These small images link to photographs found in my currently-active Flickr album.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

We Last Saw Them in New Westminster

Day 67 - There were folks we know in town today. We met these guys through mutual friends just last fall. The rather amazing thing is they live in New Westminster, about a half kilometer up the hill from where we do. In fact, this is an entry which seems appropriate to reference today. So meeting up in downtown KL seemed serendipitous.

They're in Malaysia until April too but they're based much closer to where we spent last winter. Penang is about 300 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur. We caught them as they had recent connecting flights through the airport here and were staying with relatives.

Getting Food

They came to our studio apartment just in time for us to head to lunch. For the first time, we ate at restaurants just across the road. A number of different vendors share an area with common tables. Of course, as usual, I gravitate toward a place which sells biryani. I definitely missed that in Bali.

Before the Confluence
Tourists, Obviously.

They didn't have long but hadn't been over to the Masjid Jamek area recently. The 'River of Life' walkway along the confluence of the rivers has really improved the area making it much more of a must-see for visitors. I am glad we had the little walk there with them.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Getting Reacquainted with the City

Day 66 - I felt the excitement one can get when there's a whole city to explore!

We knew the free GOKL buses stop right in front of the building. There are four, gratis routes which meander around the city with connections to most parts of Kuala Lumpur. We found that the blue line stops in front of our building, so we waited just several minutes before one came by. The actual busses, however, are bright pink and easy to spot from a distance. From a transit PDF map, we'd seen it first heads to Chow Kit area.

I used my Google Maps on walking mode and we got off the bus and had a 400-meter walk to find the Chow Kit Market. As well as an unofficial red light district, it boasts the largest popular market. One can buy all manner of fresh food. Jay loves markets like this, but then he thinks fish are great!

Coconuts for Drinking
Chow Kit
HDR Required
On Their Backs

We didn't buy a thing on this trip as this was a day of exploring. The road closest to the market did not appear to have any of our free blue-line buses. The green line passes by there, so we got on. We could have walked to the LRT or the Monorail lines, but the bus was cold and the view from the rear seats was commanding.

I am not sure how long we stayed on, just a matter of 10 minutes perhaps, and we saw the HSBC tower. We stopped there yesterday to use an ATM and knew it was just a few minutes walk from our studio apartment. We were beside the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The structure is of prime importance in Malaysian history. Designed by a British architect for colonial administration, it was built in the 1890s. It was also the location where the declaration of Malaysia's independence was signed in 1957. It really is a stunning building right next to the grounds, the Merdeka Square, where independence days are still celebrated.

Malaysia: New and Old

We had to cross a river to get home. Doing so put us on a nice riverwalk right near the Masjid Jamek. The mosque sits at the place where two rivers meet, the Klang and the Gombak. This location is said to be the location of the very first settlers. The mosque dates from 1909.

Iconic Kuala Lumpur
Close to Our Place
Nice River Walk

From this area, next to an LRT hub, we had an easy walk back. How fun it is to see and explore! If more people got out into the world, there'd be far less ignorance.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Our First Day in KL

Tasting Iconic Scenes
Auspicious Banana Decor
Life is Colourful
City Scapes

Day 65 - We spent our first full day in Kuala Lumpur since 2013. This time, however, we will be spending three months. There is not a need to do everything at a breakneck pace when one has time to actually live somewhere.

Today, we just wanted to get our bearings and began by walking near our building, the Maytower. We are pretty close to the downtown center of everything. We stopped and made a cash withdrawal at an ATM in the HSBC KL headquarters. After, as we were near the Masjid Jamek Station, we went in and picked up MRT rapidKL cards and put 15 ringgits on them.

Then, we wanted to try them out. As we were near the appropriate line, we headed a few stops to KLCC. It cost perhaps US$ 0.40 or so for that distance. Like dutiful tourists, we sought out the Pentronas Towers and City Center Park. For a different way of getting home we hopped on a pink GoKL bus. There are six completely free routes which run around the center of KL. We successfully came back to our apartment via the green line with a tranfer to the blue.

