Well….. I’m going to say it, KL has not been able to win me over as a fan, not to say that it’s not been fun exploring!
It has been burning hot here since I arrived – currently sitting at 34 degrees ! The pollution has left me with congested lungs, and my built in inner navigation system has been challenged to the max!
I have been lost more times than ever in this city !
Yesterday I became so lost that I found myself in a place not too dissimilar to the Grand Bizarre in Istanbul.
Meandering through the markets, I hear the very familiar and loud “call to prayer” singing out across the area. I knew I was in for a little adventure. There I was, the only western woman, standing about a foot taller than everyone else, dressed in a strappy sundress, trying to weave my way through the congested market. At one point myself and a group of Muslim woman ahead were prodded like cattle (yes literally, with a metal pole) away from the men rolling out their prayer mats in the direction of mecca, while hundreds of others swarmed into the area to answer the mandatory call to worship at the mosque that I was now in front of.
It was total chaos.
Severely under-dressed, and not wanting to feel disrespectful, I put my head down and made a very rapid exit to the closest road away from the area, swiftly dodging a man who’s arm was reaching out to have a “touch” of the western girl!
It is amazing how turning “left” instead of “right” can take you to such a different world.
KL is an immense cultural melting pot, far more so than I remember or realised. A walk down the street will see you encountering middle easterners, Indians, Chinese, Africans and westerners dressed in anything from shorts and singlets, to full burqas !
What I wasn’t expecting was the insistent & often irritating attention given to western woman. I have been shadowed multiple times by curious locals, and stared at more than ever before. However annoying, you quickly learn to block it out, even though the idea of a head dress or burqa did cross my mind
In my few days here I have visited Petaling Street, or Chinatown markets, the Central Market, Petronas Towers, Jalon Alor, or Hawker Row, The Bizarre (by accident!), Lot 10 Food court (am-azing!!), and endless shopping “meccas” (hello aircon)! One thing KL is not short of is shopping malls, or good food, and I have been quite excited to discover the train system that connects to Singa’s and Thailand (watch this space for a pending detour on the return trip!)
Tonight I plan to enjoy the last day of luxury at my upgraded fancy hotel room (amazing what a loud band playing below and a midnight visit to Reception can achieve) as an epic storm brews outside.
Tomorrow I jet off back to the “simple life” (get thee to nature- fast!).
Next stop:- Sri Lanka