This evening we landed safely in KL and ventured out into the city. We had 12 hours before our connecting flight, so we figured we should make the most of the stop over. The pilot told us before getting off it would be 30 degrees with light showers outside, and my jaw dropped – definitely not ready for humidity.
It reminded me of Singapore. Standing outside felt like an authentic sauna experience, but then when you hopped on a taxi or stepped into a restaurant, air conditioning blasted out, to the point that if you didn’t have a jumper, you’d freeze. Besides my struggles to adapt to these extremes, I can say I absolutely loved KL. We met one of our old friends at a hotel, and she drove us into the city for street food and sightseeing. Everything was delicious. Rice, vegetables, fish, chicken, calamari, served on great big banana leaves. Drinks were warm at the bottom and cold at the top. People around us ate with their fingers, but we opted for cutlery. Although it was getting late, the streets were still very busy. Everywhere was lit up. An old woman walked from table to table, trying to sell people tissue paper, and every restaurant, bar, cafe etc. was occupied. It was a sea of chatter, laughter, and bustle.
Later we drove to pick up her sister. As we entered her neighbourhood, there were several large dogs wandering around. Sue didn’t seem phased by this, and told me it was the norm. Other things that took me a while to get used to, was the driving. No one pays attention to the road rules, and the locals have a shared understanding for parking – you can park anywhere. Sue told me she once parked at a traffic light. I was taken aback. I loved though, that even in this city where cars suddenly stop, and people park in the middle of roads – in the midst of this chaos – everything still seemed to function, and keep moving.
We spent the rest of Christmas in KL walking around the streets, as fake snow drifted down on us (via fans), and ended up in a bar, dancing until the early hours of the morning. At some point we ended up back at the hotel. I don’t know what time, I fell asleep on the bed, then an hour later Ji and I went to grab a taxi. Now here we sit, Ji is fast asleep, and I’m still awake (I don’t know how) waiting for our next flight, and next adventure.
We seriously can’t wait to get to Hanoi – the capital city of Vietnam, and starting point of this trip. But a taste of Malaysia has already made this venture feel really exciting.
Sending love and Christmas wishes,
Kat & Ji