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Lunch in Kuala Lumpur

Today I visited Little India in Kuala Lumpur for the first time. What a fascinating place. I got to see (and forgot to photograph) the whole town get ready for Deepavali later this week. There were women getting henna tattoos, men selling fireworks, and the whole of a nearby mall was decorated with flowers for the holiday.

Lunch was with one of my favorite travelers I’ve met so far. Her name is Ella and she’s from Switzerland but grew up partially in Italy. She speaks six languages, travels without a computer or a camera, and couldn’t stop talking about how beautiful Kuala Lumpur is, how she loves all of the multiethnic people here, and how she likes not even knowing what she’s eating. “I think this is liver” she said as she stuck some food on my plate.

The two pictures below are of my hostel roommate Ella who joined me for lunch and the food stand we ate from. I didn’t have the camera out to record the rest of the afternoon but wish I did.

Lunch in Kuala Lumpur ChinaTown. My plate, unfortunately not pictured, was 8 ringit for more than I could eat. That’s just under $3.

Ella, and Italian and Swiss girl I met today. I’m fascinated with her approach to travel and how much she notices at each turn.

Notably these are the first photos edited and posted entirely from an iPad. I sent the rest of my computer gear home and am going to try using only an iPad for the next few months. My hope is that it will make writing while moving around easier and will also encourage me to spend less time goofing off behind a screen. I’m using PhotoRaw for the raw development and Afterlight for finishing and color. I hope the colors better over time, but I like the flexibility of using only an iPad for production.

If you’re following along, this means I’m eating my words over all the hate about Apple lately. I still wish some things would change about the iPad but the interface is sublime for having a computer for just writing and just photo editing — an interface that makes it hard to get distracted into long programming or web browsing sessions. I’d also say that for most uses the iPad is the most ergonomic computer I’ve ever used.

Three Days in Kuala Lumpur

I’m in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a few days to visit friends. If you haven’t been to KL it’s worth a quick visit, but I wouldn’t recommend spending more than perhaps three days here. I don’t like to say this but Kuala Lumpur (at least the core of the city) feels like culturally barren place full of shopping malls, hotels, and skyscrapers.

Out shopping in Kuala Lumpur.

Inside the enormous KLCC shopping mall at the base of the Petronas Towers.

It’s so hot here, and there’s so much traffic, that people often walk between buildings on air conditoned and elevated walkways. As a result most of the businesses are in shopping malls instead of the streets, which makes walking through the core of the city either a trip through a shopping mall or a long steamy walk outside where there might be 100 meters between you and the nearest business. In many ways it reminds me of part of Beijing or Northern Virginia.

Traffic in Kuala Lumpur.

Now there are a couple cool things to do here. The food is incredible quality and a very good deal price wise. Generally eat well for $2-3 per meal in the streets and up to

Street lunch in Kuala Lumpur. About $5.

The appeal of the street food is more than just eating it. I also like watching people cook it.

Cooking street food on the Jalan Alor street. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Outside of the city, the Batu Caves are almost an hour journey but let you see this stunningly large gold staute.

Gold statue outside the Batu Caves, Indonesia.

I also really like the design of the Petronas Towers, and this bit about how their floor plan is inspired by traditional islamic culture:

“The floor-plate of the Tower is designed based on geometric patterns common in architecture of Islamic heritage. It is composed of two rotated and superimposed squares with small circular infills. These geometric figures have been described by architects as symbolising unity, harmony, stability and rationality - all important principles of Islam.”

The Petronas Towers. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Note: These are older photos taken earlier in the year. I’ve been out hanging out with friends and having fun, not using the camera on this trip. They were originally featured in my May 2014 notes on malaysia.