Kuala Lumpur

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March 4th 2016
Published: March 7th 2016
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The flight to Kuala Lumpur was easy and on time. It was my first flight in a few months, and I was in a middle seat, but I slept for most of it. We landed, walked forever through the airport, went through immigration really easily, and I got my bag and walked through a mall to find the shuttle. I put my bag on the bus before I had my ticket. Woops. Thankfully I got my ticket in time. I took the bus and monorail to my hostel in KL. After getting myself sorted, I bought a Hop On Hop Off bus ticket for 24 hours because I was flying out of KL the next day. Before getting on the bus, I got myself a fancy coffee and fancy passion fruit scone because Kuala Lumpur is a fancy place. I also browsed some stores because I have to start thinking about real clothes soon. Especially since all of my clothes are smelly and have holes because I've been wearing the same 6 shirts, 3 pairs of shorts, and 4 pairs of underwear for the past four months.

I got on the bus and got off a few stops later at the Central Market, just as it started raining (of course). I darted inside and walked around for a bit. When I went back outside, I saw a lot of phone stands and thought, “huh. A phone might be a good idea for New Zealand. And it's probably cheaper here.” So I picked a random stand and started talking to the guy who managed to sell me a shitty Samsung smartphone, case, and SIM card for $150. Not the worst loss if it turns out to be terrible. My favorite part of the transaction was when his friend came over to collect the money before getting me my phone. I was like, “how....about the phone first?” He obliged. I waited for about 10 minutes while they got the phone from somewhere mysterious, and then the salesman sat with me to make sure everything worked. He then wrote out the receipt and put his boss on the phone with me. “Umm...I'm buying a phone, SIM card, charger, and case for 600,000...Malaysian moneys” (I said the real thing but forget now). I handed over the money and got the phone. I'll let you know how it works once I get to Australia.

I got back on the bus, which was an open air double decker. As we drove around, I fell in love with KL. The city is new and made of glass. It is vast and full of skyscrapers, but only in clusters and not overwhelming. The city is CLEAN, which is...not how any other part of Southeast Asia is. It's diverse and peaceful, and people go out of their way to be nice. I spent the better part of the day on the bus after buying my phone. I went all over the city and got stuck in rush hour traffic for a couple of hours. Eventually we were dropped off at the Petronas towers, which are absolutely spectacular in person. I snapped some pictures and looked for a cab home. Every cab was trying to charge me $5 to go 2 km, and I was not having it, but I also didn't want to walk. So I started walking and trying to flag down a cab. A guy pulled over and charged me $2 for the 2 km home. That seemed like a much better price. I got in the cab and yawned. The Indian driver asked me if it was a long day. I told him I had been up since 5 am and had come from Cambodia that morning. Then he started ranting about his day. And I mean RANTING. He was talking about how he doesn't get to eat as much as he wants and he's a small guy who wants to be bigger and he's driving all the time but he'd rather be doing what he wants to do. I just listened and responded and when he was finished he, very sincerely, said, “Thank you so much for letting me rant. It has made my day much better. Your cab ride is free.”


People in KL are SO nice.

He dropped me at the hostel, and I went in and put my stuff down. For dinner that night I walked to the mall across the street and went into the basement to eat at the Chinese food place that had ducks hanging in the window. It was delicious. I went to bed early because I like doing that.

My second and last day in Kuala Lumpur was spent in Chinatown and Little India. After eating breakfast at the hostel, packing up, and checking out, I headed to Chinatown. The place was pretty quiet since it was only lunchtime, but I walked through the market all the same. I went into a restaurant to get some food for lunch and was told that there were no dumplings because of Chinese New Year. Ah, yes, of course. Same with spring rolls. Dammit. I ate...something with shrimp and noodles. It was good. Then I got back on the bus to go to Little India.

Little India was gorgeous. People walked around in saris and the whole area smells like spices. I walked among the shops for a bit and looking at all the people on the side of the road waiting to read your horoscope. I thought, “why not?” So, for funsies, I got my horoscope read. First I went up to an old woman, but she didn't speak English so she pointed at another man. I wen tup to him and got a reading for 15...money (about $4). Turns out he didn't speak English either, so he enlisted a translator, seemingly from the side of the road. I sat down on a tiny stool and told him my name and birthday. Apparently my lucky number is 1. How exciting. According to this man, I had a near-death experience when I was 19 or 20 (anyone remember that?) and have had a pretty rough last few months (...traveling around Asia?) Now that he had established his credibility, he went on with the future stuff. Here's my future: I will most likely meet the man I'm going to marry this year (I got told 7 years ago in a horoscope reading that I'd be married within 5 years). I have the ability to produce 3 kids. I shouldn't travel or cut nails or hair on the 19th of any month (no birthday trips for me). And something really awesome is going to happen in July. So...here's hoping?

After that reading that was totally worth my money, I sat and had some chai and then headed back to the hostel. I took the fast train to the airport, found out that my flight was delayed an hour, and sat in a cafe and blogged (meta).


11th March 2016
Petronas Towers

The iconic photo.

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