Posted by: Rukhsana Khan in: cultures
When I returned from London at the end of November, I had dreams, nightmares really of me sitting on the London tube, worried that I’d miss my stop!
And that was in a situation where I could speak and understand the language!
I had absolutely no intention of taking the public transit here in Kuala Lumpur!
But when the hotel clerk assured me it really was the best way to get out to the Batu Caves area, then I swallowed my trepidation and I ventured onto the LRT.
I reconnoitered last night.
I followed the clerk’s instructions diligently, to get to the train station nearest my hotel. Then when I got there, I climbed the steps and asked the lady in the booth how to get to Putra terminal.
I thought I could do it, so I went back to the hotel.
This morning, I retraced my steps, and asked a different person in the booth which train to take to Putra terminal, where I would catch a taxi to the address. He gave me the exact same answer, so I bought the token (which looks like a blue poker chip) and I pressed it against the turnstile spot going in, and the gate opened, then I held the token in my hand like my friend Daphne had shown me, in order to deposit it in the turnstile at the end of the trip. The token is programmed for exactly the amount you paid and how long the trip is.
Only problem was there was no Putra terminal station listed on the map of the train. And when I asked some fellow passengers (Malaysians are SO friendsly!!!) I got different answers saying I should get off and change at various interchanges.
Finally one lady told me that the last station was close enough to Batu caves that I could take a taxi.
It turned out that the last station, named Gombak, was in fact the same as Putra terminal.
Hence the confusion.
Long story short I made it there and back!
I wonder if I’ll have nightmares about it when I get back.
But as I sat on the comfortable LRT, it did occur to me that it was very odd indeed. The London tube trains are very small, their height is short, many passengers spend much of the journey hunched over.
And yet the the Malaysian trains were quite tall, even though most Malaysians are quite petite.
Tomorrow I take a bus to Singapore.
It’s a five hour bus ride and I’m looking forward to it! But I know I’ll miss this magnificent city!
Over and out.