As an intern, although we get paid a small salary at the end, we don’t get paid travel expenses. Unluckily for me since I am one of the few people who doesn’t drive in KL. So, you know you’re in for a mission when the magazine does offer you money for a (work-related) journey.
I was pushed out of the door with an IKEA bag bursting with shoes and clothes in one hand, folder in another, and two fully charged mobile phones. (One lesson a week on the many perils which come with not charging your phone is enough, thank you very much.)
Almost always I get sent to fancy shopping malls downtown as I try to keep my cool around Mr. Pucci and Ms. Chanel, grateful that Malaysia's retail industry hasn't met poor old Mrs. Primark yet.
Sometimes, like this time, you get sent to dodgy areas of town, or should I say village, where even the cab drivers refuse to go.
As I emerged from the taxi I could see why. I managed to stay awake through the one hour drive to Pavilion shopping centre, to another hour and thirty minute drive to Bangsar village. Police sirens echoed down the street and I could smell rotten fish.
I could see the headlines now:
“Foreign female intern with nice shoes murdered in Petaling Jaya.”
Whenever in such situations, and I have had my fair share in the past, I attempted my best angry ‘don’t mess with me’ expression, to deter any potential attackers. And I’ve been getting really good at it.
I quickly hurried down the street, trying desperately to find the third store to return the loaned items. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to find a pair of polka dotted shoes so badly. Thankfully, I managed to get what I wanted, didn’t find any trouble with the oh so friendly shopkeepers and headed out the door… into the pouring rain. Sign.
Eventually, one relatively short taxi ride later, since the kind man knew a shorter route to the photographer's studio and avoided the traffic jam, one wrong turn on my way back home and 2 hours later, I WAS HOME. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Without getting mugged, attacked or knifed for my shoes.
Now if only I could manage carrying all those shopping bags and still look like a breath of fresh air: