Monday, 2 February 2009

All night KL LCCT on the way to Angeles.



Kuala Lumpur has two airports. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Kuala Lumpur Low Cost Carrier Terminal Airport (KL LCCT). They are both miles away from KL itself. It takes about 1hr on a bus to cover the 70km trip south of the city. In Jan '07 I arrived at the wrong airport on my way to Borneo. Luckily, after a mad dash, I made it to the right one just in the nick of time.


It is 2300 Saturday 31st Jan 2009 and I am sitting drinking an over-priced coffee in a polystyrene cup at LCCT. I left Penang at 1550 and arrived KL at 2050. I ate a quick fish curry near Central Market before taking a monorail one stop to the KL Sentral transport hub. I then caught a bus for the 1hr journey to LCCT. There appears to be WIFI here but, frustratingly, I can't connect.

Air Asia (www.airasia.com) is the Asian equivalent of Easyjet or Ryanair. I have used them extensively over the last three years. They operate from KL's LCCT to a whole plethora of destinations including London, Australia, China and India as well as closer links to all South East Asian countries. If you are flexible you can grab some great deals. For example my return flight to the Philippines is 258RM or about £50. £50 for a 4hr return flight across the South China Sea is awesome value by any stretch. I've also booked KL to Macau (just under 4hrs) for £30. To put that in perspective: a 25km taxi from Morpeth to Newcastle airport would cost around £30!

Bizarrely, Malaysia and the Philippines are in the same time zone (GMT +8hrs). This is despite Malaysia being 20° west of the Philippines. Or, the same longitudinal distance between England and the Ukraine. It means it will get dark earlier in the evening in the Philippines.

Unluckily I missed the recent partial solar eclipse by a few days. It was visible in the Philippines. I saw some great pics of a sunset eclipse over Manila bay. I am a little disappointed as I love stuff like that.

So what am I doing hanging around an airport all night? My flight to Angeles is at 0720 tomorrow morning. However, you are required to check in 2hrs before at 0520. You have to take the bus at 0400 from KL to the airport. That would mean waking up at 0300 which simply doesn't appeal. I thought I would save some cash by hanging at the airport all night – my Saturday nights ROCK!

Many people are staring at me here. I don't know if it's because I look like a business twat with my laptop (although my Penang tourist T-shirt hardly oozes business vibes). Or is it because I am the most handsome man in the airport? I am reminded of a time at Helsinki airport when I was wearing an Arctic Fox fur hat and carrying some antlers. The check in woman asked: “Business or pleasure?” What possible kind of business could I have been involved with? I couldn't have looked more like a tourist if I'd tried!

I need to get a new passport and I am lucky enough to come from the country that has the most expensive passports in the world. I'll have to part with £144 = 10,080piso. In the UK they cost £85 so I am penalised £59 for the pleasure of obtaining my passport overseas. I presume these new biometric passports are made of gold. Lucky Americans can simply go to their embassy and have new pages added for free. Obviously Britain can't do this because..........? I hate rip-off shit-hole Britain! A Philippine passport costs £7. How the fuck can a British one cost 20 times more?

I have just started a new book: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. It is a modern take (well, 1916) of a Greek mythology tale where a sculptor falls in love with his creation Galatea. The goddess Aphrodite later brings her to life. Not my normal reading material but books have been thin on the ground lately and beggars can't be choosers.

It's just gone midnight which means a new month has started. It is now 1st February 2009. It's just dawned on me that I'll be in the Philippines' Sin City for Valentines day! A poem to commemorate the fact:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Do you fuck the whores?
Or do they fuck you?
They'll say that they love you,
They'll tell you a lot,
Will they take a few pisos?
Or everything you've got?

Now only 5hrs to kill before I check in! What to do?

I haven't had a beer or cigarette in 2009! I am thinking of quitting alcohol too along with smoking. I end up spending around 65% of my budget on booze – easily my single biggest financial drain! I've surprised myself by realising that if I don't drink I can buy other things like laptops and cell phones – and almost remain in budget. Who'd have thought?

However, even though the hangovers are dreadful (getting worse with age) quitting booze will be a MAJOR challenge in Angeles. It's still too hard to imagine life without booze – wait.............is this what people say at AA?
My name is Stephen and I am an alcoholic.... AAAaaaaaahhhhhh!

I'm currently investigating 'Forex' or foreign exchange trading. There's a lot of money to be made by shrewd investors. I'm generally a low risk kinda guy but I'm tempted by this. One bloke (Soros) made £1billion trading currencies. The £ is so weak just now I am pretty convinced the only way is up over the long term. It went up 3% against the $ today. 3% in one day is a massive return. Banks are giving less than 3% interest annually! However, I'm aware that this move today is nothing but a volatile market fluctuation. Other indicators remain pretty grim for the £ - rising unemployment and falling interest rates. I'm going to play with a free trial version over the next 6months to refine my technique and strategy. Hopefully I'll make a few easy 'hypothetical' quid.

As a thought, if you'd bought $100,000 worth of £ two days ago at $/£ = 1.35 you would have had £74,074. Today £ increased 3% against $ resulting in $/£ = 1.3905 because of a modest increase in UK bank stocks (confidence may be returning slowly). If you'd used your £74,074 to re-buy $ you would have received $103,000 resulting in a $3000 profit over 1 day! I doubt many people (except footballers) have earned that much in one day before!
However, if it was this easy everybody would be millionaires. It's just as easy to arse this up and lose big too. Additionally, you require a spare $100,000 that you can afford to lose which most people would find problematic. I'm gonna start small and slowly build my fortune – hehe.

I am off to find somewhere to sleep and dream of easy money, easy women and an easy life.

AWAS - Danger
AWAS - All World Airports Suck

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