Adventures of a KL Boy from Labuan Back in KL!!! (Yes It's A Mouthful But So Was My Visit!!)

The moment my plane from Labuan touched down for my KL weekend break, the days whizzed by like a bullet on hypersonic speed. From Thursday to Monday of 20th March onwards, it was a re-introduction to a life that was once droningly taken for granted. Now, it is confined to a corner of my existence as a luxury only once a month or so I take great pleasure in. Oh well. C’est la vie. So how was my return to a life more ordinary, as a city boy, as a mama’s boy (yes, I have to admit it. I love her cooking. Sue me already) and as a boy not yet willing to leave the city life just yet? To sum it up, all I can say is that it was a tremendous success story of how to meet as many people as I know in 5 days, and eat at as many places as my stomach can entertain in that same 5 days time. Here we go, city life rekindled!!!

Day 1 - Thursday

The first day began by spending lunch with my family. Went to our favorite joint for chicken rice in Subang called ‘Restaurant Kar Heong’ and the chicken rice here is the closest to Ipoh’s chicken rice that I have ever tasted. Honestly. Not even the famous Pudu ‘Fei Por Chicken Rice’ is as good as this. The sauce is just nice, not too salty and packs a wallop of taste. Heavenly when consumed with the rice I tell you. And the ‘taugeh’ is ever so succulent with juicy aromas exploding in your mouth upon every bite. Heavenly for all chicken rice lovers out there.

Next, I boarded my faithful Proton Wira that I had left behind for over a month and headed for KL city to meet up with SL. My immediate feeling of driving again? HOLY *&%$@&!!! Do the drivers here have a death wish or do they actually drive like this every freakin’ day??!! I was trying my best to avoid daredevils that think that if they flick on the left/right signal lights, they are immediately granted anti-collison superpowers by the heavens (or hell) and they zoom from the 3rd lane to the 1st lane in God-like gusto. Wow, so this is how the foreigners perceive us Malaysian drivers. Great. Malaysia certainly boleh!!!

Me and SL headed for 'Pavilion', and the grandeur and spaciousness of the mall hits me like a ton of bricks, the swoosh of the cool air-con sparked that ‘feel’ in me that made me sense I was in a city again, just by merely stepping into 'Pavilion'. Gosh, I didn’t know I miss KL that much. Energized, we walked around the mall and seeing all those flashy nice shops, I just had buy something (don’t forget I’m a ‘controlled shopoholic’, i.e. even when I want to control my shopping, I will eventually buy something, although the items I buy is not that expensive anymore. See the benefits of control? No? Doesn't make any damn sense? EXACTLY). Went to a few shops and eventually bought stuff at ‘Quiksilver’ that had a sale. I bought a ‘T’ and shorts, check it out:

Don’t ask me ‘bout the price, coz it’s cheap. Really. I swear it was cheap!!

After my sinful shopping, we went to the cinema to watch ‘10,000 B.C.’, again, not that I like that movie, I went to the movies to just feel the comfy lush cushiony seats haha. Anyway, after that we headed for dinner, and lo and behold it was our favorite peri-fically spicy up-market chicken rice shop, ‘Nando’s’ (it’s a chicken rice shop ‘cause we usually have ‘Nando’s’ with rice haha).

Not content with what we had so far, we walked out of 'Pavilion' and headed into the streets of 'Bukit Bintang' and immersed ourselves with the choking dusty air and filthy smells of up-market back alleyways. AAAaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, KL. Soaked with the aura of the KL heat, we dropped by ‘Lecka-Lecka’ for some ice-cream (RM10 for 3 scoops, it’s a steal!!) and chit-chatted, babbling about the times that I missed when I was away (i.e. the Election: “I go away for 1 month and this happens??!! I go away for another month and Tony Fernendes will be PM by then!!!” Hahaha) and of course reminiscing the times gone by when I was still in KL…

Day 2 - Friday

Woke up to the comfy delights of my real room, lazed around the room just for the sake of it, and got myself ready for my morning doses of sensation that so regularly welcomes me during my usual KL weekends: a warm shot of ‘Hazelnut Ipoh White Coffee’ at my regular ‘Old Town Kopitiam’ joint in Taipan, with a copy of the morning’s newspaper in hand. Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, one sip of the coffee and you can immediately hear the birds chirping, the winds blowing and car horn’s blaring because of double-parked cars. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh, Taipan….

