East Meets West – Kuala Lumpur

We’ve spent the last two days exploring the city of Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur is a bustling, colorful city. I love the trees and greenery spread throughout the streets.

We are staying in quite a central area. Our hostel is really lovely–simple yet the hosts are warm and friendly. It’s definitely a place where I feel like I can relax.

Last night we got caught in a thunderstorm…it’s rainy season! Luckily, between us, we had an umbrella and two rain ponchos. We ended up running into a random restaurant and having dinner there just to get out of the rain.

Malaysia’s official religion is Islam and it is currently Ramadan where Muslims do not eat or drink between 7am and 7:30pm. Last night it was fascinating to observe two men who sat down for a meal at the restaurant we were at. They arrived about 7pm, were given drinks and ordered their food but it sat untouched for about 20 minutes until the restaurant manager said they could eat. Apparently, restauranteurs can be arrested or fined for serving Muslims during Ramadan. Even Maccas had a sign on the counter saying they would refuse to serve Muslims between the hours of 7-7:30pm. Crazy! I don’t know how they go without food AND water in such a hot climate.

The streets are crazy after 7.30pm because everyone arrives for dinner; they put out extra tables and have special Ramadan buffets spread out along the street.

KL seems to be quite a mix of east and west. Sometimes it feels like other cities I’ve been to (i.e. I’m sitting here writing this while drinking a hazelnut latte in a nice air conditioned cafe) and then other times you are struck by the contrasts of the culture and way of life here.

Tonight we will head to Chinatown where I will try out my bargaining skills for the first time and tomorrow we head to Port Dickson for the wedding.

Rachel

P.S. Will add photos as soon as I can.

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