Friday, December 5, 2008

Cultivating a New Fear

Day 269
Today was my last day in Kl and I wanted to make sure that I actually accomplished something. I made sure that I got up early to do it. In no time I was at the Batu Caves.

The Batu Caves were made into a Hindu shrine in the mid 1800's. There are a lot of caves to check out, but most of them require a guide and even special permission. I was just there to check out the one main cave.

The first thing I saw was a giant standing golden god. I have no idea which one it was. Next to him were the 273 steps to the cave. I moaned to myself, I hate steps and it was really hot out. There was no way that I actually wanted to do this. Well, I wanted to do it, I just wanted it to be air conditioned and for there to be an elevator. Just then I thought I saw a rat run by me. At second glance I realized that it was a monkey. Suddenly I could see them all over the place. I love monkeys.

As I slowly climbed the stairs I took pictures of the monkeys and the view. I figured that the monkeys would just ignore the people. The staircase was split into three by two long railings. I had picked the middle one. There was a man to my right who was a couple of steps ahead of me. I didn't see what happened but I heard a loud noise and then saw that he was pretty much fighting off a monkey. When the monkey finally left he had a huge gash in his arm. Blood was flowing from it quickly. I have no idea if he someone taunted the monkey, or if it was just a mean monkey. I just stood there staring with my mouth open. Animal bites are serious business and I felt bad for the guy. He walked down to someone who I think must have been his wife. I wasn't sure if I should keep going or just leave. Suddenly the monkeys were scaring me half to death. In the end I decided to keep going, but to stay well away from the monkeys.

At one point a monkey started coming close to me and I backed away. A man climbing near by explained to me that if I held my water bottle under my arm it looked like I was hiding something. The monkey thought I might have food for him. I decided to hold my bottle by the neck instead. Another man told me that I should have brought bananas, that they could be bought at the bottom of the steps. I hadn't seen anyone selling bananas, and I wouldn't want to get that close to the monkeys anyway. He told me that the monkeys didn't like to have their picture taken if you didn't pay them with food. I really don't think the monkey knows that I was taking a picture of it.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I made it up without a scratch. Suddenly the monkeys were gone, but there were several crowing roosters. I had completely forgotten how many steps I had climbed or how hot out it was.

The cave itself was amazing. It was green and dripping and had this otherworldly quality to it. I spent some time checking out the different rock formations. There were several small alters to check out. They all seemed to have a cartoon like look to them. I asked a couple of other tourists to help me out with some pictures.

When it was time to go down I made sure to put myself in the middle of a couple groups of people. I figured that the monkeys were get to them first. I was really happy when I had reached the bottom without any monkey bites. I didn't have to wait long for the bus back. I got a bit confused though and ended up getting off too soon and taking the monorail back.

It was just noon when I got back and I stopped at a curry place and got some banana pori for lunch. I also tried to figure out what to do with myself. I really didn't care for KL and none of the sites really motivated me. I decided to just go back to the hostel and hang out. The hostel was really rather nice. It was airconditioned and the staff was fabulous. I spent the afternoon watching tv and online.

After grabbing myself some dinner I curled up in front of the tv with the hostel cat named Naughty. I thought he was anything but naughty though. I stayed up way too late watching tv on the internet and went to bed with blury eyes.

No comments: