Monday, January 11, 2010

Kuala Lumpur

I briefly stopped over in Kuala Lumpur on my way to and from Sumatra. I wasn't all that impressed by the city, and unfortunately I didn't get to travel outside of it at all. I spent a couple days walking around Chinatown, the (small) old colonial area, Lake Gardens park, and the Brickfields area. The city is way more developed than I expected. Not that I want to hold it against other countries when they start to develop, but I think walking around outdoor markets with hundreds of individual stalls is fun, while walking around multi-story indoor air-conditioned malls is not. It seemed to me that Malaysia is at the stage of economic development where they are justifiably proud of becoming a New Asian Tiger or whatever, and the environment and aesthetics are temporarily (hopefully) relatively less important. I don't really know what I'm talking about, but that's how I felt--the sole downtown park felt abandoned, KFC, McDonalds and 7-11 were omnipresent, and being a pedestrian was putting your life on the line. On a good note, I thought the vast multi-culturalism was fantastic.

Here are a few pics. More are on my picasa page. More on Indonesia later.

evidence of a famous graffiti artist
chinatown market during the day when it's empty
Lake Gardens park
McDonald's tray liner. Enlarge it and read it. At first I thought this was the most horrible thing I'd ever read, but then I saw a ballpoint pen ad on TV that was basically the same. So maybe it's just that all their ads are like nationalist Ovaltine ads.

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