so there we were, in the middle of rows of tables. kampung baru, the same area that was deserted during the whole day is now busy with life. people all around us, sitting on these tables, food steaming in front of them, colorful plastic glasses filled with iced colorful drinks. but no one is eating, not even the kids who stare at the food with hungry and impatient eyes. there is rain outside the improvised tents that cover this canteen and it is getting darker.
at 7:15, a chant on tv, subtitled in arabic. on the radio as well, a man prays in a mixture of praying and singing. and as soon as they stop, the feast starts. in the whole country.
(or, “how to stay in kuala lumpur for 10 euros/night”)
we’ve been looking for places to stay in kuala lumpur/singapore and since we are having trouble finding couches (ramadan starts today) someone suggested us the tune hotel, describing it as a “no frills hotel, that is for hotels as ryanair is for flights”. and you know what? it is exactly like that – except that it is made by airasia, one of our favourite lowcosts in asia.
image by lynac on flickr.
summer has been good, despite the silence.
the olympics have come and gone and i guess now we’ll see how much life changes (or not), when it all fades away.
my company changed offices to a shiny new place, which unfortunately is located on the other side of town. the commute is now much lengthier, but watching shanghai in the morning through the bus window can be eye opening.
a couple of couchsurfers have surfed our couch too, true citizens of the world hopping between countries and cities. their stories and energy is what makes new this hobby so much interesting. i hope we can make use of this good karma on an upcoming trip to kuala lumpur and singapore. the weather there looks lousy right now, but we need a break from this city. a lot of exploring and sightseeing are in order, some gastronomical adventures and tons of pictures. if you have some tips, leave them in the comments!
malaysia, as we found out, is a young and beautiful country, well versed in the arts of receiving people. it’s one of those countries that is filled with curious details, that you could probably explore in countless days.
we toured a bit of the countryside in terenggannu, on the bus to and from the airport. wooden colorful houses on stills filled with and exquisitely detailed architecture. colorful dressed women working around. lots of food stands, with all sorts of dried food (and also some smelly fish sausages). men flocking to mosques with their sons on the backseat of their old bikes. people drive on the left side of the road. “all meats are halal” said the sign on the sandwich shop. and then of course, the sea and the sky. an insanely green and blue country.
malaysia is mainly muslim, and you can see the influences everywhere, from the mosques to the veils covering the heads of women. and yet, describing malaysia as muslim is a poor simplification. it’s more of an intense asian melting pot. chinese and indian people are also well represented and it seemed to me that besides malay, everybody could speak either chinese or english, which was brilliant.
there were lots of details which we could not explain (orange nail polish on girls and boys?) and others that our “asian background” made a bit more clear, such as the empty beaches and the snorkeling fully clothed (veil included). asian people don’t fancy getting tanned – the whiter the better around here.
in the end, the friendliness sticks out and i feel like we could definitely end up living in kuala lumpur in the next few years. who knows?