All Around Kuala Lumpur

originally posted 24 November 2006, 6:52am

This morning I woke up fairly early, around 730am, showered up and went to the kitchen for breakfast. I ended up eating with a young Korean guy who is living in Manila and a Dutch girl who is on her way via KL to Australia for holiday. I really wanted some Indian food for dinner, so I ended up just having tea and then went across the street and got some roti something, which was basically a roti with a scrambled egg and a side of lentils for two ringitt. Fantastic.

I went up the road to the bus station to buy my ticket for Penang tomorrow. The walk from the hostel was only 20 minutes but the bus station was something else. It has departure platforms, prebooking and food stalls and the whole works. In fact when I walked in, I thought I had walked to the train station by accident. Tickets were bought, ~5h trip, 26 ringgit.

Back at the hostel, I met up with the two Brits from Liverpool that I’d been chatting with last night and we made our way over to Little India. They’d spent the last few days in KL, so we walked across the city to JL Masjid India and ended up having lunch there. I split ways with them, and went to Melaka Square. By that time it was about 2pm and blisteringly hot, probably over 100F. Melaka Square is a beautiful remnant of colonial KL, with a large grassy center and old English buildings flanking on all sides. The buildings are not quite Western per-se as they all have a Islamic flavor to them.

Given the heat I ducked in to the National History Museum for an hour to bask in the AC (and learn about the forming of Malaysia, of course). After the museum, I made my way to Chinatown to get to the Hindu temple that’s located there (go figure). After getting quite lost for a while, I ended up in Chinatown and at the temple. On the way, I passed a lot of building fronts that where made in the early 1900s, many of which had been converted to restaurants and eateries. The fronts are all old colonial style, but in a much more traditional British sense of a colonial building.

I stopped in a few to have coffee/tea or a soda. Most of these restaurants are owned/run by Indians, and they get quite confused when they try to talk to me. Largely they try to talk to me in what I can only guess is Tamil and when that doesn’t work they try Hindi. Sometimes I’m able to communicate with them by replying in Marathi if I understand what I’m saying, otherwise it’s English. I’ve been asked quite a few times where I’m from and if I’m Indian and what I’m doing. It’s an interesting thing, having so many Indians here among everybody else.

After stopping by the temple, I walked around some more and decided it was time to head back, so I took the monorail and the sky train and ended up going quite a bit further than I’d wanted to. That wouldn’t have been so bad had it not started pouring monsoon-style rain. It was a quick decision to jump a cab at that point. Back at the hostel I went and got dinner with some of the folks who are staying here and am now trying to figure out what to do later tonight.

My bus for Georgetown leaves tomorrow at 1030, so I should be in Georgetown by mid-afternoon. Not quite sure where I’m staying yet, so I’ll try to figure that out once I get there.