Phayo, Franche-Compte, Elounda, Jum

Kuala Lumpur, City of Malls

We realized we’d need to step up our game, when the first roundabout we passed on our Air Asia Skybus harboured a good-sized forest! This sure wasn’t small-town-gone-viral Ubud anymore!

Kuala Lumpur

And we gave the city all we had, we truly did. We plodded the streets for hours- at all hours, thumbing our nose at the intractable taxi mafia. We dipped into the retail madness of 1001 chain stores uniformity, and stumbled past endless displays of mass-produced junk, always on the lookout for the unique and the worthwhile

Graffiti Kual Lumpur

which we found, once again, in the people that crossed our path. The volunteers at the Chinese temple, for example, work in a wide, nondescript hall tucked well out of sight, only a block from the shimmering Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers

Every day, they help whip up a thoroughly impressive vegetarian feast, that nourishes hundreds of office workers on lunch break, for just a few ringgits. One volunteer I spoke with said she usually spent four hours here- daily! We’ve never seen so many vegetarian dishes in one place, and although we heaped our plate, we didn’t manage to try even half of what was on offer!

Vegetarian Buffett

And should you ever fall on hard times in KL- breakfast at the temple is free….

To me, the unsung heroes in this booming City of Mammon, are the men in the countless high rise construction crews, all over the city

Workers in the Sky

Working long hours under harshest conditions- searing heat, claustrophobic humidity, unrelenting noise, they’re wiry, hardened and often so self-effacing they seem surprised to even be noticed. Our exchanges were necessarily short, but the smiles and  well wishes we received stuck with us long past our brief encounters

Workers gone

The best thing about our brush with KL? We were granted a new two month visa for Indonesia- our open sesame to the myth-enshrouded island of Sumatra.

2 Responses to Kuala Lumpur, City of Malls

  1. May 19, 2013 at 15:59
    Vicki Noble says:

    The buffet at the Chinese Temple looks very impressive. Great to get another 2 month Visa :)
    Enjoyed your thoughts and experiences on KL

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