Of course I'd love to go to KL (as the Malaysians say) but having the locals over in Manchester is the closest I'm going to get any time soon.
On this trip there were twelve or so Malaysians from a property development company. Every six months apparently they scoot off around the world for twenty days or so to see what's going on elsewhere. I think they may be a successful company.
Having been in Liverpool, the English-speaking group arrived in Manchester and immediately wanted to visit the university shops to get some University of Manchester memorabilia. Apparently a lot of them are or were - I think I missed something in translation here - academics. They seemed impressed by the University's 25 Nobel prizes (that's more Nobels than any nation in the world but for seven).
After the University we toured around the city in the coach. As we passed Manchester Central, the boss called out that he wanted to take pictures of the railway station. The coach almost had to crash through buildings to take the corner down Museum Street.
We then took pictures of Beetham Tower and the Bridgewater Hall. One of the guests asked if we might visit Ian Simpson's apartment at the top of Beetham Tower. "What now?" I said. "I think I might have to ask first."
I was beginning to notice a very distinct hierarchy among the group.
The boss was definitely THE BOSS.
He had to be the one who led the group off after stops, he had to generally be at the front and when he stopped, the group stopped. I explained on King Street why one of the sixties buildings (the old Nat West) was black in shade with tooled Swedish granite. The boss took a picture of a section of the wall and so did the rest of the group. I wonder what make of that picture when they go home?
Later the coach drivers told me that there's always a bit of fuss at the hotels where they stay because rooms have to be swapped so the main man can have the highest room in the hotel of the group.
Most of the time, apparently, the boss talks to his secretary when he wants something sorting, who then talks to the tour manager who then has to talk to the secretary who talks to the boss. They cut in the middle man.
By the way as the picture above shows, with the boss flailing his arms around as I took the photo, he was a very distinctive character. Extrovert. His blue corduroy trousers had little stars embroidered in.