Contented with my coffee wake-up call, I went back home and had lunch with my family for the second day running (I mean, give chance lah to them rite, once a month I only come back worr), and headed for ‘Restaurant Kar Heong’ again (I just can’t get enough of that place), this time had the ‘Hor Fun’ noodles.

Called a few friends just to gently remind them that I am back in KL and waiting for them to spend me some grand lavish dinners, the only person free on a working day Friday was SL, and so we headed for ‘Mid-Valley’ to take advantage of the jam-free parking. SL wanted to get a washing machine while I wanted to get a mini hi-fi set for Labuan. But my plans mutated from a mere mini hi-fi set to a LCD TV and then to an entire Home Theatre System. By then I realized my plans would need a whole 747 airplane to charter the stuff over, so I abandoned the entire plan (remember ‘Controlled Shopoholic’?) Sigh.

Walked around and noticed that this new Chinese movie called ‘An Empress and the Warriors’ were showing, and it had a 50-year old Mr. Leon Lai playing a lead role. Remember him? He used to be this super-mega-ultra idol for Chinese music lovers back in the 90’s, and if you have seen his recent photos, he had hardly aged abit!!! Is it the powers of the ‘Fountain of Youth’ at play or the simple magic of ‘Nip & Tuck’? You decide. After watching the movie, i find that the film was not bad actually, nicely directed movie with good pacing that wouldn’t make the viewer feel bored and with decent performances from the actors to boot. Way to go Mr. Leon Lai!!!

Well, you know how much I LOVE Japanese food, and ‘The Gardens’ offers plenty of options for this delectable cuisine. There’s ‘Yo! Sushi’ (the 'Sushi King' rip-off), ‘Sushi Zen’ (good for quick and easy set meals) &‘Yuzu’ (nice and trendy up-market place). But my current favorite is most certainly ‘Sushi ZanMai’, located on the upper floors of ‘The Gardens’. I remember when it was newly opened and I visited the place, it was empty and had more waiters than customers. Now, it is packed to the brim and I even had to queue for the waiting list!!! So you can imagine that the good word had spread, and the word is that it is now in 'Sunway Pyramid' & even in '1 Utama', so prepare yourself for the 'ZanMai' invasion people!!!
The stuff I stuffed into my face:

I LOVE salmon. This is the ‘Salmon ZanMai’ set which consisted of salmon sushi (duh), salmon belly (absolutely delicious), broiled salmon (tastes the same to me as any regular salmon), smoked salmon (too smokey) and salmon roll (makes me rock n’ rollin’).

Soft shell crab Maki. HEAVENLY!!!

Soft shell crab Maki (2nd order haha!!) and Ebikko.

Soba Noodles in beef broth.

As for the dessert: ‘Yukimi Daifuku Vanilla Ice-Cream’, its vanilla ice-cream wrapped in rice skin ;)

It was the best dinner I had in months and it felt like I was in Japanese heaven for a whole few hours at least. And the best part of that is, SL spent on the dinner!!! WoooHOOoo!!! And I swear I saw ‘Takeshi Kaneshiro’ somewhere at the mall too. Or probably it was the food. Maybe it was just the food….

Day 3 - Saturday

Woke to my regular drug called coffee and had lunch with family and SL, consuming unimaginable amounts of ‘Yong Tau Foo’. We went to ‘Homeland Yong Tau Foo’ in Taipan, which is not even near to the best-ness of Ampang ‘yong tau foo’, but I guess it will have to do since it is so near my home.

It’s Saturday and it’s time to meet and then get my grand lavish dinner like they promised me. I duly called-up an ex-colleague and decided to meet up at ‘The Curve’ later that day. But before that, I went to ‘Ikea’ to get some nice-looking lamps for my dully-lit room at Labuan. I choose 2 square-glass lamps and 1 reading lamp that gave out yellow light instead of the fluorescent white light that I currently have in my Labuan room. I like yellow light to white light, I guess because it is more calming, moody and more romantic haha. Room + Romantic lights = …..a good night’s sleep of course, what you thinking?!

