Tag Archives: Malaysia

Nobody is a just a somebody…

The young lady asked why I wanted to take her picture “I’m just the cleaning lady.” She said.

I took the shot and turned the camera around for her to see. “See how beautiful you are. Nobody is just a somebody.” Not sure she understood what I meant by that phrase but she did blush and smile.

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I am in the KL Convention Center (KLCC) Park waiting for my partner Ms. E. to get her hair done in the shopping mall under the Petronas Towers. “Two hours?” I asked. “It takes two hours to get your hair done?” I wanted to explain that I can get my haircut done in 15 minutes, wash, cut, quaffed, but instead and avoiding an argument I took off around the park and took a few pictures.

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At the convention center there is always something going on. Today, an autoshow, all the major brands were on display, BMW, Citron, Proton, Lotus…

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 KL Auto Show-10-PFKL Auto Show-19-PFKL Auto Show-29_PFOh yeah the cars…

KL Auto Show-22-PFBeauty comes in many forms such as the young lady that rakes leaves in the park or in the latter glamorous automobiles, acknowledge it for what it is.

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Doctors smoke more Camels than any other cigarette.

I would not do this after dark but walking the back streets of Kuala Lumpur during the day is quite enjoyable, a little urban exploring, get some pictures, see how the locals live and always see sights not on any tour map, for example, this morning we are on our way to an old bookstore.

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Here we are. The book store is literally packed to the front door, floor to ceiling.

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Ah… The Classics. KL Book-51

I was impressed with the extent of the books in this little store. My big find was this 1947 Popular Science magazine.

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The back cover advertisement tells it all. The US had just come out of a World War, the Baby Boom was just beginning, the prosperity of the 1950’s was just around the corner, and people now had expendable income. R.J. Reynolds capitalized on many aspects of what was happening in the US at the time, women smoking, doctors where the experts, and celebrities pushed every product imaginable.

I wanted to find out what happen to Jerry Ambler so I Googled him. He died of an auto accident in 1957, not cancer like many of these celebrities did.

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Curry Fish Head with sautéed lettuce…

This is our bill from dinner the other night, cannot read a damn word of it, more on the meal in a minute.

BillOne of my favorite buildings in downtown Kuala Lumpur is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Built in 1897 and designed by A.C. Norman in the style of the Mughal, Persian architecture, the building housed British government offices until after World War II.

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Curry Fish head

Thirty minutes drive south of Kuala Lumpur (KL) through the back streets of the city, away from the upscale hotels and modern neighborhoods is a borough known as Puchong where we are about to experience a local delicacy, Fish-head curry.

FishHeadSoup-13 FishHeadSoup-11-2Puchong is mostly a Chinese community with a myriad of local restaurants that rarely see any foreigners. This restaurant is known for good Fish Head, it’s not a fancy place, plastic chairs, open to the outside, with a queue quickly forming it’s an indication this place is good.

FishHeadSoup-3One thing I noticed when I moved here to Malaysia is that there is no salad, as we know it in the West. The Malaysian’s do eat lettuce, it’s just sautéed, steamed, and mixed with oyster sauce, very good.

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Whenever I go to Puchong children point at me because I look so out-of-place, restaurant owners ask my companion Ms. E if I need a fork and spoon, and some places dust off the English menu, if they have one, and set it in front of me. As awkward as all this is and as culturally different as it can get, this is why people love to travel.

Cambodia and Tomb Raider sites …

Remember Lara Croft played by Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider looking for that Triangle of Light thing?

Anyway that’s were we are today.

Ta Prohm

Just outside of the town of Siem Reap Cambodia lay 200 plus ancient cities built during a

Wiki Commons. Arial view of Angkor Wat

time when Europe was going through the Dark Ages.  The Khmer people, as they are known, were ingenious, prosperous, and built many cities beyond the concept of modern man at the time to honor kings, deities, and the people of the area of that time. The first city we visit and the largest is Angkor Wat surrounded by an immense moat created for protection.

Angkor Wat

Ta Keo

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom is a large complex protected by miles of 10 foot tall walls. This is one of four gate entrances.

Ideal Female Form

Apsaras represent the ideal female form and of course like the ideal female (or male) Apsaras are mythical who have learned the art of this particular dance that the stone carver has captured for eternity.

