expect it to end. Accordingly, there was some confusion about where Manju and RC would arrive and finally we heard the first hand version about the drama in KLIA from Manju and RC. Phew! He had got his Visa finally!

July 14th, 2009

1:00 AM

Somewhere in the Outskirts of KL

The tiny lights shimmering everywhere suddenly vanish the moment the road turned towards right. There it was…sorry…there they were. Petronas Towers and KLCC which wasn’t too far from Petronas Towers. They are like the guiding light for rest of the city and our bad luck continued to haunt us, we had arrived just after the lights were switched off from Petronas Towers. But now, thanks to the GPS, I think I had got a 360 degree view of Petronas. Driving..round and round…ahhh….Grover quickly found a hotel to stay, in Jalan Bukit Bintang which isn’t too far from China Town. This is definitely not the place to stay if you travel with your family. On the other hand, exactly the kind of place to stay and relax after a totally f*cked up day!  The  Reflexology might have been a perfect way to end the night and thanks to the huge number of centres everywhere, that’s where I heard this quote , “Hello, Young Man! Want Massage?”. A smile sneaks out from my lips. At Last! And I walk back into the comfort of a good sleep.  A Day to Remember!

Tip: Try their Body Massage or Reflexology. You might even get something you didn’t ask for!..;-)

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 26, 2009 8:51 pm

    The post made for some gripping reading. Looks like you guys came away with quite a few interesting stories to tell apart from just another holiday cum reunion! 🙂

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 26, 2009 9:22 pm

      Yeah..totally!…You ask Grover/karo for some more interesting stories!..I didn’t stay along with them for the entire trip. The rest of the journey for me was more about meeting people and having some brilliant conversations…:)

  2. July 26, 2009 9:05 pm

    keep it comin man! post the rest of the trip 2

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 26, 2009 9:28 pm

      Yeah dude!..shall finish everything before 31st!..:) Gearing up for “Magadheera”‘s release! Hopefully I will get back to Movies by then…:)

  3. July 27, 2009 12:28 pm

    How different is it from a Kerala Massage???

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 27, 2009 7:18 pm

      @Sham: I have no clue! But I am pretty sure that it’s not Ayurvedic!..;)

  4. July 27, 2009 5:52 pm

    you want Lady laa?

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 27, 2009 7:21 pm

      @Thakur: Sssshhhhhhh…!

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