Published: July 19th 2011July 18th 2011
We walked around kuala lumpur for a while, orienting ourselves with the city. It's so much more modern here than i ever could have imagined!! I don't know why, but I imagined it gloomy, dark and crumbling. Instead it was like all white, with tall skyscrapers everywhere that were actually really pretty to look like. The buildings had a lot of art deco and millennium themes...and there's the third largest needle(communication tower) here as well as the "twin towers" which are stunning. There are parks and it's clean and very civilized, kind of how I imagine tokyo to be, as opposed to the bangkok chaos I thought. It seems like keeping the city buildings modern seems to have been a government priority for a while, instead of keeping old buildings as historical site, they just keep rebuilding and rebuilding. The only "dark" in the city are the black burka's and hijabs that leave not even their eyes exposed when they're wearing sunglasses. Ironically their husbands all wear tacky western brands, kind of defeating the
religious purpose of being traditional... When you do look in the women's eyes though it's intense. Sometimes the eye makeup is totally done up - as
it is the only part exposed. Always though they seem to be searching, trying to take in their surroundings that they can't through their other senses. I know It's easy for me to judge as a westerner, not living in their culture. But scientifically I can not imagine now hot it must be under there and how can that be fair?! Why black attracting the sun? Why not multi colored like the Indian saris?
After lunch, mikaela, andrew, mike, mom and I took the subway to the Batu Caves. There were huge statues of the Hindu gods shiva and haneman and we had to walk up a shitton of stairs and ther were monkeys everywhere and when we walked In the temple which was built into the side of the mountain and there was a ceremony going on with a drummer and flute player of sorts... Mom got blessed so
the "shaman" painted her forehead with a red and white dot which she accidentally smeared all over her forehead when she wiped sweat off her brow...lol
Then we rushed back to meet the group for dinner where we went to street stalls for satay, which was actually really
good. Mom and I then went back and watched "No strings attached" and went to bed.
Yesterday we woke up at 8:30 for a full day around the city! We went for breakfast and then a "heritage" walking tour from 10:30-1:30 all around the old town - and it was absolutely fabulous!! The guide was this woman who was super badass, and had researched the city's history by talking to all the old people
and reading tons of books on her own. She had spunk. Most of the old buildings had been built from 1888-1905. We would stand on a street corner and envision where the central market building used to be and where the "wet market" (where the fish and wet stuff was sold lol) used to be. A lot of the old buildings were modern stores now like 7/11s, but she told us how the Indians used to lend money
from all the buildings on so or so street because they were the richest. And she had talked with a lot of the locals so she brought us into small mom and pop stores that were the last of their kind and all the hungry lawyers went for
lunch to get "banana leaf mess" and there was this 35 year old guy who made the best noodles because he had "passion" and she had asked him why he didn't work in a restaurant where he could make more money and he had said that when he was younger he used to watch his uncle make the noodles on the street and he loved the freedom blah blah lol and she took us into a local Chinese Buddhist temple and told us about the Taoist influence on the Buddhism which I actually hadn't know about - and that the incense sticks used to be used to tell time "it will take me the burning of two incense sticks to get from my house to yours" mikaela thought all the details were boring and she wanted the quick overview lol that's when I realized I really do like history and cultures and I'm glad I get to study it at uni!
After the tour my mom and I took the "hop on hop off" bus to the national art gallery. It took an hour and a half and I was asleep for all of it. I'm just so tired
all the time here from the heat! To be honest we didn't really get the art, I wish there was a tour to explain it to us haha I finally had coffee because I didn't want to sleep through the day and we walked around a local park which was actually gorgeously landscaped. The traffic was GROSS on the way back, it took us 3 hours to get back! I thought we had missed meeting up with the group to go out for dinner and was kind of pissed because I knew last night they were planning on going hard because we could sleep late today. But then everyone else was running super late too! I didn't get to shower but i changed my shirt and shorts, my mom gave me 100 ringgits (about $35) and I took a copy of the hostel card, no purse, no cellphone, I was off! We went to a food court for dinner. Then mike phoebe mikeala and i went to the only bar we could find for a drink - i got a frangelico caperina (sp?). Then we met up with everyone around midnight and took cabs to the like only night club
in Malaysia haha we all sat upstairs outside for like 2 hours talking.
There are more photos below