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Kuala Lumpur, First Impressions

MALAYSIA | Tuesday, 17 February 2009 | Views [1542]

The landscape surrounding the city is plain and uninteresting. The land is covered with palms, used mainly for oil.  There are many little housing estates being built. Identical houses one beside the other, with fences and an in build community. Something for the future, because nobody is living in them at this stage.


Its humid. I don’t usually sweat, and here I’m always wearing a little moustache of moisture.


We arrived late in the evening, and our taxi driver was more than helpful. He insisted on taking us to the door (he was prepaid) of our accommodation.


We were happy not to be too harassed by the salesmen and taxi drivers. I think our Indian experience toughened us up – and everything has been relatively easy so far as shopping and interaction with the locals is concerned.


We’re very close to street markets and the amount of fake copies of designer goods is extreme. If you think your prestige will increase with a designer handbag, watch, glasses (and can’t afford the real thing) – this is the place for you.


There’s a mix of Malaysians, Chinese and Indian people. And of course the foreigners.  Its hard to notice who is who most of the time and there are some who are a blend of all three. We’re very happy to see the city working so smoothly, at least to outside eyes, with so many diverse faiths.


We walked through an area with Muslim schools on one side and Christian schools on the other. Apart from a little sporting rivalry displayed on the placards (not more than Dr Seus’s stars upon thars rivalry that one finds everywhere there is a distinction of one and the other), all was well. A little girl even said ‘hello auntie’ to me, making me feel very welcome and a part of the whole.


Jett asked me who was from where, pointing to different facial and skin differences – and I said, I don’t know, but perhaps its important to notice that it doesn’t really matter. People are people no matter where you are, what religion you practice, what food you eat, and what you wear.


The city is divided up into different areas. We’re staying in China Town – and we’re eating mostly Chinese food. This morning we sent Albert out to buy some fruit for breakfast. We went for a look in the Indian area, looking for Indian sweets for Jett, a Bolly dose and pretty clothes for me.


The closer we came to the centre of town, the cleaner the streets became, and the more western the standards. There were distinct walking areas, the traffic lights worked and there were more police in evidence.


Familiar names for restaurants became evident and the global big designer brands.


And then, there were the towers.

Tags: t a j

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