Friday night. And after a long day’s exploring, trying to cram in everything I wanted to see, I decide it’s time I arranged something to do later. Thanking the hotel for complimentary wifi, I contact the pitlane to see who’s out and about tonight; an iMessage to Organised Esq (who’s already sent me his number in KL) an email to the Snowman (as I’ve no number for him) and a FB message to Mr Useless (notoriously rubbish and unlikely to even look at his phone before Tuesday, except to share the latest HuffPost on Facebook).
Organised comes up trumps – general plan is to aim for food in KLCC about 8. I suggest Marini’s? Yep, should be able to find that. Desperado’s out too, so we’ll see you then. Cool.
Next-up, I WhatsApp Tina to see what he and Alej are up to. They live out here and his brother is a mate of mine in London. I haven’t seen him since a very drunken hockey night out at the Olympics, and I’ve yet to meet his fiancé, Alejandra. So v much looking forward to that, although slightly unsure whether calling him ‘Tina’ may be a tad dangerous in SEAsia?!
Unfortunately for the pitlane boys, who are staying out of the city closer to the track, no taxis are prepared to come into town! Organised and Desperado are at different hotels but both having the same issue. They call to see if I can go further out? Being me, and always up for exploring and adventure, I give it a go. But because I’ve arranged to meet Tina and Alej at 11, I’ll need to get a cab back no later than 10:30… By this point it’s close to 9 and if I don’t find a cab in the next 15, it’s hardly gonna be worth it! Unfortunately for the pitlane, the city taxis are as cooperative as Nico was with Lewis, and no-one wants to go anywhere! I make a decision – it’s now 9:30, do I really fancy spending my birthday Saturday night in KL in a taxi? I head over to Marini’s and up to #57.
…where there appears to be a party going on! I know no-one in the building and have no idea what to expect, but I jump in the lift with 5 Aussie blokes and up we go. One of the Aussies (who bears a vague resemblance to Russell Crowe, but slightly less rugged and with curlier hair), turns round and asks “you’re going up to the party too?” To which I respond “certainly looks that way!” I have no idea where this sudden burst of cockiness comes from?! And given my utter lack of insight into where the lift is taking us or even who’s party it is, I can only assume it’s a defence mechanism for the fact that I’m actually on my tod and just want a glass of bubbles in the best bar in the city! Luckily Russell doesn’t take offence and, in fact, buys me a glass of said bubbles for my birthday 🙂
Meanwhile, we reach #57 and as the doors open, the music gets louder, the lights get darker and the party presents itself. To be honest, I’ve still no idea who’s party it is, but Mr Petronas suggested that Mercedes had a party here last year (it is right beside their sponsor’s HQ so I wouldn’t be surprised, although I saw no-one looking remotely F1ish in the place).
Having looked at the view and said “wow” more times than I probably should (there goes that illusion of looking like a regular), meeting a bunch of really friendly Malaysians, accepting a glass of birthday bubbles from Russell Crowe chappie (who turns out to be called Anthony) and chatting with his mates (who turn out to be called Antonio, Tony and Brian) and deciding it’ll be simpler to just call everyone Tony (except for Brian – not at all confusing), I finally hop in a cab and head down to the Havana bar to meet Tina and Alej.
On arrival, it appears half the Aussies who left before me, had a similar idea. We reconvene and play continues. By this point, we’re on our fifth bottle of bubbles and I’m wondering where Tina’s got to… Just as I pull out my phone, I hear a familiar voice behind me saying “don’t text, we’re here!” Lots of squeals, big hugs and more bubbles – awesome 🙂