I’m not sure how many people visit Kuala Lumpur and don’t stop by the Batu Caves, but I’m pretty sure that it’s required by international travel law that you see them when you happen to be in the neighborhood. And they are lovely – just absolutely lovely!
BUT – and I’m sure you knew this was coming. BUT.
There are stairs. I can’t properly describe how many stairs there are. I mean, I can give you a number (the number is 272, in case you want cold, hard facts), but a number doesn’t properly describe what you encounter.
Maybe I can give you one more view, this time the view from where we started walking.
I have a bad history with stairs. I hate them. It’s not that I hate exercise – I actually love exercise that I love (especially if it involves hitting and kicking things), but stairs feel unjust to me. Like, they are there just to make my life more difficult now that escalator technology is so advanced.
And it’s not just stairs in Malaysia or stairs to Hindu shrines that I have difficulties with. A few years ago we visited Rome and climbed the Spanish Steps. Now, there are only 135 steps that make up the Spanish steps, and they are not nearly as steep as the Batu Caves. I tried to make myself happy just to be there – to think how amazing it was that we were in Rome, we were walking around Rome and we were climbing these iconic steps and later we would be going to the Vatican.
But every step I took made me angrier. Because I HATE STAIRS.
I do want to be a good mother, though, a good mother who sets a good example for her children who are also in Rome (ROME!). I kept all my anger bottled up inside, set a grimacing smile upon my face, and kept trudging.
Until I heard a voice beside me where my son was walking.
“WHY do we have to climb these stairs? This is so stupid! I’m sick of stairs!”
My son was complaining about climbing the Spanish Stairs! That brat! What the hell? Here I was trying to put a good face on, and he was complaining!
I was yelling before I even turned to face him, yelling as my head rotated 180 degrees like someone in dire need of an exorcism.
“MR DIRTY! You are the worst Catholic child ever born! What is wrong with you? You should be FEELING THIS AMAZING PLACE!”
My head finished its possessed rotation only to set eyes upon the recalcitrant child that had been complaining moments earlier.
The child that was not my child. MY child was standing a few feet the opposite direction with his hand over his mouth trying to hold in a gut full of laughter.
The child that had complained his way up the stairs took one look at me and darted up toward his family – far ahead of me. We actually ran into him up at the top – he wasn’t complaining at all anymore.
I would like to apologize to the parents of the kid I yelled at. In my defense, I thought it was *my* kid. And also, I hate stairs. It was a downward spiral, really.
And I would also like to point out that I’m getting MUCH better! I climbed all the way to the top of the Batu Caves without yelling at anyone, screaming at a monkey (the monkeys really are quite cheeky), or having an angry heart attack.
Progress. We have made some progress.
All the same – I think I’ll stay home on the day these places are scheduled. For now, anyway. For everyone’s ear safety.