Kuala Lumpur

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July 15th 2018
Published: July 18th 2018
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Kuala Lumpur unabashedly embraces generic capitalism, and its pride seamlessly connects the sprawling network of shopping malls with clean, air-conditioned, covered walkways, well-planned parks, and excellent public transport. You can find every brand name store imaginable. Some seem to only be there as an advertisement, like the Salomon store that had maybe 20 items and no running shoes. Being a child of the 80s, there was something oddly reassuring about walking through a busy indoor mall.

Peggy and I stayed at an Airbnb at Fraser Place, one of countless residential skyscrapers where one must factor in time waiting for the elevator to go to one of 25
characterless floors.

I'm sure there are still plenty of alleyways left where you can experience the traditional culture, but it's possible to visit the city center and believe it to be a moon base as much as a city in Malaysia.

But then there is surprising authenticity hiding in the veneer. We ate all our meals in the massive mall food courts, but the food was varied and delicious.

Something else hiding (and not so well) in the veneer are the homeless foreign workers. We had read that many of them congregate in the pristine parks that look like they are computer animated, but we saw more on our walk to a craft market, barefoot and sleeping on the sidewalks, without even a garbage bag of possessions beside them.


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