Love letter to KL

Lot’s of travelers have not-so-very-nice things to say about Kuala Lumpur, and Malaysia in general, so my expectations were not very high. But surely it HAD to be better than Delhi, the biggest cesspool I have seen to date, right? Really all i wanted  was a good pharmacy (you have no idea how exciting it is to be able to choose from more than one brand of shampoo, toothpaste & deodorant… oh, you do? well, ok then, nevermind) a shopping mall where i could perhaps buy a new pair of shorts & a shirt (my clothes are a little grotty) and some high-speed internet. I had pretty simple needs.

But Kuala Lumpur you surprised me.  And while I know we only just met & it’s too soon to say “I love you”, I will say “KL, I am totally crushed out on you”.

Here are 5 reasons I am all atwitter over KL

1.) IT’S A REAL CITY. I know  a lot of people loathe big cities, especially foreign cities, but I love ’em. (well, except for you, Delhi. Delhi, you are not a nice place)

2.)SHOPPING. Ok, I’ll admit it: I am a bit starved for retail therapy, but that aside, there is amazing shopping here.  There are 4 HUGE shopping malls within walking distance from my guesthouse. I spent one afternoon in a Guardian (the Malaysian equivalent of a Boots or Walgreens). I went up & down every aisle. I sniffed shampoo, I sampled lotion, and contemplated what kind of moist towelettes to purchase.  and  the best part? it was all right there for me to touch! I was used to valuable things like shampoo being behind the counter. I was giddy as left with my bounty.

I was also able to purchase an entire new wardrobe! and by wardrobe i mean 4 pair of underwear, one night shirt, 2 pants & 3 shirts.

3.) FOOD. ok, seriously. the food here rocks. Malaysian food has an influence of Chinese, Indian, and indigenous local food. Lot’s of noodles, too.( and we all know how I feel about noodles). Food stalls are everywhere, and the Malaysians are snackers. I love this kind of eating. Hungry? wander a few feet & chances are there is someone cooking something yummy. Oh, and the malls, they have the most amazing food courts…. so I could combine shopping AND eating.

Laksa! coconutty goodness with noodles and fried tofu.

roast duck with noodles.

chili prawns! pass the tiger beer & wet wipes

Emily, Liam & myself holding ourselves back before devouring the chili prawns.

mushroom lor mee. noodles in a rich gravy with mushrooms & a touch of vinegar.

KL, you even have my favorite peanut snack! ok, maybe I DO love you.

4.) NICE PEOPLE. For a big city, people are unbelievably friendly, helpful & courteous. I have yet to encounter a sourpuss.  or of of these rascals

5.) IT’S GOT A KOOKY ELEMENT. So it’s not everywhere that you can see a woman carrying an Ipod, while shopping for a Prada bag….. in a burka!  Burkas still freak me out, especially when the husbands are wearing shorts & flip flops, but I have to say it provides an element of WTF?, and I like places & people that make me ponder.

large Hindu deity in front of the Batu caves... a little kooky, right?

I was also privy to democracy in action. Today there was a big demonstration  near chinatown. I wandered down to chinatown in search of  a big plate o’ noodles & found myself smack in the middle of a demonstration. you know, crowds of yelling people & police in riot gear.

democracy in action

A man smiled & came up to me to say thank-you for participating (thinking i was there on purpose and not the hapless tourist that i was).  I said, “uh, what is it we are protesting, exactly?” He told me that the government was corrupt and elections are rigged and that the people just want fair & honest elections. He asked me where I was from & when i said America, he said “oh, the birthplace of democracy” and then he said “Obama is a good man, I hope he gets re-elected”  me too, pal. me too.

I left before the tear gas & water cannons came out. I hope the people of Malaysia get the government they want & deserve. Democracy is messy, but it’s better than the alternative.

Tomorrow I head to Penang, which is the foodie capitol of the country, I am going to try to eat myself silly.

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About Miss Q

I am a travel obsessed foodie, with an inexplicable love of clamato, elvis costello & the unknown
This entry was posted in malaysia. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Love letter to KL

  1. Aaron says:

    Glad to hear someone else really like KL too! Enjoy Penang it’s a weird place, but definitely worth a visit.
    In case I haven’t mentioned it before, you’re blogs are really entertaining/killing me. They describe the places just as I remember them, but also make me want to get back over there.
    Keep enjoying!

  2. Steph says:

    Oh, the joys of Malay food! Boy, do I miss laksa.You can’t get it anywhere in Portland since Malay Satay closed. I’ll have to make my own. Saw info on the protest in todays paper. 236 were arrested. Glad you weren’t one of them. And good going avoiding the snatch thieves 🙂 Looking forward to the next post!

  3. Wendy says:

    Did you go to the Batu Caves? It’s on my list to do when in Malaysia – I guess I’m kooky! ;`)

  4. Eddie Mulero says:

    Suzanne, I have been followong your trip, even though I never do comment, or just figured oout how to! LOL.
    It is all very fascinating and entertaining. If I didn’t know I would not yet be working I could have joined you somewhere.
    You look great! Love,
    Eddie

  5. Sean says:

    Always enjoy your posts! Entertaining, funny and takes care od the need to travel excessively. Nice geo-political twist.

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