Kuala Lumpur

I had a long layover at the airport here, and thought I’d got it made- time to try some regional food, a chance at getting some small denominations of currency for souvenirs, potential interaction with people in yet another country, and a cozy, quiet, modern airport (rated runner-up in the “sleepinginairports.net” guide) to spend the night in. Well, the plane was late, and the shuttle bus between the cramped low cost carriage terminal (LCCT) I arrived in, and the fancy nice one (KLIA) stopped running at 12:30 am.

So, I missed it. The LCCT was packed with masses of people just lying on the ground to sleep for the night. By the time I got to the sleek modern terminal when the buses started back up in the morning, it was already after 6am, and the overhead announcements had begun. I still managed to get some sleep, but nothing like I was planning. So it could have been lack of sleep that led to my feeling the most foreign and out of place so far on this trip, despite the fact that Malaysia is not usually a country you’d put at the top of the list in SE Asia to make a westerner feel out of place.

But, I sat down in “Taste of Asia” for lunch, and besides a guy who walked in 20 minutes later, I was the only Caucasian in a room packed noisily full with over a hundred people. It was nice to observe them to see that they ate with either two forks, or a fork and a spoon- pushing their rice and sauces into a compact and cohesive shape to eat each bite.  But since my mouth was burning from the heat in my Nasi Lemak, and I stared feeling concerned about the lack of physical heat in the lukewarm dish (I’ve been advised- even by a Malaysian, just hours earlier!- to make sure to eat only hot food- not food that’s been sitting out at all, cooling and becoming bacteria-friendly.) and the tiny dried fish that came sprinkled on the dish were tasty, but were a bit hard and had started to cut my mouth, which was already burning… I called it quits and got up to leave.

Unfortunately, I must have dragged my sleeve through something, and then must have rested my hand on my knee and also my bag, because all were bright orange at that point.  Ah… traveling.  I’ll have to go back another time to give KL another chance. Maybe I’ll even make it out of the airport next time.  🙂