26 d’agost 2012

Hermit... and turtle

It has been a couple of days and finally, at a certain point I managed to relax...The Perhentian Islands have quite done the trick after going through the ordeal of trying to get my Indian visa in KL... To no avail :-(

The process of relaxing started to speed up when I met the Turtle Hermit. I call him "el Follet Tortuga" because my first impression was that he looked like the Turtle Hermit in the first season of Dragon Ball, without the shield and the beard. 
He is the most intriguing person I have met in this big island.
I was wandering around in an old mall, looking for nothing but a shelter from a tropical storm in KL.
I bumped into a hairdresser shop that offered massage. They sent me to the back of the  shop, a little office where an old man, in his 80s greeted me. He was dressed in a  flowery shirt that looked 4 sizes bigger than his fragile body and was wearing a pair of chinos, also very loose. I shall say I wasn't expecting such a masseur. I lied down in a rather shabby massage table with very thin, not very skilfull cleaned towels.The staff at the hairdresser told me he didn't speak much English and that I shall shout at him, because he is quite deaf. I told myself to let go and see if I could be expecting a pleasant surprise.
Nothing short of that! All around the place there were posters of reflexology and he seemed  to have studied the human body thoroughly.

I usually order just 30 min of massage, in case I don't enjoy it much. As soon as he started it I knew he knew what he was doing. It has been the most  amazing experience I have ever had.
He seemed to be listening to my body, tapping it and expecting a response. I shall say my arms have been hurting terribly since I left Sydney, as I pulled my shoulder muscles practising with a pole I had installed in my room. I couldn't hardly raise them and the pain was excruciating. When he reached the shoulders he said: stop! No good, stand up! - He did pressure points on my ears, gave me different gadgets to lift and made me do a  few exercises to figure out  the pain. Then he took out some special oils he applied on my arms and at the end he did some aromatherapy on my forehead and on the nose.
He didn't stop until the pain vanished. After nearly one hour he charged me only half an hour and told me when I come back he will relax my muscles and in a further  session he will work on my legs.
He was a  very pleasant surprise and part of the healing was the fact that he put a lot of intention and love in it. I could see him excited to be finding answers to my pain and his persistence and dedication were admirable.

I recommend anyone who is going to Kuala Lumpur, to the Chinese quarter to visit Mr Hermit, here his contact:

Gan Natural Healthcare
IN: Itec Hair Salon (inside) Lot 2.16. 2nd Floor - Kota Raya Complex (an old Malay mall),
Jalan Cheng Lock 5000 Kuala Lumpur

I took a picture of him on my last session.

Meet Mr Gan

I am going to KL tomorrow and I will be definitely pay him a visit to fix my painful right leg.

I booked a ticket to Madagascar, as India will have to wait, as soon as I have pictures of the perhentian I will upload some.
Love from Malaysia

14 d’agost 2012

the beauty of contrasts

I am back to a Hostel, bunk bedding, chilling and observing the ins and outs of strangers. And unfortunately reaching the conclusion, that a certain nationality is intrusive and loud.

These couple of days have been fantastic counting on the great company of my friend Aenie, who is the best host I have yet experienced. My gratitude is big.

We have met again after a good couple of years, when we shared drama experiences in a theatre course in Sydney. Aenie and I are an odd combination, which of course makes the friendship so much more interesting.

So far I have been lucky to be taken to a singing practise (lovely voice she has, among many many talents) and met with her pastor, who is a lovely enthusiastic woman from which I would have loved to learn more. What an energy!

Aenie's family is really sweet, so lovely and so lively. With a super cheerful mum and a "seniour-teenager" dad, they took me for an unforgettable experience in the Genting casino.

Genting is an area in the highlands off KL. It is a paradise for entertainment. It has a very big and busy casino, I had never seen so many people busy betting.
A casino is not a place I would choose to visit, so I was very pleased to share the experience with the family, have some family time. Mum and dad like to go for an odd eve of gambling now and then, so they were good guides. In the casino we were taken to the VIP area. I was actually quite amazed. I had lovely food, I did lots of mental bets which ended in a big loss of imaginary money and we slept comfortably in a big suite, which made us stay awake until almost 4 out of excitement.