Had dinner with my colleague SC at the 'Cineleisure’s ‘Ah Cheng’s Laksa’, and had the not-so-good 'Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak''. As usual, we have a lot to talk about, from serious things to complete utter nonsense, but we still talked until the shop wanted to close haha. But we still did not want to go back so early yet, so we headed to The Curve’s ‘The Apartment’ to enjoy its cozy surroundings for a comfortable chat. During that time, we ordered a ‘Strawberry Parfait’, but the strawberries were abit too sour and it kinda spoiled the moment. But honestly speaking, is there anything good at ‘The Apartment’ anyways? This place is seriously a sad case of looks-with-no-substance. But the décor sure is welcoming tho….

Day 4 – Sunday

Woke up to a new morning and of course, had my ‘hazelnut white coffee’ and this time around it was at ‘Old Taste Kopitiam’. Let me tell you that this kopitiam is a complete rip-off from ‘Old Town Kopitiam’, as the décor, concept and the main offerings are all the same. I think ‘Old Taste’ has a bit more variety in its menu, but an apple is an apple, you can’t get orange juice from it. And that’s my Forrest Gump moment for you folks!

Anyway, today is the day that my old ‘Akurian’ ex-classmates arranged a gathering at ‘Subang Parade’, and it was supposed to be at 3PM. I arrived there at 3PM, and surprise surprise, found no ex-classmates of mine there. No matter, ‘Malaysian Timing’ in full affect, I though to myself. Walked around the mall with SL and found that this place really did improve its image. I remember I used to visit ‘Parade’ so often when I was in secondary school. And since ‘1U’, ‘Mid-Valley’ & ‘Sunway Pyramid’ opened, ‘Parade’ did not exist in my vocabulary anymore hahaha. 4PM. Still no sign of anyone. I thought, “wow, did ‘Malaysian Timing’ revised its timing to 2 hours late since I was gone?” Sigh, distraught and hungry, me and SL sought refuge at ‘Parade’s trusty ol’ 'McDonalds'. As Labuan had no McD’s, the french fries was yummy to the last speck of salt and pepper. 4:30PM and finally, one sign of life: Ah Nei emerged first and joined me and SL for a chat. 5PM, Maj emerged from her disappearance act of “mall-lific” proportions as apparently she had already arrived since “3PM”, but decided to do a David Copperfield and went ‘pufff’ into thin air. More was to join us, but all of them were late due to personal reasons so we adjourned to ‘Dome’ instead for some good old up-market coffee, potato wedges and talking-cock conversations…

And then suddenly, out of nowhere, Ah Nei wanted a blowjob. And she was female. I immediately thought to myself, “WOW, 1 month away and females now openly wants blowjobs. 1 month later and there will be blowjob kiosks at 'Shell' stations nationwide!!!” But sadly, she didn’t literally mean a blowjob, she wanted a blow-ER. Ok, technically this still sounds like she is majorly horny for a blowjob but just wait: she wanted to buy a wind blower machine thingy to clean leaves or whatever from walls and stuff. A-HA!!! So we helped Ah Nei to finish her getting a blower job in ‘Carrefour’. By the time we finished, the contacted the other people that did not show up and eventually planned to have dinner instead at a nearby place called ‘Asia Café’.

But before departing ‘Parade’, me and Ah Nei (did not blow each other) but waited at the long queues for some ‘Big Apple Donuts’. Yup, one whole dozen of them. I know they may not the as good as ‘JCo Donuts’ but when you are in Labuan, any resemblance to a donut is a good donut….

Arrived at ‘Asia Café’ and the people like Theva, Theva’s girl, and Thiru trickled into our table (even a very stubborn cat joined us) and chit-chatted until kinda late. Late, in fact, to the point where Super-Duper-Sunday of football was to start. Manchester United Vs. Liverpool was live on the screens, and a mass horde of football fans raided every seat in the house. Luckily we came early and a LCD screen was right in front of me (well, more like 4 o’clock to my right side haha). Watched the majority of the match there, but my friends were about to adjourn for the day because of work the next day. We departed in up-lifting terms as separated into the night’s closure for the weekend.

