Day 163 Pillow Fight outside PETRONAS Towers in Kuala Lumpur

This event started quite promising… I had 850 people signed up on facebook that they would or might attend… when I did the same in Turkey about 75% of the Facebook people turned up so I thought it would be a HUGE event!

Well, it seems Malaysians are not quite as good at doing what they say they will… in the end about 100 people showed up… and only about 40 of them brought pillows…we had a great fight still though and loads of laughter and fun!

Oh, and all the pictures in this section are borrowed from other people posting on Facebook… my camera didn’t take any pics from this event.

 

And a few pics 🙂

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And in a restaurant with some CS:ers after the event.

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Day 149 to 152 Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Another country… had a pretty long flight (about 16 hours) since we had an engine problem… but in the end it all worked out fine and we arrived in KL (Kuala Lumpur).

I had a lot of fun in KL, going to CS-meetings, staying at different hosts and making an excursion to an amusement park called Genting Highlands.

Arriving in KL and meeting my first CS:ers there.

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Don’t we look happy 😀

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The Petronas towers… really HUGE buildings that define the KL skyline!

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With two CS:ers at the second meeting I went to during the first night… I can tell you it was warm to lug around that 27 kg backpack in 30 degrees heat… especially the first night when I was not used to it…

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Second day… found a nice lake-area in the middle of KL.

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big CS gathering… the KL group was really active so easy to get to know many people 😀

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Me and two CS-girls… they ended up staying at the same host as me for a couple of days…

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At a Salsa-club… ehm… yea… I got a bit sweaty!

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On our way to Genting Highlands with the CS-girls and our two hosts (left and right of them)  IMG_1647

A chinese temple in the middle of the amusement park…

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There where lots of statues like this in the temple… guess you don’t want to go to hell if you are chinese… IMG_1665

A VERY big Buddha!IMG_1667  

Wheee … we are going on the superman…a rollercoster in which you lie down!

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Two surfers sound asleep in the middle of the day… that is what happens when you stay up late 🙂

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Barbeque by the pool… nice!

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On our way up to the Genting park (these pics are a bit mixed in order :-D)

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More of the Buddha statue… now with us in the front.

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We where poosing with a group of chineese girls… they wanted us to do the V sign with our hands 😀

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Jumping back in time to the first night I met the CS girls again (this is what happens when you take pics from the cameras :-P)

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Yeay… a drink at the salsa-club (eh… for you that wonder… it is actually non-alcoholic 😉

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The CS-crew that went to the salsa-club

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Some dancing!IMG_3741

Two at one time! And yea… it WAS warm in there!

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More barbecue pics IMG_3805

If there is a pool-party you need to jump into the pool right?

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More pool pics! Observe my feat… all that time walking in nice boots gave my feat a bit of a shock when I started wearing flip-flops again… took almost two weeks to get my feet used to them again 😀

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Day 143 to 145 Istanbul

Back in Istanbul again, this time I arranged a Pillow fight on Taksim square… beforehand I had many people warning me that I would get arrested if I did this, and that they torture people in Turkish prisons etc. The thing is that Taksim square is a place where they hold many political demonstrations… my pillow fight had about 150 people attending so it was a pretty big crowd… in the beginning the police seemed quite nervous (and police in Turkey have machine-guns… not a small pistol as in most places I have been to). But once they saw we where only hitting each other with the pillows they calmed down… afterwards we went to a club and had a really fun party…

For those of us that know Swedish this is a pretty funny name for a flower-shop 😉

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With some CS:ers before the Pillow fight

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Turkish tea… really something special (and observe the little man made of sugar in the back 😉

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The actual pillow fight 😀IMG_1581       

CS:ers from the pillow fight

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More pillow fight…

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Some people posing for an “after” picture 😀

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Yeay… LOADS of people fighting!

15734_183685791579_689626579_3539732_1593112_n Me with a bag full of cotton after the fight… it took us about 60 seconds to clean up the whole place…. and I think we filled up about 6 bags of cotton 😀

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Got a host that lived in a suit at a hotel, this was breakfast 😀

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My host enjoying her breakfast

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My backpack has a tendency to get bigger and bigger…

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Day 139 to 142 Edirne (Turkey)

So… back in Edirne again, meeting up with people I met before and with new people… was a very nice weekend and I stayed with a host that really showed me Turkish hospitality to its fullest. 🙂

I also had some time to go to different clubs and bars and socialize with new and old friends. One thing was a CS-event for 10 people that I arranged on the Friday that I got there… quite cool!

