“Sometimes I ask myself, how much farther will I have to go?”

Entrance to the Batu Caves from the stationPigeonsGolden StatueOutside of cavesInside of the cavesView from the top
On Saturday I went to check out the Batu Caves. I was interested as I’ve never been to a Hindu site of worship before, and it was free. The journey was long and dull from KL Sentral. Once there I followed the crowds to the main stairwell and the big golden statue, and started up the steps. Typical of stairways in Malaysia the stairs were dirty, narrow, uneven and frankly terrifying. I clung to the chipped, peeling balustrade and clutched at my maxi skirt and stopped at every landing. It was worth it once I got to the top though-  the views were brilliant and the caves themselves were huge and fairly impressive. There were two temples,  to get the second you have to brave even more narrow, uneven steps that are also wet which is great ‘fun’, and numerous statues tucked away into the cave walls. I was fascinated by the statues and by the formation of the caves themselves. However the visit was over very quickly, and I was very hot the whole time,and I did not enjoy those stairs which makes me wonder how worth it  it was to go. Oh but on the way back to the station I bought some sort of traditional sweets they were selling on the roadside and they were delicious. The best was bright pink and tasted like  crumbly, cake like coconut ice (and how typical of my sweet toothed self, to be on a mission to try Malaysian snack foods and sweets but remaining ignorant about Malaysian food…) On Sunday I headed out into KL again- to mid valley to pick up last minute packing supplies and get my hair cut. After I got my hair cut I went to the platform and crouched down, typically the train time was changing to an even later time every time I looked, and gazed at my surroundings and it hit me this is the last time. I didn’t feel sad, but I did start to feel anxious and it started to sink in that soon, everything would be shifting, changing, again and am I ready? What comes next, anyway? How will things have changed once I get back to the UK? What comes next? Although I recognise the importance of change, I still cannot help but feel nervous when faced with it.

Since then I’ve been busy trying to sort out the mess that is my room, not leaving campus and these last few days in Malaysia have passed as such, uneventfully like that. I wonder if I’ve made the most of my time here, compare myself to other people, then I think that “experience” is not something that can be quantised. I’m terribly excited to be going to Japan soon. Of course, before I get there I have to finish off my packing. It’s an endless, frustrating task. I’ve been nearly finished since Monday and although in retrospect I was laughably optimistic I was never lying, I really thought I was coming close, but then I’d discover another pile of papers to sort, another bunch of clothes to pack. Currently my suitcase is 5kg overweight and this is awkward, I can barely carry the thing, and maybe a bit embarrassing (again, I wonder about other people. I wonder what my dad is going to make of it.) But I figure its only RM60 to get that kind of excess to Japan and I’d much rather pay than sort out any more bloody paperwork (aka yes, I’m keeping my notes. I do not have the willpower to sort out/discard anymore.) I’ve done enough. I really am nearly finished with it all now (for real!), and then I have to check out of halls and wait for the taxi to come to take me to the airport one last time. I’m nervous, excited, worried, thrilled about Japan. I’m not sad about leaving Malaysia to get there, but I will say it is strange.