8-10/5/16. The big “excitement” of the last three days has been getting ready for the escape to Japan.
Little of this was done on Sunday because all the bike shops were shut, stymieing the first step of obtaining boxes to put the bikes in. So Christine went to the service in the cathedral while Stephen sat quietly in a cafe reading and drinking coffee. There were two concurrent services – a traditional one in the main body of the cathedral and a contemporary one in a side room. Both were packed. Afterwards we were invited to join a group who go for lunch in a shopping mall which was good fun. A couple of them had studied at UK universities (Lancaster & Liverpool – they found the weather a bit different to here!!) and told us that, surprisingly, the cost was similar to studying here at home.
The third phone call to a bike shop on Monday morning struck gold – or so we thought. We made our way out to the address given over the phone via monorail and a 15 minute walk, only to be told that they didn’t have any boxes! After a discussion and a call to the number we had called originally, the only thing they could do for us was supply 4 smaller boxes that we could tape together somehow.
We returned to the hotel and Stephen started dismantling the first bike (you may have seen the unflattering picture on Twitter or Facebook!) while Christine practiced her origami skills on two of the boxes. When we tried to put our efforts together it was less than satisfactory so we decided to try calling another couple of bike shops. The first one said they had no boxes available but they would pack the bikes for 75 ringgits each (about £13). This seemed like a good deal to us so Stephen set about partially reconstructing his bike so that it could be wheeled around.
After breakfast on Tuesday we loaded the bikes into a taxi and headed to the bike shop. The sight of some high end carbon fibre bikes (Colnagos, Cervelos and Treks) together with a display of good old British Brooks saddles (as on our bikes) gave us some reassurance that they knew what they were talking about. Stephen watched the two mechanics intently while they worked – more to get tips than to check they did it right! Next time we fly we will consider getting this job done by the professionals.
With the bikes all ready, we were able to book our flight (for Sunday) and a hotel in Osaka for the first night. So we now have a few days to relax and see a bit more of KL.