On the 16th of September 2013,
I took part in Lagangs Cave tour in the morning.
Comfortable. I could walk slowly on this tour.
But, that feeling soon wore off.
There is a extremely narrow path where only one person can go through.
I had to crawl and got a hit on my head, elbows and knees.
I found some bruises on that night.
The path length was just about 20m.
But, it was long enough for a claustrophobia like me.
At this cave, I met 2 Malay guys named Mr.T and Mr.L.
In my case, my backpack got mud and dirt through the cave.
But, they took out plastic bags and covered their backpacks.
I felt they must be experienced travelers.
I took part in the Deer and Langs Caves tour in the afternoon.
The tour is easy and for family groups.
All the way length is around 4km.
But, it was heavy rain and I was soaking wet.
A rain coat is a must-have item at Gunung Mulu National Park.
After that, I went to the Bat Observatory to see the Bat Exodus.
I met Mr.T and Mr.L there.
We exchanged our sweets while waiting for the bat exodus.
Not hard but it was still raining.
I wondered « Today is not the day. »
While I was thinking, a stream of the sun light came through clouds.
Around 5:30PM, a swarm of bats came out of the cave.
Dozens of swarms came out but every swarm was small.
On the next day, it was sheer blue sky.
« Today must be the day. »
I went to the Bat Observatory around 5:00PM.
I could see 10 minutes long without breaking swarm of bats at 2 times.
On that day, Mr.T and Mr.L bought me a dinner.
They ordered 3 plates of rice, 1 plate of boiled chicken meat and 2 plates of stir fried green vegetables.
While travelling abroad, there are few chances to have vegetables.
I’m almost vegetarian. I’m grateful.
The chicken bone was boiled enough to eat its marrow easily.
A boiled chicken dish is originally mixed with rice.
They asked the restaurant staff to serve boiled chicken and rice
with separate plates.
This is not the thing that Malay can only do.
But, at least, it is impossible for my English ability.
Mr.T: « What Malay food have you eaten? »
Me: « Nasi Lemak. Nasi Goreng. Mee Goreng. »
Mr.L: « What else do you like to eat? »
Me: « Pakute. » I said phonetically.
Mr.T&Mr.L: « What? »
Me: « Must be I mistake pronunciation. »
I brought a Malay travel guide book written by Japanese.
I pointed at a picture of ‘Bak Kut The’.
Mr.T&Mr.L: « Ahh. Bak Kut The. »
I pronounced wrongly ‘Malacca’ as well.
If I mention one thing about Japanese educational system problems, this is it.
We are taught other countries’ things,
such as place name, food name and person name,
with Japanese style pronunciation.
Not only teachers but anchormen and books express with Japanese style.
That’s why we speak with totally different pronunciation.
Israel, Jordan, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Athens, Cyprus, Johannesburg.
The list goes on and on.
When I first heard those name on CNN, I wondered where.
It’s worse for Chinese things.
Chinese and Japanese both use Chinese characters.
But, pronunciation is totally different.
Hu Jintao(胡錦濤), we call ‘Ko kintou’.
Mao Zedong(毛澤東), we call ‘Mou takuto’.
Just name a few.
Back to the story,
Thankfully, Mr.T and Mr.L offered to buy me a breakfast at Kelang
on the 20th of October.
They asked me where I would stay at Kuala Lumpur.
I pointed at a certain page on my travel guide book.
It is written by Japanese, but they grasp where.
Especially, Mr.L enthusiastically read this book for about 20 minutes,
even though he cannot understand Japanese.
They look young for their ages.
The key is to be earnest for everything.
On the 20th of September 2013,
this is the day when Mr.T and Mr.L took me to a popular ‘Bak Kut The’ restaurant at Kelang.
They told me that it is very popular so that all food are sold out until 10:00AM.
Mr.T and I promised to meet at 6:30AM at ‘The Travel Hub Guest House‘ where I stayed.
But, Mr.T didn’t come.
I wondered he must be stuck in traffic jam.
I looked back those 2 days.
When I took a ride on KLIA Ekspres 2days before,
I could see traffic jam through the window.
When I got off a train at Pasar Seni station,
I covered my mouth with my arm and took a breath through a T-shirt
as soon as I stood on the street.
It is said that China is plagued by pollution.
In my opinion, the air is more polluted in Kuala Lumpur than in Hong Kong.
I asked the guesthouse staff,
Me: « How long does it take by car from Kelang to LCC Terminal? »
Staff: « 2 or 3 hours. »
I did the math quickly.
I took into account the worst scenario,
such as a queue at the restaurant, slow procedure at the airport.
Chances are 50/50.
But, this was the day when I must go back to Japan.
I said to myself that I should awake from dream to reality.
Mr.T arrived there around 7:30AM.
Me: « I’m sorry. But, I’m afraid of be late. »
Mr.T pleasantly respect my opinion.
I forget the restaurant name and where it is.
But, Mr.T probably took me to Lai Fong Restaurant.
He bought me a beef noodle there.
It was yummy. I love Malay food.
After that, we enjoyed my last day at Guan Di Temple(关帝庙),Sri Mahamariamman Temple.
Thank you Mr.T and Mr.L for your kindness. I appreciate it.
When you come to Tokyo, I’ll show you around.
Before that, I just open my own website(Eat up Japan!! Eat up Tokyo!!).
I’m planning to enrich this website.
(1) A jetty at Gunung Mulu National Park
(Photo Credit: Mr.T)
(2) Lagangs Cave
(Photo Credit: Mr.T)
(3) Lagangs Cave
(Photo Credit: Mr.T)
(4) Centipede on the way to Deer Cave
(5) Bat in Deer Cave
(6) Deer Cave
(7) Guan Di Temple(关帝庙)
(According to temple staffs(Name:Birthday), Left(周倉将軍:30th Oct)/Center(关帝聖君:24th June)/Right(关平太子:13th May))
(8) Sri Mahamariamman Temple