This was the table that met me when I came to my host… (nad this was just the starter…) IMG_1536

My host to the right and two girls that stayed with her during the first night next to me.

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Me and my host (Ayca) on a walking-tour in Edirne IMG_1538

The bazaar…. full with people also on a Friday

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Meeting up with some CS:ers for a coffee in the day.

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Had a hamburger in Edirne… the thing came with french-fries  as normal… but also with macronies and bulgur… interesting combination 😉IMG_1543

Breakfast at my hosts place… and we had these kind of feasts EVERY day!

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A store that sells one thing only… bottled water! (You find them in every city in residential neighborhoods in Turkey)

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Playing around in a toy-store while waiting for our movie to start (we watched Twilight… which in my opinion was a great movie!)

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But wait… what is this… they sell breast pads in the toy store… guess it is for the small girls who want to look older… kind of… ehm… different item for a toy store I think  😉

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Two friends of my host and me in a club… IMG_1558   

Eating breakfast in the open with my host and her mother.

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Kind of a cool mosque… looks a bit like a fairytale castle with the towers I think.

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Horses running a round completely free in the middle of the city… weird!

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My friend Ozan and me in the bus going to Istanbul. Observe the comfy seats and the TV-screens on every seat… no wonder why I am a bit lazy hitchhiking in this country…. (yea… the buses often have internet too!)

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Day 136-138 Bursa (Turkey)

Another city passing by. Spent three days in Bursa on a vim… a guy e-mailed me and wondered if I wanted to come and visit him so I did the day after 🙂 Had a nice time chilling with some other couchsurfers who where staying there at the same time and arranged a bar-meeting on the last day before I left. Had 15 people attending… that was fun 🙂

I found an IKEA just next to the bus-station… looked almost identical to the ones in Sweden… except the texton the signs where in Turkish…

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Eating dinner the first night I arrived in Bursa, the girl to the left is Korean and was staying with the same host.

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In Turkey these are quite common… stores that ONLY sell nuts of different types…

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Visitng a friend of my host (girl to the right) with another couchsurfer that has been on the road for the last 5 years (Aussie guy to the left)

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Me and my host in the background

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Walking on the street… seeing Viagra being advertised largely in the shop-window of the pharmacy… hmm… made me wonder if there might be some down-sides marrying a girl that wears a burka… (I.e. you have no idea how she looks like until it is too late 😉

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CS meeting with lots of fun people!

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Later on in the night we where even more people… most where locals, but we also had some foreigners around 🙂

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Day 131 to 135 Izmir (Turkey)

Another city passed through. This time I took a lot of time for reflection and contemplation. I have been reading the books “Power of Now” and “A new Earth” by Eckart Tolle and they really have made me think, feel and mediate a lot.

But I have also had time for some fun, on Friday I arranged a CS meeting and had about 20 people showing up for a pub-night that ended up going to a club and dancing a lot… was a lot of fun!

Saturday I spent in Ephesus, a city that was founded 6000 BC and who is probably one of the most well preserved cities from that time… was pretty cool to see!

Sunday I went on another CS trip, this time we went by bicycle to a national parks for birds or something. Was about 60 km of cycling so I could definitely feel it the day after… but also gave a lot of wonderful nature scenery and nice new friends… some pictures below. 🙂

 

A rainbow of Izmir… the first two days I was there we did have some rain coming… after that the weather was really nice 🙂 I spent a lot of time (several days) walking here 🙂

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One of the guys I met had this list on his wall… (he was quite into Zen and Buddhism) I really liked the message! He also gave me some good pointers and idea’s… really got me interested in searching a bit more for this when I arrive in Asia (perhaps in India?)

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A fisherman has just caught some squids… observe the black ink that they spit out when they are up on land…

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Sunset in Izmir… the sun gave really spectacular displays every day when it went down (more pictures further down :D)

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Going to the gym? Naah, in Izmir you have “playgrounds” for adults… these are actually public outdoor training machines…

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I am trying a running one… talk about letting adults play 🙂

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CS meeting in Izmir… we where 20 people attending… fun!

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Say “cheese” 😀

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Serious discussions… or perhaps not so serious… who knows!

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Ephesus… a really cool city… for being established 6000 BC…

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You might call the pillars a bit worn down… hmm… kind of shows that nothing man-made lasts for ever… not even stone…

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More Ephesus!

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More long walk-ways in Ephesus

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Magnificent view… I sat here and watched the sunset… you can really feel all the political speeches, the gladiator fights and theatres that have been performed here over time.

