<<  Kuala Lumpur, 2-May-2013  >>

Stopover in Kuala Lumpur

2 days intermezzo between Nepal and Australia in Kuala Lumpur.

From Kathmandu I flew to Kuala Lumpur where I stayed 2 days, waiting for the flight to Australia. Kuala Lumpur is obviously not in Nepal, but I will keep in under this chapter, as it makes no sense to make a separate one for it.

I haven’t been to any real city for 5 months and arrival to a city like this was quite confusing. Kathmandu and Varanasi are both cities with well over 1 million citizens, but those who have been there know that they are more overcrowded villages than cities in our western understanding of the city. Kuala Lumpur IS the real city: sky scrapers (including once tallest sky scraper in the world, Petronas Towers), big 4 to 8 lane roads full of modern cars, traffic lights, trash bins and clean streets, people dressed in suits rushing to fast food restaurants during their lunch break…
Compared to infinite chaos of India and Nepal, KL seemed sort of lifeless and unreal. The feeling of western artificiality and procedural tyranny has already touched this place.
Luckily, I stayed in the middle of China Town, and China Town was just the right medicine for my Nepalese blues – street food everywhere, vendors selling crap everywhere and typical Asian liveliness made it more humane than the rest of the city.
Lots of girls in miniskirts all around at men’s toilet in bar there was this handwritten message right above the toilet: “Need a suck? [Some local phone number followed] 18-28 years old.” Who said this was a Muslim country?

After chaos of the Indian subcontinent I wasn’t really ready for the big city and almost got killed on traffic lights, not being used to cars going so fast and not maneuvering between people and cows on the street :-)
Luckily, in the lively Chinatown there is a large Hindu temple, right next to my hostel and a Chinese Buddhist temple 50m from there and so the first thing I did was going to the Hindu temple, gave my praise to Shiva and meditated there and then I took refuge in Buddha in the other temple. Home sweet home!

I didn’t do too much sightseeing in KL (I spent most time writing the posts from Nepal), I didn’t even bother to go to see Petronas Towers, as I have seen it all in 2011 and so the only sight which I visited was, try to guess… huge Hindu shrine, Batu Caves, situated in outskirts of KL. That Hinduism really gets on my brain, doesn’t it?

I have been in KL before in 2011. Me and Zuzka started our trip across the Pacific and Southeast Asia from here. I was looking forward for these 2 days for one particular reason: the food. In KL’s Chinatown I had some of the best food in my life, including divine beef with ginger. One good thing about being a traveler is that you can have a favorite restaurant in places like KL and yep, I found it even without a map, that no-name tiny Chinese place on side street and had the same beef and ginger as 2 years ago. I also checked into the same hostel with window-less rooms (the tiny windowless room where we stayed in 2011 gave ironical name to our blog “Under Asian Sun” back then).

Sleeping, walking, eating and drinking alone where slept, walked, ate and drank together resurrected mighty ghost of the time long gone, though by no means it was time lost in vain. Still something reminding the smell of death kept lingering in the air and the silent ghost of that time was peeking from every street, every restaurant and every room.

I was “disturbed” from contemplating the ghosts of yesterday at the bar by two Japanese women and spent the evening drinking and talking to them and went to sleep after 3 :00am, time unheard of during my whole Asian travels. Message for my perverted friends: no, real world is not like your sick manga fantasies and they were not high school girls in miniskirts and socks! They were normal decent Japanese women (well, as decent as two Asian women who drank 9 beers each can be…) who worked at hospital and they were actually older than me. As they both studied English, they had surprisingly good English and so we had good conversation, and should I get to Japan on my travels I have a place to stay at. Guys, I said stay at. Really this is not manga!

On 2-May I left the Asia and on a airplane to Melbourne Australia.
A new chapter, maybe even a new book begins…

Click for photo gallery

     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak