Our flight was at 9.30 and we left home in a cab at 6.30, which allowed plenty of time for contingencies. Even on a Sunday morning there a bank up of traffic at the airport. Check in took ages as did Immigration. Our airport really is crap. Are you hearing me Jule and Teddy? We ended up not having time for food or coffee and barely had time to get duty free spirits.
We had paid to select our seats and I am not sure what went wrong but our seats were awful and I can't imagine that we would have chosen non aisle window seats with a bulk head behind us and a panel intruding into the seat area of one. Although we had window seats, we did not have a window. Beside me, trapping us in, was a Malay girl who did not move from her seat for the whole trip. A couple of times we got up to stretch our legs etc. I think perhaps we looked at the wrong plane seating layout or they changed the plane to a different model.
It was the first time we had flown with Air Asia, and apart from our seat locations and the seats not being the most comfortable, the flight was fine and with some gained knowledge, I would certainly fly with them again.
Air Asia has a separate airport on the opposite side of the runways to the main Kuala Lumpur airport. It is known as LCCT, Low Cost Carrier Terminal. Malaysia is rather fond of acronyms. The main airport is known as KLIA, which I am sure you can work out.
The KLIA has a fast express train to KL Central Station but for us to use the train meant catching a bus from the LCCT to the KLIA and then catching the train.
Fortunately our local friend, who I will call Manny as that is close to what we call him, was there to meet us.
I better tell you a bit about him as he featured rather a lot during our visit. We came to know him via our ex NT politician/policeman. He is Chinese Malaysian and visits Melbourne a few times each year on business, pleasure and to see his 'special friend', a retired priest. He has his own business in KL that we suspect was funded by his late partner, a Dutch man who lived with his partner in KL. After meeting the Dutch guy, Manny moved in with both of them and helped care for his partner's partner who was slowly dying of diabetes related matters. Manny was young enough and strong enough to lift the guy from bed and get him into a chair, wheelchair or whatever. One year after the guy died, so did Manny's partner of a sudden heart attack in bed. Did Manny get an inheritance? Possibly. We don't know. Manny is very fond of older guys, like I mean 70 plus, hence the retired priest here in Melbourne. Some of his late Dutch partner's family live here in Queensland and he is well connected with them. By devious means, which I will mention later, we discovered Manny is 37. Never ask a woman or an Asian gay guy their age.
Manny was a wonderful and generous host in Malaysia. The only issue was, instead of us setting the pace, he did quite often.
Once we found each other at the airport, after another long haul to get our cases and clear immigration and customs, Manny led us to his six month old Audi sports package car. How nice. We drove along the freeway to KL from the LCCT at quite a high speed. I noted the speed limit was 110 but we were going considerably faster. I suppose the trip took forty minutes from the airport to our hotel, the Dorset Regency.
Our check in was painless and we were happy with our 24th level room. Manny left us for a couple of hours and returned to pick us up. He took us around in his car to orient ourselves and at a monster shopping mall, we dined on local food at Madame Kwan's. Like a three year old, I was absorbing things left right and centre. I just read my note that dinner cost us $23 each, which included beer. Not especially cheap.
It was quite late when Manny dropped us back to our hotel. We slept well after a drink and an anaylisis chat about the day.
Manny had an appointment with a client in the morning but late afternoon
he collected us. We filled in time by walking to the monorail station,
catching the monorail to KL Sentral Station, which is not KL Station and
buying train tickets for our return journey from Penang to KL.