Back home, SL packed (stayed for 2 nights) and headed back home while I continued to watch the Super-Duper-Sunday that is still live on the telly. I was supposed to join V outside for the remainder of the match, but the skies decided to open wide that night, and the plan to meet up with V and football was abandoned. Oh well, at least Manchester United won by 3-0. WooOOOo-HoooOooOo!!!!!!

Day 5 – Monday

Monday began by receiving a call from TK. He just got back from Hong Kong, and was asking for a meet-up to catch up with things. I wanted dim-sim, but it was already 12:00pm. Are there any restaurants that offer dim-sum during noon? Haha, not wanting to take the risk, I called up V to see if she can make it for a quickie meet-up during lunchtime. Agreed, me and TK went up to ‘Mid-Valley’ and had lunch at ‘Nyonya Colors’ (or ‘Colors of Nyonya, I forgot). It is located at the newly opened connecting passage-way between ‘Mid-Valley’ and the ‘The Gardens’ (just think of where the old ‘Rotiboy’ outlet is). I had the ‘curry mee hon’ which was decent, but not spicy enough for my taste. I heard that the ‘mee siam’ is good too, as well as the various ‘kuih-muih’ on offer. If you like tastes of nyonya, this place (with another outlet in ‘1U’) is the place to be at the moment ‘cause the customers come here in droves. Oh, and the cendol is not bad too.

I didn’t get my regular morning dosage of coffee in my blood veins so we left the food place and headed for a drinks place. Nearby, there was an outlet called ‘I Love Yuuuuuu’ (I think that is how it is spelled hahah) and had the Hainan coffee which was superb. I also ordered the ‘butterfly bun’ just to get something to nibble while chatting. I tell you this bun may be expensive (I think RM1.30 for a piece) but it is sure is yummy. It reminds me of a ‘yau char guai’, but only much, much better. 'JCo donuts' has a new competitor in ‘butterfly buns’ in my book!!!!

It was almost 2PM and it was time to rush back home and pack. Yes, my flight is on the same day, 6PM, and I had not packed yet. Yup, I like my life exciting haha. But, come to think of it, what is there to pack? All my major stuff is in Labuan ;). By 3:30PM, my family fetched me to 'KLIA-LCCT' and duly checked in my luggage. However, being ‘AirAsia’ the low-cost airline, my plane to Labuan was grounded by heavy rain for half an hour or so. Probably they are just concerned that we, the customers get wet from the heavy rain… ;)

Due to the rain, the clouds in the sky came out of hiding and displayed some of the most beautiful forms I have ever seen, especially when you are experiencing them in a plane while in mid-air!!! Circular, horizontal, vertical, a mish-mash of shapes came out to play and entertained the viewer with stunning grace and design. With the help of the dusking sunlight, the clouds wore costumes of multi-colored hues so beautiful, the clouds were as though performing a recital fit for the Gods high above. Unfortunately, I was only able to capture this panorama through a handphone camera. Darn. Oh well, there will be more flights in the future, I’m sure…

Touched down at roughly 8:30PM, hailed a cab and finally reached back into my Labuan room.

Day 6 – Back in Labuan.

I’m writing this in my room on a very rainy and yet humid, Bornese night. My feelings towards returning to my humble 2nd home? Definitely not as downcast compared to my first departure from KL, but to leave my comfort zone of loved ones and friends that I have affectionately placed inside that zone throughout my lifetime is always difficult to handle. Oh well, I guess back in Labuan it is time for me to return to building a new comfort zone and welcome new members into it.

And yes, I’m not stone-cold (was I ever?), so I would like to thank all my friends for the chance to hang out with you guys all over again (the Akurians, the Mediaplexians, and especially SL), thanks a ton for your time and planning!!! I know I didn't meet up with many more of you guys (not my fault, you guys claimed to be 'busy'. HHmmmpphhh), and also didn't call you guys up (okok, this is my fault), but when I'm back in KL again, I'll plan something, for sure!!! Additional info: I wouldn’t be back for my birthday in June for obvious reasons, as ‘Operation: Diversion from Theva’s Birthday Fate’ is in full commencement in my book. And for everyone’s info, birthday celebrations more than 1 month before or after a birth date is banned. It is. Honestly. There’s a law for it. I know. I got Kepala Singh as my lawyer. Dun play play.

Until next time, friends and family!!!

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