Friday, January 7, 2011

Kota Kinabalu

We woke up “bright and early” today starting the day without any plans for tomorrow.  Step one find a camera, yes I’ve looked a few times, but I’m a cheap bastard and want a good price.  Unfortunately everyone here are jerks and won’t sell me one for a good price.  So I broke down and paid RM 1700 for the fancy new G12.  A bit more than I wanted to pay but I needed a good camera again, so it’s worth spending it for some good pictures. I found out after buying it that it came with a “leather” case and 4GB SanDisk card, but things I didn’t need or really want but they wouldn’t budge on the price, so at least it came with some crap to make the price a bit better. So overall it was the best price I could find at 5 or so different places, counting it as a WIN! After that I followed Nataly blindly around to a few stores to find a top, while I just played around with the settings on the camera.  I didn’t even notice we went up 3 flights of stairs. Oh the joy of a new toy…  PS damn monkeys! Oh as a side note if anyone wants to buy a G9 with underwater housing (great diving camera) let me know.  I’ll be working on selling it when I get back, not quite sure how much it’s worth but I hope it helps cover this cost of the upgrade.  Anyway I should shut up about the camera, I have a new one so expect some more pictures again.

So after running around for about an hour from store to store trying to get them to give me an amazing price on a camera, we headed back to the room so I could ditch the box and pack the messenger bag for walking around town.  And we looked a bit for things to do in the guide book and online.  After a little while we decided to hit a travel agency and see what they could find for us.  So it was off for a short walk across townIMG_0030.  Overall the city is a bit concrete, and bland;  just like the book says!  Due to war time building, or rebuilding or something like that.  But there was plenty of place to eat, and a ton of shopping.  No jungle paradise that’s for sure, but a nice modern city with all the amenities you could dream of before an adventure.  Once we found an agent we looked at all the things available to do, and settles on two packages. The first a 2 or 3 day jungle adventure, with a night jungle trekking, orangutans, and a river cruse. Then followed up by sandy beaches, and sleeping over the water. So we had our game plan, so <insert name here> started making some phone calls to make sure they were available.  But no one answered his calls, and after about 10 minutes of call the numbers that are supposed to be anwsered 24/7 he said he was very sorry but they weren’t anwsering.  So gave him our cell number, and booked a 2 day one night island just a little ways north of the city.  He said it was very nice, and it was much cheaper than the other locations we wanted.  So I’m hoping tomorrow or the next day he’ll send us a text saying they’re available.  Buf for now we’re still playing it by ear.  Which has been working great so far, it can be a little unnerving not knowing what you’ll be doing the next day, or even where you’ll be sleeping, but you get used to it pretty quick.  Plus there’s always a place to stay, and worse case we loose a day on the trip.

IMG_0033So since we had the next day and a half planned, we headed for drinks and some grub.  Along the way we of course stopped and gazed longingly at the sea.  Then I looked over and say the nice looking raid cloud, a mile or so away.  A nice wall of rain by the looks of it, but didn’t think much of it.  Then in about five minutes we had the pleasure of running for cover as it started to rain, quite heavily.  Nothing biblical mind you, just a nice strong rain. There was a building about half a block away that had a nice overhang that we took cover under along with everyone else that was on the streets. IMG_0045And walked down about a block to a horrible looking open area with no cover, then low out of no where, or across the street, rose a towering mall, beckoning us to enter.  So of course wondering around stores seemed much better than just standing next to a building waiting. So we wondered around looking at cell phones for about thirty minutes.  So I found an iPhone4 for RM498 ($166), slightly confused I had them turn it on.  And it came up with a nice apple OS and everything looked like an iPhone, but the price seemed way to low, and it seemed a bit slow.  But of course since I IMG_0043haven’t ever used one I had not idea.  The one of them had a stick on it, and they were mPhones!  Damn chinese knockoffs!  A little to spendy for an mPhone, even know it could be a lot of fun to have one. So with we checked back outside and the rain had reduced to a light dirzzle, so we werw off again!  In search of a cool refreshing beverage, and found it about two blocks away.

IMG_0083The drinks were very tasty and the prices weren’t to bad compared to US prices, but wow were they expensive compared to what I was used to around here.  So we only had one drink and walked down a bit further to IMG_0088Ocean Seafood.  A place we were recommended as a good place, but a little pricey, but I wanted somewhere nice since today Nataly and I have known each other for 8 months, and great 8 months at that! The place was packed, and we had to wait for about 15minutes. After sitting down our waitress came up to us before I even sat all the way IMG_0087down, asking what would you like to eat? So I asked if we IMG_0089could get a menu, and she motioned behind us… So I turn around and saw a menu on the wall, thinking that was a bit odd, we started walking towards it.  And our waitress wondered off to help other customers, then we saw what half of the restaurant was being used for; fish!  Not just piles of them, but tanks full of them. So we got to pick our food while it was still alive.  An entire restaurant full of them, I IMG_0091would have been just fine with a menu and them showing up fully cooked, but at least I know there were fresh I guess.  The food was great, and of course very fresh tasting.  One annoying thing about the restaurant was that when we came back to our table they had a little bowl of peanuts, some fruit, which IMG_0085afterwards we found out cost us money. Annoying but whatever, but there were also two wet nap on the table, and those cost money too?!?! WTF, jackasses… But other than those hidden costs, everything was great.

Then we headed back to the room, since we are going to be picked up tomorrow morning at 7:30.  But of to an island tomorrow morning!

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