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My final full day in Kuala Lumpur (on this trip, anyway) was one of those days where I’d no expectations so just went with the flow and the day was all the better for it. I was up early, nipped out for breakfast and was back at my desk just after nine. This prompted me to to do the research for my earlier ‘crazy anti HS2 campaigner of the week’ blog as I’d seen their nonsense on social media earlier. I do despair of the English and Welsh ‘green’ party (The Scots have their own which is far more sensible) as it’s so out of step with European green parties when it comes to railways and actual solutions to climate-change, rather than just protesting and posturing. The greens have always been much happier protesting as it means they don’t have to come up with solutions and make the compromises we need to tackle climate change. Instead they can just play ‘holier than thou’.

Having got that off my chest and edited more pictures from the past few days the day changed. Social media can be very divorced from reality. You have ‘friends’ or followers whom you’ve never met and probably never will. I’m fortunate enough to have met several and found they’re just as likeable in real life as they are on the internet. Today was a good example. Alan Bligh and I follow each other on Twitter as we share the same interests and some friends. Alan also reads this blog and following something I’d posted earlier about my enjoyment of Laksa he extended an invitation to meet up for lunch at a place in the suburbs of KL he highly recommended so that he could introduce me to Sarawak Laksa. Why would I say no?

I had a lovely afternoon. Alan was a very gracious and informative host. His parentage is a mix of English and Singaporean and his family history’s fascinating. I learned an awful lot about life here in Malaysia which I found really interesting. It’s the sort of insight you can only get by talking to someone who’s led a full life. We ended up talking for several hours – and not just about railways.

Alan with a bowl of Shrimp Laksa

Oh, by the way, the food was delicious! Laksa is a dish that has so many variations depending on where in Malaysia you are. Alan told me there’s yet another variation where I’ll be tomorrow because a previous Sultan of Johor Baru liked spaghetti so that was added to the mix. I may have to seek it out.

After being dropped off back at my hotel I’d intended to head out to get a few more rail pictures but the glorious blue skies we’d enjoyed this morning had changed to dull cloud so I opted for a wander around the area where I’m staying and ventured further afield in order to take some street-scenes. I’m glad I did because as I walked back past the local Hindu temple they were setting up for a procession – the one thing I’ve not seen on this trip. This being 2023 the two gods on tour were in rubber wheeled palanquins towed by the sort of tractor you’d have found at airports followed by a lorry carrying a generator which was hooked up through cables to power all the lights. It’s a far cry from when the gods would have been carried on several sturdy shoulders. But, when you see the physiques of some of the priests who would be carried along with the Gods, you can understand why.

The whole thing was great fun and the people were very friendly to a curious photographer like me. Here’s a short video of the procession.

Now I’m relaxing back at the hotel, writing this in-between packing as I catch a brace of trains tomorrow in order to head South to Johor Baru once more. I’ll blog about the trip as it happens. In the meantime, here’s a couple of pictures from today.

One of the Gods gets lifted into a cart before going for a ride around town. I couldn’t work out if the route followed some religious boundary as they crossed the river, and no-one could explain.
No event like this is complete without music…

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