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KL: City of Experiences

posted Jun 26, 2012, 7:10 AM by jj pionke
KL is a very young city.  Though it has been around for well over 100 years in terms of European awareness, the city as it stands now is only about 30-40 years old and as such there just isn't really a lot to see.  The city has had phenomenal growth over the last 30-40 years so everything is a little weird.  Roads aren't all that straight or well thought out, the traffic is like sludge and doesn't seem to move all that much, and the public transit system isn't exactly connected to itself.  That said, it's a city of experiences.  It's not as dirty or crowded as Bangkok and I didn't find it as intimidating, though there might have been other factors at work like I went to Bangkok first and I've been living in Southeast Asia for the last 3 weeks. Here are a few experiences that didn't make it into the quick overall posts:

Getting out of a taxi, my shorts caught and ripped.  Not a big tear but an L shaped one.  I got a good look at it when I got back to Singapore and determined that I could probably fix it.  It looks like Frankenstein sewed it closed, but the shorts got washed and the repair held.  Fingers crossed everyone.

I flagged down a blue cab (reliable and seemingly all speaking English, not to mention clean), and the gentleman driving was very kind and helped me find the bar where I was meeting Jaquelyn.  He had on a CD of Buddhist chanting that was really relaxing and we talked about it and Buddha and religion in general.  It was one of the nicest conversations and interactions with someone there that I had.  OTOH, what is up with long thumb nails on guys?  I saw several guys (including my this taxi driver) there with long thumb nails (I mean woman long) and I've seen several here in Singapore as well.

There were two durian carts all of 10 feet from each other on the way from the Chinatown street to my hotel and the smell made me breathe through my mouth every time.

I was approached by a team of young people who asked me to say Gatsby for them while they recorded me.  I gather it was for a class project of some kind.  I asked them if they meant the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald but the leader said, "You are confused. Just Gatsby.  Like the movie."  What is youth coming to?  *headdesk*  Yes, I obliged them.

I'm rather enjoying sitting in posh hotels and having tea while I write out postcards.  I will have to continue this for the rest of the trip.

I liked that the city and it's people were Islamic.  I found it oddly comforting and I am not sure why.

There was a delightful young man in a wheelchair that was a wire artist.  He had a small table set up in Chinatown.  If I hadn't been traveling for the next two months, I would have gotten one of the larger and more delicate pieces.  As it was, I bought a more sturdy looking keychain.

My hotel was an example of messed up architecture.  The reception desk was on one street and the restaurant for my included breakfast was on another street.  To get from one to the other you had to walk up and over two flights of stairs basically into another building.  Oh and besides the toilet not working on the first day, housekeeping had my room down as unoccupied so it didn't get cleaned either. Good thing I am not really a messy person.  I asked them to bring me two bottles of water and a roll of toilet paper and we would call it even (they did).

The massage I had was pretty basic but what made the facility interesting was the fish.  Fish eating dead skin off your feet is wildly popular here in Southeast Asia.  The spa was doing quite a brisk business in it.  Part of me wants to try it and part me is kind of, no thanks, I like my dead skin to slough off naturally.  That said, those fish were definitely fattened up cause they were quite a bit larger than the ones in the promotional pictures.

See what I mean about experiences?  KL was fun.  I am glad I went.  It was good to see Jac and just chill out.  I read.  I slept.  I didn't pressure myself to see anything other than what I absolutely wanted to see.  It was good.