Chuck Hillig's Travel Blog

Well, I'm going to be doing a lot of traveling over the next 6-7 months so I thought that I'd better re-activate my travel blog. The last time I posted anything here was way back in 2006 when I was traveling through SE Asia. Feel free to read my entries back then about my earlier adventures through India,Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, the Philippines and Hong Kong. This time (at least for the next six weeks), I'll be traveling through Greece and Turkey.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Kuala Lumpur and Singapore...

I flew down to Kuala Lumpur and found my way over to the Marriott where I was to meet up with Gino Yu. (The Malaysian currency is the Ringgit and the rate of exchange is approximately 1 USD = 3.6 Ringgits). Gino had been attending a conference all day and so we didn't get a chance to hook up until later in the evening. When we did, however, we immediately discovered how well we connected with each other on both a mental and a spiritual level. Amazingly, it even turned out that Gino and I had been born in the very same hospital in Chicago! Unfortunately, though, I was still struggling with the bug that I had picked up in Cambodia and so, on Thursday, I had to get some medication from the hotel's in-house doctor. Cedrick, an employee of Gino's in Hong Kong, joined us on Friday, and the three of us took a cab into downtown Kuala Lumpur and checked into another very nice hotel. Cedrick used to work for George Lucas (Industrial Light & Magic) on such projects as Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones. On Saturday, we were driven around by Alwee, a new friend of Gino's, who is interested in facilitating academic projects that would assist in the growth of Malaysia in general and of KL in particular. Besides being driven around the city, we also had an opportunity to visit the extraordinary twin towers in KL that had been made famous by appearing in a recent thriller with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Since 9-11, however, they only allow about 1000 people a day to go up to the crosswalk that connects the towers at the 40th floor, but, since Alwee had some friends on the 62nd, level, we were able to go up to that level to check out the awesome view. When Alwee and I had accidentally gotten off the elevator at the 60th floor, we were immediately confronted by armed guards who were on duty at the Al-Jezeera TV studio. Very funny to see their reactions (it was a weekend and they weren't expecting anyone to show up at the studio) but they were both deadly serious and not smiling at all.
On Sunday, Cedrick flew back to Hong Kong, and Gino and I took a 5-hour bus trip from Kuala Lumpur down to Singapore. Gino had been hired to present several lectures on Tuesday (tomorrow) and his Hosts had paid for a hotel room for him until Thursday. Happily, he invited me to, once again, share his hotel room in order to continue our ongoing discussions about philosophy, psychology and our world-view. Very energizing and fascinating stuff, and we're reallly enjoying each other's company. In fact, Gino has invited me to spend a few days with him and his family in Hong Kong after he finishes up attending (and presenting) at yet another conference in Bejing at the beginning of June. I'll fly to either Bali or Manila on Thursday and then find my way over to HK around the 8th.
Singapore is quite a modern city...very clean and unpoluted. As they do in Malaysia, the drivers in Singapore also keep to the left side of the road. Only in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia do they continue to drive on the right...thanks to their historical connections with France.
I'm happy to report that my body is feeling much better these days. More later...

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