Monday, April 18, 2005

Kuala Lumpur / Singapore

What a fascinating place, I really liked K.L. a lot. I'm back in Singapore but I had to jot down some things to remember:

  • Their version of English is riddled with misspellings, it is strange: Sentral Station, Ekspress Train, Indian Restaran, etc. Easy to understand but a little strange to get used to.
  • Infrastructure is very modern but the city is a combination of wealth and grittiness. It was strange to be in a city that on one side had a bus station that is everyone's third-world nightmare and a modern subway that you can take to a slick, modern and beautiful airport. Shopping at Petaling street was for RM$20 (that's US$6) fake Cartier watches or at the KLCC mall at Petronas Towers where you can buy a real Cartier just like in any upscale mall.
  • Hot. The temperature said 91 but it felt much hotter, like 100. People just lie or sit under trees and do nothing to keep cool. At one mosque you can see people just lying flat on the floor to keep cool!
  • I wish the Islamic fundamentalists would come to K.L. You see such a large number of Muslim women (due to their dress, I assume there are many men also) who are along with Christian and Bhuddists, a very mixed society. It felt strange to see Malaysian (ie, Asian) women wearing Islamic headdresses, so many of them!
  • Very few bars here, hard to find any at all. This is probably because of the Muslim influence.

That is all I can remember for now, but I really enjoyed how unusual and different it was. Now I'm back in Singapore for another week of work...

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