21st March, 2006, Tuesday
It was Day 4 of the Malaysia trip, the last day. So much stuff had happened in the last 3 days, that I actually woke up early, and wrote down everything I wanted to remember in a notebook and wrote for an hour.
Then, I went exploring the place before the rest of my group got ready. I was amazed to see the board displaying the number of parking slots that are free. I mean they make everything as sophisticated as possible, and yet, as simple as possible for the customer.
Breakfast came down to bread again, but I've observed that the fruits are generally good here, and I loved the yellow watermelon that we had.
After breakfast, we went wall-climbing. It looks so simple but it's not. I reached half of the wall and then my arms started shivering, I just didn't have the strength to go on, and I let go. I tried again and same results. Damn, it's tough.
Next, I went for the Sky Venture. Imagine a fan the size of a room below you and it starts turning, what happens? You fly.
You crouch and you go up, you let go and you come down. A slight bend of the body and you're gonna crash into something (I learnt it the hard way). My first try was pretty bad, I just couldn't stay afloat. The second time, I got the hang of it and although I made the mistake of arching my back, I did better. The instructor was just a pro, he did some stunts after our turns and we were just in awe.
It was just way too cool. This is the only such ride available in Asia, and supposedly, the second to be available in the world (haven't confirmed that).
We couldn't go for archery, so instead we headed for the Genting museum. I got to learn about Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong's dream of creating Genting Highlands and how he went about it. It seems he spent 70% of his original funds to make a road to the top of the hill and the rest for the actual theme park.
There was a huge model of the Genting Highlands which was very impressive.
There was a whole section dedicated to many more ventures of the Genting group including Star Cruises. There were some stats on the popularity of the Genting Highlands and the numbers were just amazing. Heck, why shouldn't it be? I've come all the way from India and spending one and a half days here. There should be so many more people like that, and the place is worth spending time.
It was time for us to wait for our cab to take us back to the airport. I didn't want to just sit around and wait, so I went to the garden that I wanted to visit since the day before, and I just sat there enjoying the view.
The cab ride back to KL was quiet, and somehow appropriately, it started raining.
We packed our bags in our hotel and went to the airport. The tram system still didn't cease to awe me.
We immediately went shopping for chocolates, wine/vodka bottles, Ferrari perfumes, etc.
It was time to bid goodbye to Malaysia. I didn't want to leave because I found the country so exciting, but I wanted to go because I wanted to be back home - the eternal dilemma of a traveller.
The good part was that the new friends I had made during the trip were a lot of fun to be with. We sat together and we talked non-stop throughout the plane journey. We shared some common passions and interests - from sports to ad market - (one of the gang is an ad executive who recently was offered the post of Vice President in another ad agency and was gonna shift soon) to stories that can never be uttered in public to tech (mobiles, mp3 players) to more travel plans...
We landed back in Bangalore late at night. The mosquitoes started biting (I had forgotten how it felt like). It was a nightmare to get a taxi in all the commotion... I was home.
Positives from the trip - Learnt a lot about Malaysia, a different country, a different place, different people and their mentalities, how they have improved, why everybody wants Bangalore to become like Singapore/Kuala Lumpur, ...
Negatives from the trip - didn't visit islands/rural side, didn't explore on our own, didn't get to taste authentic Malay food, ...
Also, I have 827 photos from the trip.
All in all, a trip that was totally worth it. I learnt new things, explored a new country, discovered different mentalities of people, made new friends, went for great rides, watched a Formula 1 race (which is an experience by itself), got a different viewpoint about what it really means to be a developing country... all this in a span of 4 days, and I had my close cousins with me as well!
"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it." -- George Moore