Last week we moved from Lombok, Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is just a short visit (about 7 days) as we’re on our way to Vietnam this week.
To understand what our first few days here have been like you have to understand what Lombok is like. In many ways, especially infrastructure, it is still a developing area. The roads are in various states of repair, there are not very many footpaths and those that are there also need repair, the power goes off very regularly, the Internet speed, rubbish bins are not common and availability is not good and its very dusty. All of these things are part of the charm and why we loved having Lombok as our first overseas stop – its so different from home!
After one month in Lombok we were ready for a change and Kuala Lumpur really is a change! We stepped off a train at KL Sentral and rode the escalators up into one of the biggest shopping malls I’ve seen in ages (Tasmania doesn’t have very many shopping malls and no really big ones!). We all just stood around with our mouths wide open and our eyes soaking up the sparking display of western consumerism.. And we loved it 😉
We spent the entire first day just wondering around, having nice coffee from Star Bucks (and fast Internet), shopping for jeans for Tash, running from the rain storm (another thing we’ve not seen much of for months!) and ending the day taking in a breathe taking light display at the Petronias Twin Towers fountain. To say we really appreciated every thing a modern western culture can provide would be an understatement!
The flip side to this, is that now we’ve been here a few days the shiny modern facade’s of the super malls has worn off and we’ve been craving other experiences – the KL Bird Park and the Batu Cave where both great alternatives to Kuala Lumpur’s many malls..
We’ve spent the last 4 days in a house we found on Air BnB, its not in the city, in fact its about 30 minutes out, very close to the Batu caves. Being this far out means we’ve been able to experience life a little more like Malaysians. We’re surrounded by small local restaurants and shops – the local Chinese and Indian restaurants we’re particularly nice! There are large populations of Indian and Chinese people who have called Malaysia home for generations – so there is an interesting mix of cultures/religions in the suburbs – Muslim mosques (and calling to prayer), the Chinese shrines and Hindu temples, all mix together on the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
The footpaths out here are not that great and in many places there aren’t any and the traffic is a little more hectic than Lombok – a lot more cars and a lot less scooters/motor bikes. You just need to have your wits about you – its actually quite fun, like an obstacle course. We were told that the locals don’t walk much because of the weather – hot/humid/rainy – so maybe if they aren’t walking very much out here – foot paths aren’t that important 🙂
Abdullah, our gracious host in suburban KL, introduced us to his son and daughter-in-law. They are digital marketers too, so we had some fantastic conversation about online marketing and life in general! Faisal is actually very successful at selling products online (via Facebook advertising) as well as being an online marketing consultant to local businesses. His Facebook page for the online marketing is here: Faisal Abdullah . Although you may need a translator 🙂 Which brings me to one more point about Kuala Lumpur – almost everyone here speaks great english and if Abdullah’s family are any thing to go by, they are all very smart!
KL has been great and I think we could have easily spent a month here exploring and getting work done on their fastish internet!
However we have just a day left here and then its off to Hanoi, Vietnam – I wonder what that transition will be like for us?
Latest posts by Michelle (see all)
- ABC radio interview – What scared us into leaving Italy 8 months early? - November 25, 2015
- Things can change on a dime - November 2, 2015
- Revealed – the tragedy of our first couple of house sits! - October 13, 2015