Thursday, 12 April 2012

The house of fire

Rumah Api, Kualalumpur

Yet another friend of a friend of a friends house that i was lucky enough to stay at. This place is awesome!
I caught a bus from Singapore and arriving at the train station with a mobile number and address in hand stating "Ampang". Exhausting myself looking for a public phone, i jumped on the train and headed to Ampang, they wouldnt mind if i just rocked up on there doorstep rite? Well thats what i had planned until the lovely people sitting next to me started asking why i was heading out into the suburbs, why wasnt i staying in China town or little India, then letting me use their phone  and 10 minutes later i was at Ampang train station awaiting Man and Arip. Two punk looking boys walk towards me and i knew it was them. Helping me with my bags, these boys were very friendly and the punk house, a very peaceful and welcoming place to stay at.
The place is in an old industrial building, two storys, the bottom is a big kitchen where they cook feasts for "food not bombs" every sunday, and a big performance space where they have punk, metal, harcore whatever gigs on most friday and saturday nights. Upstairs is the living space, half a room of matresses with air conditioning pumping hard, so much so that you forget that you are in Asia and instead start to form icicles in each nostril. And another room dedicated to a library, information , chill out space and floor for travellers that drift in regularly to sleep on.

While here i had a good time cooking my own food with the beautiful Nunu, we would have our morning routine of sitting in the kitchen and making some delicious food like a couple of Ibu women in a Kampung village. All the food was donated free from the local market, and i was overly excited at the amount of eggs they were given weekly, indulging maybe too much.
One day we rode our bikes for a good 2 hours to the other side of the city for a Womens day celebration protest. It was a lot bigger than we expected, bus loads of women form villages and cities all over Malaysia arriving, and the estimated attendence in the end was about 5000. All wearing purple, holding banners and flowers with white gloves, to symbolise solidarity!We walked through the city and finished in a field where there was rallying and discussions.
We had a night of workshopping, making jewellery from stones that Nunu and i had collected at the beautiful river that was only a 15 minute bike ride away. A small workshop that was enjoyed, but maybe also testing some of the boys patience, their fingers a little too chunky to be tying intricate knots.

This house was comfortable, too comfortable. The days drifted by fast and before i knew it id been here a week. Frantically deciding that it was time to move on, id had enough of the city, its traffic and noise, i wanted to leave and decided i would find a way to see some of the Malaysian jungle, that of which i left. 
Taman Negara sounded like a beautiful place to go, but overly touristy, and it was hard to find a way to get there avoiding group tours. I was getting a little frustrated (sometimes the internet can leak an endless supply of ideas) until a shining light of idea walked in named Alex. He had just been staying on a farm in Perak, a permaculture farm in the jungle. It sounded perfect. I flicked them an email, and two days later was on a bus to Lenggong, to spend 2 weeks learning about farming in the tropics.

Rumah Api
The boys being hardcore with their hats!
Womens day protest

Installation art? 
The piece of paradise 15 minute bike ride from home.
Wonderful Nunu!

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