Monday, February 23, 2009

Kuala Lumpur - Life Near the Equator

First a word about life near the equator. Kuala Lumpur is hot. It’s humid too and the heat just rocks down out of the sky. And each afternoon isn’t complete without a tropical downpour. But life near the equator also means that day and night are roughly of equal lengths. The sun sets at 7:30 PM and dawn hasn’t broken until nearly 7:30 AM. It’s a constant that I could get used to. KL is big, it's loud and it's kinda Muslim. Here and there women in black burkas Muslim. Commercials on TV condemning Israeli aggression Muslim. But the supermarkets have booze and canned pork from China and there’s no call to prayer five times a day from the few minarets I’ve seen so I guess Malaysia isn’t strict theocratic Muslim even though Islam is the official Malaysian state religion. Fewer beggars on the street than in Bangkok or in China but there's no doubt that this is the 3rd world. The Dorsett hotel is no great shakes. They want $10 US for an Internet connection and I see no trace yet of the promised free municipal wifi that's supposedly up and running. I walked into our room for the first time and immediately stepped on la cucaracha and heard the toilet leaking. I washed my hands and the sink leaked onto the floor and onto my shoes. This inspired Eleanor into her role of whipping the servants into shape and we got another room quick. The hotel is in what’s known locally as the Golden Triangle. It has gigantic concrete hell of shopping malls with lots of fast food franchises. Papa Johns, Beard Papa, Kenny Rogers Roasters, Carl’s Junior. Had dinner in a Chinese restaurant where one of the dinner candidates was eating a fellow dinner offering that was on his back in their aquarium holding tank. At least I've managed to find and consume the King of Fruits.

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