Yes, now we are sure we're in Kuala Lumpur! I'm excited by having so much city so close. The mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian influences is intoxicating.

Enough, yet?
With Jay
City Centre
Getting This Out of My System
Like a Walk in the Park

Monday, January 14, 2019

Malindo Air 325

Day 64 - Our greatest accomplishment of the day was actually our airline's. We changed countries.

Grab Car to the Airport
Quick Trip of 20 Minutes to Airport
Gate 4

We left the apartment by using the Grab app and ordering a driver who whisked up to the airport. We always forget flying in SE Asia is hassle-free; whereas nowadays in most places in the world, it is an enormous pain. We left DPS in Bali early, flew nearly three hours, and arrived at KUL early. Of course not having to adjust to a different time zone helped to make things seem seamless.

After arriving and getting a SIM, we waited about 15 minutes at immigration. I love this country for how easy it is to come and go. Our passports are always stamped for three months, but if one flies to a nearby place and back, that can easily be made into a half a year.

The Maytower Unpacked

We took an express train from the airport to KL Sentral. From there, it was a short Grab ride to the Maytower building. We met Anthony, our host, in the hotel lobby and he brought us up to the 18th floor and our home for the next three months!

I think this may be my favourite city in the whole world. It is well developed, multi-ethnic, and reasonably priced. A huge supermarket is literally across the street. We went there to stock up on a few basics.

LuLu Shopping

It was dark by the time we came out. The days vary very little here. We're not very far north of the equator.

From Our Tiny Balcony

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Go Ahead, Hyundai, Make One for Us

Day 63 - It's Sunday here in Bali and our last day on the island. Tomorrow morning, we fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a three-month visit.

However, I just sent a confirmation email for the purchase of a new Hyundai KONA Electric. I've been on a list since depositing money last summer. It seems as if there's not a whole lot of flexibility in scheduling, so my vehicle is going to be built and will arrive at port in Canada well before we get back there ourselves.

KONA Electric

I've only purchased two new vehicles during my life so the new-car smell will be exciting. This is going to be a different type of vehicle for us, not simply because it is a mini-crossover, but primarily because it doesn't run on liquified dinosaur. There's an electric port behind one side of its grill-less front. It should take us up to 415 KM between charges. Oh, and yes, do add a power sunroof, LED headlights, and leather seats, please.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Weather is Entertainment

Day 62 - I knew I was tempting the weather gods by recently posting all the photos of sunsets.

Sudden Deluge
Temp. Lake

This afternoon it got really dark and we knew a storm would soon be upon us. It came all right! It's hard to imagine so much water so quickly. This put to shame any Vancouver pineapple express during February. It was a torrential thunderstorm. Buckets of water were pouring off the roofs. The area in front of our building turned into a 10cm lake. Ear-splitting thunder roared and next-door lightning flashed

The tropics stay green for the abundance of sun AND water.

After 40 minutes, it finished. There's now no water coming down and very little evidence anything out-of-the-ordinary occurred. I'm glad I saw, heard, and experienced this afternoon's rain. I do love the tropics!

Friday, January 11, 2019

It's 2019. I Retired in 2014.

Day 61 - After realizing we had only a few more days to view a Bali sunset, I agreed with Jay to walk to the beach in the evening. Taking photographs of beach sunsets seems like a common pastime in these parts. I dutifully carried on the tradition by taking a photo of someone else taking a photo of the sunset.

Capturing the Sunset

I don't feel guilty that this and my other photographs may be the most important activity I accomplished today. Living a life where every minute belongs to us seems second nature now. I may pay for our personal free time with a reduced income, but hey, I seem to have enough to take pictures of people taking pictures of sunsets. That's as much as I need.

I don't limit myself to images of our 'old sol'. Here's a photo taken yesterday. It's not art, but I think it is interesting enough to merit a short glance or two.


