Indian Barber at Sepi Kong Heng - 30th March

French Hotel feel like home. The staff here especially Rash, Wenesa and Amirul are great and their smiling faces greet us each time we enter the hotel foyer. Nothing seems to be too much trouble for them.

The rest of this week until we depart for Malacca on Saturday we plan to spend being pseudo Ipohites to get a final feel of living in Ipoh. We will have spent 23 days here when we leave and I believe it qualifies us to give a well-earned opinion of what life living in Ipoh would be like for folk in their latter years.

Many people ask us how we can be so happy having lost most of our money. The answer lies in the fact that we were very happy before we had money!  To date in this “Episode of Life” we are managing to live on the equivalent of an Oz aged Pension. Living in Hotels is our biggest cost at present but if renting long term this would reduce markedly. I might add that we are not “Just Living” but living life to the full with a new adventure every day.

After we spend 6 days in Malacca at The Wayfarer Guest House we are getting the bus to Kuala Lumpur and will spend 4 nights there. Have been to KL before and found it to be just another busy city but it is worth a second look.

Yesterday online I booked Malaysian Airlines Flights from KL to Kuching in Sarawak (Eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo) on the 14th April and returning 29th April. They have specials at the moment which were too good to resist. Air fare for 2 of us return came to 600RM or $212 Australian.  Each flight is an hour and forty five minutes, you get a meal and 30kg baggage allowance each. This works out when amortised over 15 days at $13.50 Australian a day. Well within even the most frugal retiree’s budget.

Have fond memories of an earlier visit to Kuching, Miri, Kota Kinnabulla and Sandakan.  We plan to just go with the flow in Borneo for 2 weeks. Might even visit The Sultan of Brunei. We have lurked outside his waterfront holiday house in Penang so we are probably already on security footage.

Walked to Old Town and got my haircut by an Indian Barber at Sepi Kong Heng . He was 75 years old and had been cutting hair for 60 years. He did a wonderful job, trimmed my moustache, finished neck with cut throat razor, gave shoulder and head massage and some vigorous head slapping all for the princely sum of 10RM or about A$3.50.

Sepi Kong Heng

Sepi Kong Heng

My Indian barber

My Indian barber

Trimming my moustache

Trimming my moustache

Finished morning off with lunch next door to barber where we had 2 plates of Popiah and a Bean Sprout Pork with iced lemon tea.

Pork at Sepi Kong Heng

Pork at Sepi Kong Heng

Chubby bean sprouts

Chubby bean sprouts

Plates of Popiah

Plates of Popiah

Walked back to hotel and as the temperature was rising (around 33°C) we decided to take in a movie at the city cinema in Ipoh Parade. The theatre was amazing. The seat rows were much further apart than in Oz and twice as comfortable. Everything about the place was superior to movie theatres we have been to. You even pick your seat as you can do with airlines and your ticket is then issued with you seat number on it. Memories of the decidedly smelly Byron Cinema faded away as did the distinct smell of old people we had experienced at The Tweed Cinemas. We may have reached civilisation! The cost for a ticket you might ask (We saw Sean Penn in The Gunman) was just 8RM each or around A$2.80!

Back at the hotel after a storm am thinking of breaking the Muslim lifestyle by buying a bottle of red wine at The Store. A good Chilean Syrah/Merlot is 26RM or $9.20 Australian. Even retirees can afford a tipple here.