Just back from a boisterously wonderful two-week run at the Crackhouse Comedy Club in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia! Often times when I’m in that country, it is only for a few days. As a result, my sightseeing is severely hampered. But this time, my extended stay afforded me the chance to see some things I had never gotten around to previously.
I had always wanted to visit the Hindu temple at Batu Caves. In my home state of Hawaii, the slang for crystal methamphetamine is “batu.” This is not why I wanted to visit. (And certainly NOT why I went to visit the village of Mahu in Myanmar.)
On a previous trip to Malaysia, I was there during the Thaipusam festival. It’s a month-long event where a million devotees show up and get their bodies skewered by hooks which are attached to heavy rigs that carry metal jugs of milk, then climb up 272 steps. Obviously, I wanted to go, but the crowds were twice as bad as Coachella, and with piercings a thousand times more serious.
So I enlisted local Malaysian comic Prakash Daniel to be my tour guide for the day. (Look him up, he’s a funny guy as well as a great photographer.) I was glad Prakash was down with the plan, because I thought as an Indian he might be able to school me on what was going on at this Hindu shrine. Turns out he’s a Christian, but knew a bit about the area.
For example, the first thing he said to me as we rolled up to the stairs was, “Be careful of the monkeys.” And that was all I really needed to know about the whole place. BE CAREFUL OF THE MONKEYS. I’m sure there is a wealth of learning to be had about the spiritual and religious nature of Batu Caves, but I was so distracted/afraid/terrified by the ROVING HORDE OF EVIL MONKEYS that I was more concerned about my survival than broadening my horizons.
Check out this Cliff’s Notes version of the monkey danger (NSFW):
The lesson? Next time wear a Dustin Hoffman anti-Motaba suit from Outbreak so I can better enjoy the world’s largest statue of Lord Murugan.