Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wildlife on my way to work

The last couple of days I have seen an abundance of wildlife visable from my train and bus on the way to work. I go through a beautiful section of countryside and past a number of farms so I always see something frolicking around but since Monday I've seen:

Red deer - some large herds, some groups of two or three dotted around different fields



Tufted ducks

Song thrushes - I think they have just reseeded the playing field because there were dozens of them, and I've rarley seen more than two or three together before




Canada Geese





Tuesday, February 12, 2008


So it was a day at the prospective partner University yesterday - always interesting.... actually they're very organised and hospitable, although keeping track of all the Malay/Arabic names has been a challenge. The Chief Operating Office is very suave, and rather dishy in a short, stocky Malay kind of way - very commanding moustache!

The University is based near Little India - although driving through it I couldn't see a great deal of difference from Chinatown, except the shops were selling Sari fabric not fake Gucci handbags. Apparently there are some more Indiany bits, we just must have not seen them.

Dinner last night was in a Lebanese restaurant in a posh Mall called the Starhill - I've never seen so many branches of Hermes and Bulgari as I have seen so far in KL. Had a slight menu malfunction as I ordered what really did look like a veggie option - the menu was quite descriptive - which turned up with two great hunks of lamb on the bone next to the stuffed courgettes. We figured out something for me to eat in the end so no worries.

Then it was cocktails in the "Jazz lounge" - read "easy listening", although live and rather good. With a view over one of the main thoroughfares through the posh shopping district. All rather spontaneous and nice. Having good conversations with my colleague and her chap - although I always wonder if they think I'm mad..... personal paranoia strikes again.

Anyway, I've got to hop in the shower and then down for breakfast..... will post some more tomorrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


So the adventure begins. The plane landed at KL international airport at 7am local time - 11pm UK time. As we were making our descent the dawn was breaking and suddenly all the forests of palm trees were visible below us.

We made it to the hotel with not much hassle - brand new high speed rail connection - plus teksi (taxi) from KL Sentral rail station. The hotel is definitely KLassy with a capital K and L. Not bad for £40 a night, you'd definitely be pushing £100 for anything near as good in the UK.

Then I tried to sleep. But my head was racing around with all sort of random facts. So I tried some relaxation techniques, but that didn't work. 2 hours later I dozed off. So I'm working on 3 hours sleep in the last 30 hours or so. Oh well.

Did a quick walk around the base of the Petronas towers and the KLCC park. Then headed up the Menara KL Tower - fourth largest telecommunications tower in the world don't you know. Its always the thing I like to do in a new city - get up high, and work out where the heck everything is. Then a quick dip in the pool sticking out from the fourth floor of the hotel. Will post pictures when I'm pack in the UK - forgot to pack the camera lead!

It's off to dinner with my colleague and her chap tonight. I'd like to try out one of the Rough Guide's restaurant recommendations in Chinatown - the first of many adventures. Then its back on with the work brain tomorrow negotiating with a Malay University - eek!

Friday, February 01, 2008

The panic subsides

I had the shock of my life last week when I opened up an email from one of our academics and he asked if I minded flying to Kuala Lumpur on the 8th February.... aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..... is what I said (to an empty office). Now I've travelled a bit - Europe and the US - but I've never been to East Asia before. I knew this trip was coming up but I didn't think it would be so soon. But this is part of what I'm paid to do, so now that the panic has subsided somewhat, I'm getting rather excited. Flights are nearly sorted, and so are hotels. KL looks like it has a fab public transport system - monorail mixed with other light rail - and a quite new high speed connection from the airport. I should get there early Sunday morning, so time for a kip and then a wander around in the afternoon. Meetings all day Monday and Tuesday. Then fly back to the UK Wednesday, landing late afternoon. My word am I going to be knackered. After a slight trauma I found out I probably will be travelling out with the colleague who will be coming with me, although travelling back alone as she is bringing her partner along for the trip.

I will try and do a blog from the road as I should have the work laptop with me and I will definitely have my camera!