Thursday, January 10, 2019

We're Always Home

Day 60 - Earlier this evening, we experienced an electrical power outage. It wasn't just us; the whole neighbourhood went dark. For nearly an hour, I relaxed by the pool on a reclining chaise lounge looking up at the stars. How peaceful things seemed! We'd had a few daytime glitches but never a blackout when it was dark.

No Lights in the Sky

It seems difficult to believe our time here is nearly over. To us, these two months in Bali have been a nice experience. Now we're gearing up for three months in Kuala Lumpur, from the beach to the city, so to speak.

We constantly run into many people who wonder how we can stay away from 'home' for so long. On many occasions, I've tried to explain that Jay and I feel at home wherever we are. Many people just cannot understand that fact. And I cannot truly understand those people.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Got to Experiment More with 360°


Day 59 - I hadn't tried taking a 360° image for a long time. In fact, I wondered if I had the necessary camera app on my current phone. Then, I remembered that the Google Street View app, itself, allows one to take VR-ready photos. That company wants so badly for us to upload our images to Google Maps! In fact, the way it is designed, it's hard *not* to press the upload button.

Taking a shot is dizzying as one has to line up the dots to ensure the phone has all the data needed for the complete picture. After, I downloaded the raw image and wondered what would happen if I uploaded it to Flickr. It took a second to load but I was able to mouse the image around. So next, I've embedded it here. It seems to work in Firefox on our Win10 travel machine. Other results may vary.

The image was just a test shot without perfect stitching. It's damned hard to line up objects, especially when they're relatively close to the lens. However, I guess I'll keep it. As we'll be leaving our studio apartment in Bali on Monday, keeping this photo, although it's not perfect, seems a no-brainer. I've swum in this pool for nearly two months now.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

I'm a Title Champ

Day 58 - I've had a lot of practice making titles. This blog has had thousands of entries and for nearly a decade and a half. I've been creating one each day. That makes for quite a few titles.

Also, Flickr photos can be titled. It makes viewing the page more compelling than a mere sequential number generated by the camera. There are times when I 'bulk name' by using the date for a general descriptor. However, when I do include individual titles, I shine. For example, these were added this evening after our walk to the beach.

A Cushy Sales Job
A Cushy Sales Job

Sunset Time (Literally and Figuratively)
Sunset Time (Literally and Figuratively)

It's Complicated
It's Complicated

Monday, January 07, 2019

Finding Amed

Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)

Day 57 - Gede, our driver, was waiting for us when we got to our front door. Today we'd requested a day for another road trip. We were heading across the island again, but this time we stayed closer to the eastern edge.

Getting through Denpasar, the capital, takes a bit of time, even though traffic wasn't bad at nine in the morning. Other than a rest stop, our first real stop for the trip was to visit Tenganan village. Near the resort town of Candi Dasa, Tenganan Pegringsingan is as close to an original Balinese village as possible. It predates the arrival of Hinduism on the island. The layout of the village, its ceremonies, and crafts today are a reminder that before the 1970s this was a society little affected by the outside world.

Strolling around the live community was pleasurable on a hot sunny day.

Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)
Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)
Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)
Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)

We continued with a brief stop in Candi Dasa. As the hotel strip is sandwiched between the road and the sea, we went into a little resort hotel saying we were interested in a future visit. It would take an hour and a half from the airport to get here, but for some reason, we liked the area. We can't quite remember if we stayed in this town during our jeep journey in 1992.

Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)
Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)
Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)
Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)

We do remember the vista point which Jay was able to see during online research. In 1992 we explored this bit of Indonesia on a summer trip. I have a picture in a blog post added years ago, in fact more than a decade ago, which shows an old scanned photo. I wondered whether we could locate the spot after nearly 27 years.

We did! In fact, the Jemeluk viewpoint looks down at Amed's volcanic-sand beach. The fishing village had grown modestly. The hilltop location now has a restaurant at which we had lunch.

Found Location
Day Trip to Amed (Direct from Camera)

We wound back on the same mountaineous highway and were home by 4:30 pm. The scenery was 'pure Bali' and it was nice to see there's still much more to the island than some visitors get to see from Kuta beach.

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