This is interesting within the Angkor Thom complex there are 12 towers called the Sour Prat Towers. Two men in quarrel is each placed in one of the towers, after so many days they emerge. The one who comes out sick is guilty, Guilt by divine decree.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is the place where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed with Angelina Jolie. The place is surreal.

You can try and see the ruins on your own but I would hire a guide. We hired http://www.angkorjourneys.com for the day. Kanha and her team were excellent.

Cambodia is a beautiful country striving to creep into the 21st century after decades of genocide and corruption. The constant chatter of the Tuk-Tuk drivers barking at pedestrians, gaining your attention, hopefully to solicit your companionship for a few dollars, reminds you of where you are in the world, children begging for handouts next to semi-upscale shops in Siem Reap makes you consider if Cambodia will crawl or leap into the modern world. Avoid the peddlers and seek out legitimate organizations if you are inclined to give.

If you visit Cambodia get away from Phnom Penh or Siem Reap and be prepared to experience some 3rd world adventures. A ride through the rice fields will show you the real Cambodia and its people living off the land, children and adults bathing in the rice fields, homes without electricity or running water, but still the people seem to be healthy and vibrant in such a place as The Kingdom of Cambodia.

Mountain Biking in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Well maybe not mountain biking but a sponsored ride through the city of Kuala Lumpur put on by OCBC Bank.

The Venue started and ended at Merdeka Square where Malaysia celebrated its independence from British rule in 1957. Old colonial builds surround the square where once upper elite Brits played polo and dined in the Tudor style Royal Selangor Club.

Several vendors and events took place prior to the 51kl or 21kl rides. The crowd kept increasing as start time approached.

I’m ready, is it on straight? Brought my Fat Frogg hat from Elon, NC.

Excitement started to rise as camera crews worked the crowd.

My Bike: Specialized S-Works

Start time: Crowd in front of me.

Crowd in back of me.

Off we go, we pass by the Petronas Towers and the iconic KL Tower can be seen in the distance.

It was a well planned event and a great way to spend a Sunday morning. I’ll be back next year.

Last Friday’s Lunch

Thank goodness for Ivan my colleague and lunch buddy. I would probably starve if it weren’t for him. Last Friday we find ourselves in another fine restaurant in Puchong. You know the place, you take a left at Dandar Bukit, a right at Kebuth Puteri, but if you see Taman Wawasan you’ve gone too far.

A Chinese restaurant, Leon Ha specializes in Tun Foo (I got this right Ivan?) kind of like tofu. As usual I let Ivan order.

Breaded deep fried pork in a sweet sauce. Very good and very fatty.

Steamed tofu stuffed with fish. Not bad, taste like tofu.

Now this was very good. Baked chicken in paper. Golden brown fall off the bone goodness in a sweet soy sauce.

This is wonton soup, it’s called something different here but I can’t remember the name for it. This was some of the best wonton soup I have had. It had just the right amount of chicken flavor, ginger, sesame oil, and the noodle was cooked perfect, making my mouth water just writing about it.

We kind of made a mess of it.

This was a great lunch and only cost about $12 for the both of us. Make note: if you go to a Chinese or Thai restaurant and they don’t sever chilies, get up and walk out.

Little India – Brickfields. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Muslim event known as Ramadan has ended and we are at the end of a week long holiday in Malaysia. During this time Muslims leave the city to visit family. This is a good thing, my 25 minute commute to the grocery store is now reduced to five, love it. But it won’t last long so I better get out and drive somewhere, like the Brickfields!

 

The Brickfields is a neighborhood in Kuala Lumpur that has a second more colorful Little India than the one in City Center. This area has a great walking tour and many other religions are represented throughout the community. 

Constructed in 1904 in honor of the spiritual leader Vivekananda Ashram, that’s him in front, this building is still used for spiritual education.

Within the neighborhood there is a Catholic church, an Orthodox Syrian church, and this Lutheran church built in 1924.

The Maha Vihara Buddhist Temple was founded in 1894. 

Sri Kandaswamy Temple built in 1902 is so busy it wwill make your head spin. 

Sam Kow Tong built in the 1950’s. If you go around to the back I read it sits next to a brothel, is was too early in the day to notice any activity.

If you come to Little India in the Brickfields take a breath, the place is filled with the smells of jasmine, cardamom, and incense. The streets are lined with clothes, silk, spice, and gold merchants and the people seem relatively friendly.