Kuala Lumpur Confusion

28 Apr
Me and Petronas in KL

Me and Petronas in KL

When I arrived in Kuala Lumpur (KL [ke:l] in colloquial speech) I was just confused. Maybe it was because I had met too many new people and seen too many new places in the last few days, or maybe because KL is soooo much bigger and more developed than where i was before.

The idea that came to mind when walking around the different areas, is that KL is one big fruit-salad. Take pieces of different fruits and shake them all around. Similarly there are many incongruous elements mixed together in KL:

Old and new mixed

Old and new mixed

  • Take some old colonial buildings, functional Chinese shophouses, suburbian slum like dwellings and add some skyscrapers (e.g. the emblematic Petronas Towers)
  • Add some hindu temples, churches (of all kind of denominations) and mosques
  • Imagine some women in sari, with a veil and some in hotpants
  • Taste Indian curry, halal food, Chinese food, makasan padang, McDonalds and haute cuisine
  • Try to get your head around Chinese, Malay, Hindi, Arab, oh yeah, a bit of English here and there.
  • Combine rickshaws, monorail trains floating through the sky and deluxe aircon buses.
  • Eat in street food stalls or in one of the many sumptuous food courts in the shiny malls (more about shopping here)
  • Walk through Chinatown, little India, Arab street or the Skyscraper area

and mix all of this very well durcheinander – that’s Kuala Lumpur or Malaysia.

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