Kuala Lumpur city gives good vibes from the start
Everything seems to work in Kuala Lumpur. From the moment I arrived I felt comfortable. I found my guest house with no issue, even if it was covered behind a construction site. Made up for by the fact I could keep my shoes on.
The real bonus came the first evening when I went out for something to eat. And, it wasn’t the food. Compared to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur is all the multi-culture, but with less rules.
Multi-culture is thriving in Kuala Lumpur
A rush of street kids tore by as I stepped onto the street. An Indian man removed the contents from his nose in one short sharp blast. Two Malaysian girls walked by in figure hugging skirts and coy smiles. An older woman followed by in a chador.
A sweaty tourist couple looked lost and bothered while what looked to be a Nigerian in designer gear spoke loudly on his phone. Up further an old Chinese couple seemed to be muttering to themselves as they waddled home.
“Kuala Lumpur reeks of multi-culture without formality, something that shouts at me to like it”
Kuala Lumpur, the forgotten capital of South East Asia?
Bangkok gets the spotlight, Hanoi the old streets, Vientiane the peace, Manila the danger, Jakarta the congestion. And, so the list goes on. Then, when Kuala Lumpur is mentioned, people shrug it off as being “nice”. A sure-fire death-blow to any tourist welcoming country.
At a further push people told me there wasn’t much to the place other than the Petronas towers, and some nice food. Shopping was a push with Bangkok just to the north, and Singapore to the south.
Maybe it’s this very notion that makes me take an instant like to the capital of Malaysia. But it’s backed up my its heart thumping vibrancy.
A blast from past
Maybe it’s because there is an incredible mix of people here. Indian, Chinese, Indonesian, Pakistani, Filipino, Sri Lankan, and of course Malay all walk the same streets. There is no immediate air of tension here.
Then, from out of nowhere I see someone with the familiar dark skin and features of a people I lived with for over 2 years; Nigerian.
I stare down the big Nigerian glaring back at me with a scowl from a corner. He speaks Hausa to his friend while still on the phone. But I see him notice a familiar wrist band I have.
“Now it seems all my worlds are colliding”
As I would back in his country, I feel like shouting at him to stop staring at me in Hausa. He looks me up and down as only a Nigerian “big man” can. I do the same with disdain. He speaks loudly to his friend while staring in my direction.
I cannot resist the temptation to smile and utter the words “Omo Dudu,” as we pass by.
A double take from the Nigerian, and we are lost in the crowd.
I can’t help but grin widely. It made my night and filled me with a rush of memories from my sub-Saharan life. And, I wonder if I already know why there are so many Nigerians here. And, without asking I already know what they are up to, and what the locals think. But I do wonder how Malaysia is coping …
I’m hedging my bets that I am right.
The raw reality of life and experience is not always as politically correct as many would want
And, I don’t think I would want it any other way. Otherwise it would be better to live a near utopian life in Singapore.
Multi-cultural Kuala Lumpur
Yes, it’s true. This is what’s pulling me into Kuala Lumpur. It’s mash-up of multicultural society.
“Unlike in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur’s population seem to embody stereotypical types of nationalities here”
One of which I’ve not seen for a very long time. It is a place like this that often times beckons hope to me. Surely this is the ideal place for anyone?
Mild restrictions on alcohol in a largely islamic society keep the Thai style backpackers at bay, along with the slightly higher prices. The average tourist here seems more interested is seeing Malaysia than the inside of a bar. That is perhaps except for the visiting Saudi’s, Iranians and the list goes on.
For some at least, Kuala Lumpur is indeed a veritable party city
So I move back to me and finally I can eat Roti’s for breakfast. Chinese Noodles for lunch, and Laksa for dinner. Not to mention Malaysia is the home to 100 Plus, my best friend drink in this humid heat!
First impressions count
Sabah, Borneo has been my top-notch country since leaving the Philippines (yes, they do personally, consider themselves separate to Malaysia). Now Kuala Lumpur has unexpectedly come out with a delivery that’s just to my taste. At least on the surface. But, we all know what happens when we begin to dig …
I will keep my expectations low on this one for a while, and just enjoy the moment.
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Scratching the surface on Kuala Lumpurs favorite past time, and an attempt to photograph an iconic famous landmark a little differently ….