Spent a week in KL recently for a conference and to meet a few prospects. Nowadays I travel to KL for work every other week, sometimes for a day, sometimes longer. The last time I’d been in the city proper before this job was probably around 17-20 years ago. HOLY CRAP I AM OLD!

Anyway, it’s a mixed bag to me. If you live in Singapore and head over there, it’s like being in a different version of the same video game level. You’d know immediately that it’s different, but at first you’d probably struggle to identify the specific differences.

But first! Here’s a picture I took on the way to the hotel from the airport:

 

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Buildings! And clouds! How exciting!

It was a 40-min ride (“WHAT??” – Singaporean who’d never left the country before).

I’d take Grab or Uber everywhere I went, so it took me a while to notice that it is NOT pedestrian-friendly! I once booked a hotel that was geographically close to the client’s location, thinking I was so clever. “Ha!” I thought to myself “It’ll be so easy to get to the client’s location! I will not be wasting time with a long commute and will therefore be more productive!”

What is typically a 10-min walk in Singapore, turned out to be more like 30 minutes. Brilliant.

Stayed at Holiday Inn Express, which was OK for the most part. Had a visitor in the form of a small cockroach so that was nice since I was getting a little bit lonely.

The conference was scheduled to begin two days later, so after the last meeting on the first day, I figured I better get my shopping in now.

Now I could see the twin towers (Suria KLCC) from my room, but since it’s KL, walking would probably take me a few days and by the time I arrived I would’ve had a long beard and a volleyball named Wilson.

Fortunately a nice lady was going near where I was headed, so she offered to escort me to where I’d just need to get off just one or two more stops to the KLCC station.

I was NOT expecting to cross busy roads in dimly-lit areas at night. But I made it! Either that, or this is a really crappy dream.

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Behold! A mall! With a giant peacock inside of it!

I think it was just after Deepavali, so there were a ton of Indian tourists there and the festive decorations were nice. But the mall was huge and I was tired. Can’t recall if I got everything I wanted in the first evening, but over the next couple of days I would return and complete my… destiny. Shopping. Just a little bit.

I’d been missing quite a few hours of sleep throughout the week, so I figured that at the end of a long first day, I’d at least get to recharge without being interrupted.

Me at 2.59am: Ahh… recharging. Gonna wake up fresh for a brand new day tomorrow!

The building opposite the hotel at 3am: HAHAHAH LISTEN TO MY ALARM ALL NIGHT LONG, YOU FOOLISH MORTAL!

So yeah. That happened.

Lack of sleep is probably why I can’t recall taking this picture just outside the hotel:

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Loved how they tacked on “with LAW” at the end, as if it were a nice additional topping in a salad.

Whenever I’m in town, I try to find food that I normally couldn’t get the Halal version of back home. Lo and behold next to the hotel lobby:

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O’Briens!

Yea I know… I know… it’s nothing to scream about but I love places like these, and Halal ones are hard to find in Singapore.

It was a little intimidating at first, I’ll admit. When they ask what you want, naturally assuming that you, a fully-grown adult male in a suit, would know what you want. But I was just in awe of all the choices. So… many… choices…

Once I must’ve ordered something extraordinary “Jalapenos? Cranberries? Eggs? Sauce made from the happy tears of yellow Yaks that reside in a temple in the Himalayas? YES PLEASE. ALL OF THEM. NO. ONE WRAP. ALL. OF. THEM.” because the girl actually called out to her colleagues and exclaimed in Malay about how… unreal it was.

So anyway yea, loved O’Briens.

Like Singapore, there’s an interesting mix of old colonial-era buildings and spanking new concrete and glass towers, quite similar to Singapore.

What was interesting though is that nearly at all times, you could see the remnants of a forest trying to make a comeback. Overgrown grass next to sidewalks, vines and what seemed to me like little patches of forest here and there, in between buildings, next to expressways, under overpasses.

On the second-last day I think, I finally got to leave the conference a little earlier and got to see the towers in broad daylight, as opposed to seeing them only in the evening like some kind of vampire without all the cool powers.

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They… they looked bigger in-person

Oh, and this was me on the final day of the conference.

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Yeah.

Headed back to the airport and was surprised by a pretty cool cover of “Mentera Semerah Padi”, by M. Nasir. Probably the only Malay song I kind of like.

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Yea overall it wasn’t a bad trip, and KL’s starting to grow on me. Which is what I thought. Until I missed my most recent flight and had to spend more than 12 goddamn hours at KLIA.

 

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