25 March 2012
A short outing today, but still with bumps.
Smaller bumps, but bumps all the same. Some are Tarzan hills, where you can swing from one to the next, but some are steep enough to make the granny worthwhile. I drop my chain on an especially steep one, but manage to unclip before I rapidly grind to a halt. My drivetrain is in a right state, and is going to need some replacements when I get to the UK.
At 55km down, I crest a hill, round a corner and suddenly get a much more expansive view than I've lately had: the terrain seems to be flattening out. Hopefully, this means the next few days will be less bumpy.
I roll into Jerantut early enough for a late lunch, but end up eating mid afternoon after unsuccessfully trying to track down an Indian tandoori outfit like the ones at which I've been feeding at every opportunity. KFC is the busiest restaurant in town - watch out folks, you'll give a chunk of your culture away without even noticing.
I land up with fried noodles at a Chinese place. I order in Cantonese, and it feels weird - I don't really speak the language, Mandarin keeps creeping in, and the sounds feel unfamiliar in my mouth. It communicates, however, which is the whole point.
Dinner follows a similar pattern, though this time I crack into the Mandarin earlier. The lady's clearly a Canto speaker, but it all works out.
Much is made of the pragmatism of the Chinese, and it's well in evidence in Southeast Asia. Language-wise, in Malaysia the clear leader has been the Chinese girl (aged 13, give or take) who handled my arrival at a hotel in Tanah Rata. She spoke with me in very competent English, with a staff member in fluent Bahasa Melayu, and her mother in Cantonese, and didn't bat an eyelid when I replied in Cantonese when she asked where I was from.
63km, 20.0km/h, 3hr8min, 7843km