I woke up today to the sad news that Robin Williams had committed suicide. He was a very talented man able to excel in both comedic and dramatic roles; it is truly a shame he is no longer with us. I think I can partially empathize with how he must have felt and I know it can be rather alluring to just call it quits; personally, if I didn’t believe in God, Heaven and Hell, and unforeseen negative consequences for my actions, I would probably not be here today. I’m not sure what keeps everyone else going, probably hope; hope for better things to come; hope for a brighter future; hope that the world can change; hope – that most powerful and deceitful of survival mechanisms inherent to us all.
Here’s to the future . . .
After getting out of bed, showering, and dressing, I left the hotel in search of some lunch. A short distance from my hotel, I came across a bus station and, after inquiring about a ticket to Butterworth Station, I the bought a bus ticket for tomorrow morning. Next, I walked north to where many recommended restaurants are located, passing by many aged, yet brightly colored buildings. I then found a dim sum restaurant I had read about on the internet and went inside; this restaurant had no menu, but waitresses walked up to me with meals on trays and it was up to me to choose from the selection of dishes presented; with the first tray, I chose all five items that were on it; then the second tray came around and I just chose one (a bread stuffed with meat); I declined the third tray altogether since I had plenty of food to be consumed. After eating all that I had taken, another tray came around and I could not resist selecting two more dishes, but after that, I was full, so I paid my bill and left the establishment.
I then walked back to the historic district of Ipoh, crossing over the colonial-style bridge above the Kinta River and then by the Birch Memorial again on my way to the Ipoh Bus Station; once at the station, I inquired which bus I should take to reach the Perak Tong cave temple; I even pulled out my iPhone to point exactly where I wanted to travel to on the map so the man in charge of directing passengers to the correct bus could tell me which bus I should board; however, the man either could not read a map or was not willing to even try; so, I ended up taking a taxi that was at the bus station. The taxi driver and I agreed on a price and we then drove north to the cave temple.
It wasn’t long before I reached my destination and about a minute after I arrived, it began to rain. I ran for cover under one of the buildings and then made my way inside the Perak Tong cave temple. This particular cave temple has the largest Buddha statue in Malaysia, seated inside the cave so that he may greet all entering worshipers and visitors. This cave also has a lot of friendly dogs wandering about, which is nice; I can’t help but feel content when greeted by a joyful canine. I walked around the cave, which has many paintings on the walls and many shrines located in each large nook. I then took the stairway up, out through a top entrance of the cave. It was still raining outside, but not too badly anymore; also, thankfully, no lightning was to be seen, nor thunder to be heard. So I exited the cavern and took the many stairs up to the top of the limestone mountain, passing by and through a number of pavilions, built in a Chinese architectural-style. At the top of the mountain, I was given a wide view of the city of Ipoh, with charcoal clouds dumping their rain in the distance. After seeing enough of the northern part of Ipoh from a high point, I walked back down to the cave. I then took some more pictures inside, before finally exiting out the front entrance again. Outside, I walked around the pond, gardens, and adjacent buildings, before walking out to the road and heading south; praying I would not be caught outside in unfavorable weather with no where to run for cover. I walked for sometime on practically- to completely-non-existent pedestrian sidewalks; in fact this city, with the exception of the historic district, is very hard to get around on foot. Along my journey south, I did pass by a Hollywood-style sign for Ipoh, perched up on top of a limestone mountain. Finally, I reached a bus stop and took the public bus back to the Ipoh Bus Station; from the station, I walked back through the old city center, toward the area I had eaten lunch at earlier today.
I walked past a plenty of restaurants, hotels, and a large field before stopping for some boba milk tea. After I had finished my drink, I then crossed the street to eat dinner at an Irish Restaurant and Pub whose head chef is a man from the Emerald Island. I ordered draught Kilkenny beer and a shepherd’s pie with french fries, as well as a side order of a baked potato; I then sat back and enjoyed music videos from the 1960s to the 1990s (although mostly from the 1980s) that were playing on most of the television sets propped up around the restaurant. My food then came out and much to my surprise, the side order of a baked potato was actually five baked potatoes. I proceeded to munch down my dinner and the shepherd’s pie was excellent (very tasty); I also managed to eat all the food I had ordered (the five potatoes were tough to swallow, but I managed); when I was done I felt as though I had enough food in me to make it through the winter. After completely finishing my last beer, I left the restaurant and walked back to my hotel to sleep.