Published: June 7th 2011June 7th 2011
And Siobhan will attest this, my digestive system, especially my gastrointestinal system, is hyper-functional. Sniff. Salivate. Masticate. Swallow. Breakdown. Et cetera, et cetera.
Kuala Lumpur is also hyper-functional. The city operates like someone whose eaten a greasy Ruben-extra-sauerkraut-extra-Swiss sided with heaps of fries and a pint of high acid grapefruit juice, then doubled over with acid reflux - a condition with which I am quite familiar. Traffic grinds to a halt on bloated freeways, tropical heat burns the concrete jungle, and the buildings sweat under the humidity. When I feel bloated, burning, and sweaty the sweet release of an acrid belch, or thirty minutes of them, is most satisfying. I am unsure what satisfies this city, but the smelly combination of old curry, car exhaust, Chinese food, and backed-up sewage which permeate its air remind me of an unpleasantly full-bodied burp. This city, in a word, stinks.
However, KL is a foody's (not that I would ever refer to myself as a, "foody" mostly because I abhor that word and it's lame-o Food Network origin) playground.
Malaysian homegrown coffee is offered freely and served deliciously muddy. It reminds me of my president: tasteful, sophisticated, economically reasonable, and, yes, mostly black and white. I laugh to think of French, Italian, and wanna-be-Starbucks coffee snobs dunking their otherwise upturned noses into $4-5 (or Euro) coffees while Malaysians drink at the source and on the cheap. It can be a little sweet though.
Malaysian food is influenced by Portuguese, Indian, Thai, Chinese, and a little modern Western style cooking. A completely satisfying meal can be bought for five Ringgit - a few dollars, so I find myself eating about five times per day. Despite the low cost and my Spartan cheapskate budgeting I have overspent my food budget everyday so far. I.e. yesterday I breakfasted, twice, on Nyonya, a style of cooking which combines Indian naan bread and Malaysian spices with Chinese complexity.
With all these delicious foods I feel kind of bloated at the moment. Siobhan, who arrived just this morning seemed pleased to see me, but clearly hasn't miss my eating habits or the ensuing gas.