Thursday, April 6, 2006

Kota Kinabalu 29-11-2005

Bringing you this post from the KK State Library....
Well we have arrived!Kota Kinabalu seems to be a pretty chilled sort of place, in fact so far there's been no hassles whatsoever, we've practically been ignored which is kind of nice after some of the other places we have visited before.It's not as hot as I expected, and so far not a single mosquito has bitten me although I have seen a few whopper insects.
Yesterday evening it rained, and rained, and rained, welcome to the tropics!
At first I was thrown by getting so little attention, the nice cars and easy transition into the country but there are a few tell tale signs that make me feel at home...Drinks in little plastic bags, treacherous footpaths, gaping holes over the drains, roosters crowing all day, lemon juice in a mug and coffee with ice, boys singing love songs and playing guitars outside the window... we're back!
We're staying on the 3rd floor of a backpacker place, in their only non-dorm room. It has a bed in it, and lurid crimson curtains which give the room a romantic pink tinge but that's about it. However after 5 hours of broken sleep over 2 days I couldn't give a rats what the room looked like so long as it had a bed that fully reclined and didn't have to be returned to an upright position periodically.The bathroom is technically a shared one, but there's hardly any one here so it's not really a problem. it has that wonderful shower arrangement we have come to know and love whereby the shower is positioned so that the water is aimed directly at the toilet . I tried to heat the water via a string of expletives (this did nothing for the water but would have surely burnt the ears of anyone unfortunate enough to be in hearing distance) but after the initial shock it was very refreshing, albeit quick!
The main part of this town is tiny! We can walk to all the main attractions within about 15 minutes. The landmark for our street is a fabulously silly enormous marlin made of sheet metal by the water front in the middle of a roundabout. We've been for a wander past several markets on the waterfront and found a wall of aquariums in a seafood restaurant when we were attracted by the sight of two very large concrete crayfish outside the doors. There were some enormous fish and a variety of mysterious marine creatures, all of which could be bought for a small fortune to eat. They seemed quite happy for us to have a sticky beak around with no intention of sitting down.
Speaking of food... my ambition to be braver and try more things started on the plane flight over when we were given spicy anchovies and rice for breakfast, I managed a few of the anchovies so it was a good start. I have well and truly had my fill of reconstituted orange juice in little plastic containers and weak coffee over the last few days.And on airline food... we were given tuna sandwiches on one flight, followed by shrimps and eggs, and later anchovies... Malaysia Airlines seemed to be going out of their way to chose the most highly scented foods for an enclosed space. Quite funny or at least I thought it was.
We ate our first curries in a little halal restaurant across the road from where we are staying, tasty but stone cold and full of bones (of course). Bit nervous about eating something out of a dish in a cabinet but fine so far, we've heard that people rarely get sick here so it's all good. We also followed our noses and found a Vietnamese place with really nice food. Lots of Chinese places about but hardly any Malay. On a mission tonight to find some.
Anyway, that's about it for now. I think we'll head to Sandakan in the east tomorrow on the hunt for orang utans, we're planning on floating down a part of the river where we are guaranteed to see at least some wildlife, possibly even some wild elephants (now that would be cool).
Oh and we saw a squirrel

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