Impressions of Kuala Lumpur

I was too sick to write for much of my stay, but when well took some notes of the highlights. I think much of my reaction is based on having just come from a long time in the Philippines.

Final approach to KL airport: Wow, the roads look in great shape, wide lanes, no swarms of motorcycles …. I don’t see any shanty towns.

Deplaning: Some of the Malays are in a hurry but everybody else is not … passport control – the lines are long for Malays, many more windows and shorter lines for foreign passports. Most international airports I’ve flown into it’s been the foreigners who have the longer lines.

Airport: What a mix! Malays, Chinese, Indians, Japanese, Koreans, etc., and it seems I hear more languages than see ethnicities … This place is built and maintained to Developed Nation standard – wonder what the GDP is here … ‘White Coffee’ is for sale, say what? … Oops. I keep tending right when in a head on pedestrian conflict, but they drive on the left so I’d better remember to head left next time – Oops … What is that unholy stench! Shit, I haven’t suffered the burning ass smell of an Indian cigarette since the hippie days … Ever try to use an ATM denominated in local currency when you’re not sure you remember the conversion factor? (A fellow American waiting in line knew it so I didn’t have to use the McDonald’s factor. A Big Mac is about $2 most places in the world – or something like that.) … There are trash cans — and people are using them! … [I landed at LCCT, the Low Cost Carrier Terminal on the other side of the airport. A train line goes to that terminal, at LCCT there is a shuttle to the train station] What’s this? Someone has the job of offering to help people with their luggage get off the bus and up the 4 steps to the train station!

Supermarket: I’m in heaven. With the range and quality of food this could be anywhere in the states that happened to have a large and diverse Asian and Muslim population.

Foreign Exchange: Exchange your Philippine Pesos for USD before leaving the Phils, the exchange rate out of the country is about half of what you’ll get at an international airport in the Phils.

TV Game show. Contestant and panel watch pop star news, then answer questions about it. A clip of the star’s new video is shown and the contestants and panel attempt to imitate the dancing. I didn’t understand a word but something made me keep watching. It wasn’t that the 3 member panel were all young, pretty, girl next door types, as was the contestant. I think it had something to do with all 4 wearing mini skirt costumes (Maid in pink and white ruffles, Nurse in white, including white thigh high stockings with garters, School girl and the contestant looked vaguely like a stewardess). Yeah, I know they’re now called Flight Attendants, but not on this show.

Little India. Hotel was on one end of it, I took the train to the other. Omigod, the food was good. Made me sick, but it was almost worth it.


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