Back at Aenies we had a homemade meal of Chinese food and I got to meet other members of her family. Her relationship with her sister had a lot of things in common with the one with my sis. The parallels in such a small world.
Delicious family gatherings. Unique experiences. Enjoying the moment.

10 d’agost 2012

so you think you are special?

Made it to the airport. I was 1 whole hour ahead of the expected  departure time, 40 minutes  before boarding in and the check in counters were already closed.

I forgot my boarding pass home, so I knew I was going to get in trouble. And I did. I am sure if I'd been panicking they would have made it harder to me. But I was Zen. I'm supposed to stay at a friend's in KL, hadn't heard from her. I was late to request a Visa to India so a few ladies in heaps of make up telling me that I might not make it didn't sound surprising to me. They wanted proof that I had an outward ticket from Malaysia. Travelling loses its mojo when you can't say anymore: "I don't know where I am going to stay and I don't know how long I'll be there". Life is not that predictable, so isn't travelling! I had the Aussie border police put me aside questioning why I am not in NZ using my working Visa. I told them about my love affair with Sydney.

The flight was hypnotic, the picture above is a lonely island that looks like an eye, off the Australian North-West Coast. Such a caprice of nature in the middle of nowhere!
I had never been so sleepy on a plane. I had the chance to exchange some words with my single-serving plane mates (extracted from the Flight Club, I loved that reflection) and I must say to Ben, best of lucks in your new stage of life. Brave of you that you decided to go where your heart leads you.
I arrived effortless to my assigned hostel after a smooth bus and metro ride. Great metropolitan system, KL! Met my hostel mates briefly and went out with them for food and booze. Funny, as I walked in the hostel, all guests gathered in front of the TV the spontaneous greeting I came up with was: hi flatties!
I must miss mine already :-(

32 Degrees and the  back pains start fading away. I belong in the hot weather. Cold humidity is no good.

And today... So you think you are special?
I went to apply for an Indian Visa, as I had no time while in Sydney. Note that I am a Spanish citizen with residence in The Netherlands, who has a work permit in New Zealand but lives in Australia.
The only thing I can say is that they took me to a separate room with flowers and a sofa, I didn't have to queue a bit, gave me a coffee and were extremely patient in trying to understand why I wouldn't apply a Visa from my country of residence or citizenship. I felt absolutely awkward to be the only guest in their Premium lounge.
Jess the frantically running assistant lady was gold. And patient. And made up fantastic imaginary addresses and phone numbers for my Indian accommodation. She understood I only knew I was going to visit Amma's Ashram, that I had a Malay phone number I didn't know, that I had all information online and that I have a dumb phone...

I will know if India wants me next week. In the meantime I am about to meet my Chinese Malay friend... Love reunions!

09 d’agost 2012

Sydney airport

AUG 9.
My ticket says that I am landing in Kuala Lumpur in just 10 hours.
It''s a long story to explain why I decided to sell my Burning Man tickets, leave aside the idea of a short visit to the US, Mexico and South America and how I decided, in just a week, that there are a few places in the world I really want to see.
Kuala Lumpur is just a hub. It was my Visa run, as I have been denied the visa I was applying for in Australia.

In Kuala Lumpur I will meet with Aenie, whom I met during a drama course in Sydney and my Barcelona friend Cristóbal in the Perhential Islands.
In one week I have managed to apply for a volunteer position in the Islands, but  I was too short of time to be processed. I am glad in a way, because volunteering for a week costs 400 DOllars and paying to work is something I dislike.

The idea of going to India developed since flights from Kuala Lumpur are quite affordable. KL flies to Kochi and there, there is Amma's ashram. The area is gorgeous, so here we go.

Tomorrow, update, adventure. I was late to apply for a Visa for India in Sydney and to check on vaccinations.
So I will be doing paper work around Kuala Lumpur