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Fish-market in Izmir

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Me and two guys who where hosting me in IzmirIMG_1477  

Now also with the guy who arranged the bicycle tour on Sunday. He was one of the top 10 best cyclists in Turkey…

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Flat tire… but we are prepared 🙂

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Why not pick some cotton while cycling 🙂

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The gang coming through a curve…

At the bird paradise… very relaxing for the senses!

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More “on-the-road” pics

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The sunset was absolutely brilliant… so many colors. Unfortunately my camera doesn’t really do it justice… but you can get a bit of a glance…

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Me and my rented bike (it was a really good bike btw)

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Day 126 to 130 Istanbul

Then I came to the much spoken city of Istanbul… well… it turned out to be a pretty cool place… and I got to hang out at the CS collective for a few days… quite cool to see how these guys work.

With Emel, my first “guide” in Istanbul… taking me to the warm seaside… wonderful!    

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I just liked how that guy is walking with all that bread on his head… and observe all the fisherman that are everywhere there is a dock in Turkey 🙂

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Handing out with the guys from the collective. IMG_1391   

Araf… a crazy club in Istanbul… clearly worth visiting if you are ever in the area around Taksim!

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Meeting up with some CS:ers in Istanbul

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Other CS:ers on a meeting

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Getting another tour-day… this girl didn’t even Speak English… but we had a really nice day!

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Don’t worry… they are actually not my sun-glasses but borrowed for the photo 🙂

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I spent quite some time by the water looking at these fisherman… thinking…and just being!

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Day 123 to 125 in Edirne (Turkey)

Edirne was my first experience of Turkish hospitality and I must say I was truly impressed by it! My host turned out to be this really nice guy and we had loads of fun together. The culture IS pretty different here, you can really feel that it is a Muslim country much more than any place I have visited before this, and this has both bad and good sides. The good sides is clearly the hospitality and that you feel extremely safe. The bad side is that it is quite segregated between men and women. It is also a place where your social network practically dictates who you are. The more people you know the easier things are… coming as a stranger to a new place is quite difficult here… but once you know a few people it is easy to expand this network.

If you ask a stranger on the street about directions they will look suspiciously… but if you I have said hi to their aunt’s uncle’s  friend’s hairdresser at one time then you are their best friend and they will do anything for you… 🙂

A pub in Edirne… I thought it was funny because of the “since 2009” sign 🙂

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Me, my host and one of his friends (who I later met up with in Istanbul too!)

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Hanging out in a bar (yea… as I said… not too many girls around here…) 😉

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Visiting a mosque (quite cool actually!)

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Me and my host!

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Holding a lecture about couchsurfing 🙂DSCF1013

Some pics of the students…

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Day 120 to 121 Halloween

A nice Halloween party in Sofia… loads of fun 🙂

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My host Eli in her Pippi Longstocking suit…

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Me looking a bit… ehm… scary?

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Me and the shaman…

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My host… in a combination of Santa-claus and a borrowed wedding-dress hat…

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Some CS:ers on the way to the next party

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Day 119 Climbing in caves

This night I was climbing in some caves by Lakatnik (the cave was called Temnata). Was pretty cool but not quite what I had expected… I kind of thought it would be a nice stroll in a cool cave… naah… it turned out being bouldering climbing  up to 10 meters without any safety equipment… I should probably add that the walls where slippery and my shoes really bad so I basically had to climb with only my hands…

Injuries? Well I had a few bumps on the head, ripped a few holes in my t-shirt, have bruises all over and so forth. One guy hurt one of his legs a bit and the guy who took us had some problems with a broken rib… but no serious injuries… ehm….

A part of the free-climbing… you can’t really see it but it was actually pretty high 🙂

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Or sliding through some quite narrow passages like this one… at one point I was stuck without being able to breathe for half a minute before I managed to push myself through the opening…

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Down there you see some of the water… we where jumping over openings like this one… and it was quite slippery… the longest jumps where at least a bit over a meter long… and quite small things to land on and jump from…

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Here we are down by an underground river trying to jump between rocks to continue…

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Some parts where quite muddy….

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Outside the cave… leaning on a fence… ehm… and some of the bars where already gone…

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Eh, this bridge was more scary when we went back in the day and you could actually see how bad the state was… when we went there it was pitch dark so I guess it was a bit lucky we didn’t fall into the open holes… 🙂

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The guys I was there with, my host to the right, our guide the the left.

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