Sometimes, luxury is simply having a choice. Like waking up at 7am after a patchy night and deciding that, though we'd planned to go on a tour to Malacca lasting 8 and a half hours, we could just scrub those plans and turn over and go to sleep again.
Which is what we did.
Because we'd been here before. We knew the journey into Kuala Lumpur was an hour or more of dull motorway driving there and back. Last time, the guide sang us a lullaby! (the photo is of the Hapag-Lloyd Europa, the ship which was also in Singapore yesterday and which appears to be on a similar itinerary to ours)
We woke late, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the coffee shop and my Hero decided to spend the day enjoying the peace and quiet as I took the shuttle to wherever it was going: in this case, to a nearby shopping mall. (The photo is of Silver Shadow, the ship moored alongside us, also in Singapore yesterday)
The Shuttle bus was a little late in arriving for the 11.30 departure, but when it came, it was a "luxury" coach with all the trimmings and an abundance of curtains!
It took us to the local shopping centre, the Bukit Tinggi Mall, where the "must have" item appeared to be a massage chair. Several shops were devoted to the wide variety of therapeutic chairs and accessories, something we simply don't see at home.
I enjoy looking around these places, not especially to shop but to simply observe and notice how different cultures approach the organisation. So, for example, here, all the similar shops are there, side by side in much the same way as there are rows of antique shops in say, Tetbury. That seems counter intuitive to me, a mere amateur at such things - just why would I, a phone company, want to place my particular store right next to that of my competitor? But then, thinking about it....perhaps there is a logic in there somewhere?
Here were stores devoted to "mobile cell phone fashion", which, having seen how almost everyone carries their phone in one hand as they move about the city, is unsurprising. I'm always pretty relaxed about the colour of my phone, always preferring function over form, but if I were to be seen carrying the thing in public 24/7 (or very nearly) then maybe I'd be a little more choosy?
Next door was a very "girlie" shop indeed, with fun little bits and pieces for hair styling and suchlike. I spotted something I thought one of our small friends might like and took it to the cashier. "Cash only" she said. Rats! I had only a card, which had been welcomed in Singapore, where there were no limits to contactless payments and cash was rather a strange, outdated commodity. Oh well, I replaced the silly bit of nonsense and moved on.
The Japanese Daiso "pound shop" next door drew me in with the potential of treasure. Who might imagine that purse frames could be bought so easily here for so little? That such things as felting needles and applique scissors might be found at such low prices? I could have filled my suitcase here, but resisted that temptation and simply put a fan, a zip wallet, a pack of origami paper and a set of noticeboard magnets into my basket, all things which I had on a list of things to look out for.
Yes, I even resisted these cute chair leg covers for our kitchen chairs which scrape so noisily on our stone floor. I can be very resistant to "cute" at times like this! Just as well, for as I approached the cash register I saw the sign "Cash Only".
I found a cash machine and put in my card to retrieve 50 ringgit (about £10) and returned to purchase those four items I'd tucked behiind a shelf to save me from going all around the shop again. And yes, having made that purchase, of course I returned to the little girly hair shop to buy the funny pair of plaits for our small god-daughter too.
I made my way back to the shuttle bus, noting the vast arrangement of massage chairs in the centre of the mall as I did. I counted 15 spare ringgit in my purse - £3 to spend! Should I try to find something or simply take it back with me?
Again, the luxury of choice. We're in Malaysia again tomorrow, in Langkawi. Perhaps I'll find something to spend it on?