After I had planned my trip at home I supposed that it is one-day Kuala Lumpur visit that would the most interesting part of the program (Hong Kong, Bangkok, Phuket, Kuala Lumpur). But I didn’t expect how much.
December 30th was one of the best days of my life.
Flight and suburbs
The trip started when a pleasant canadian woman let me sit near the window. Thus I got an opportunity to make colourful mourning pictures.
She was working at a private bat and flied to extend Thai visa.
Interestingly, I noted her for myself in the aiprort but didn’t decide to break her loneliness.
We pleasantly communicated for 10 minutes and then she found a player and a book more interesting for her.
It turned out that it is the idea of Mahathir Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia to build “an airport in jungle and jungle in an airport”.
I even didn’t realize that these are palms because they quite don’t have a trunk. The new airport of Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) was opened in 1998, and if leafes of newly planted palms had already grown, trunks hadn’t yet.
Malaysian palms are different than thai one, being “hairy” and suitable for collection of oil.
Having stayed an hour in a passport control queue I hurried to get to a pre-paid Skybus to the city. I thought it will leave from minute to minute. Nevertheless I was stunned that food court and shops in a Low-cost carriers terminal of the airport (LCCT) are placed under the roof at open air. A brilliant decision for this clime – but where is it in Thailand?
KLIA is very far from the center (50 км), and the road to the central railway station (KL Sentral) took quite an hour even at highways. Before the trip I found it unpleasant that an hour on the way to the city and and hour on a way back will steal my tiny time for the city – in result I had only 5 hours. But then I realized that this trip was a tour to a Multimedia Super Coridor Malaysia (a special zone 50*15 km, including the airport, a circuit in Sepang, administrative capital Putrajaya and development center Cyberjaya). Unlike the road from Suvarnabhumi to Bangkok, from this road everything was seen.
It’s only a small part of a beauty of the planned capital
Even before I get to Kuala Lumpur I realized that I had fallen in love with this country.
And the city broke my heart completely.
Along the way englishmen slept all the road losing this beauty. Or maybe 8-hour difference is the reason?
KL Sentral and meal. The way to a man’s stomach lies through his heart
Escalators are smart, energy saving. If nobody uses one – it stands still, somebody is coming – it starts moving. Personal escalator is a very pleasant thing.
There is a trade square between station halls. When I decided to buy an plane model on my way back to the airport, they were magically found at one shop at this square.
On the way back I took a ticket to KLIA ekspres to the main terminal of the airport and needed to get to LCCT. In the bus to LCCT I got introduced russian girls that flied to Penang.
They also have not been to Malaysia already and also liked it from first minutes.
The road between terminals bypassed the airport and took 20 minutes. The same one hour as on the way to the city.
There occured trucks full of sand with a cabin placed well high of a suspension. Windows of the bus were cleaned very long time ago.
In fact I didn’t plan to eat anywhere in KL because of the lack of time, feeding myself with reserved fruits. But while seeking an express to the airport I could not walk away from a pleasant smell of Nelson’s, beating a neighbouring McDonald’s one.
First time I ordered myself a Waffle Cake, being baked at my eyes and smeares with a filler on my choice – for 2,8 ringgit (a bit less that 1$).
Having valued the dish I decided to taste another one at them, but in a tunnel at KLCC exit I was captured by a smell of Rotiboy. It is a bakery with a giant variety of goods, where you take what you want, place it at a plate and pay for it. Where else can you imagine a “take-then-pay” class shop? In Moscow – unreal.
In a mynews.com network outlet I bought a 100% orange juice with such a juicy pulp that here in Russia I can expect only in expensive bottled juices.
I also saw and advertisement of a Calcium plus drink but failed to find and taste it. To the contrast is Phuket where I managed to find 100% juices from at the second half of being there.
On the way back I ordered Potong – a 80-milliliter ice cream with pulp. I ordered corn and coconut. For 1,5 ringgit each (~0,5$). It is difficult to imagine such a shop in Russia.
In the mail terminal of the airport there is also a non-expensive pleasant shop.
Smells are important part of impression from Kuala Lumpur. While Bangkok smell with a fried stuff, here smells are calm and pleasant.
People and language
People are another important impression. Being kind and sympathetic, they will either help you or politely tell you “Sorry, my english is not so good”. Unlike India and Thailand I didn’t meet cattle that would answer my question with no sound making a non-understating grimace with their face. English colonisation reports itself.
Here I first time heard polite “sir” – most time I heard “my friend’, “hey” and so on.
When I lied down in a praying hall of Masjid Jamek, a guard pleasantly asked whether I am muslim and then informed that non-muslims are not allowed to enter the hall.
In a queue at Rotiboy I asked a young woman could the personnel bake the batch before purchase. She acted as if helping me was her duty and consumed herself with appempting to ask personnel about it.
I was absolutely astonished.
On my way back to the airport in a train one malaysian man realized that I am interested in what is outside the window and started talking. Most of what is written here – about Putrajaya, the airport, palms, a Prime Minister – I got to know from him.
The was the a dialogue about a Prime Minister like that:
– When time time came for him to go people came to him and got him to understand in a polite and non-hurting way that it is time to go. Because we are south-east asian country! So we speak politely and non-hurting.
– And is it correct for every south-east asian country?
– No, I know only about Malaysia.
My interlocutor mistook. Rules in Thailand are far from that – and that is also a part of impression from Malaysia.
When I had lost my camera after a turmoil with choosing and substituing gifts in a shop, a muslim sales woman found me somewhere in the airport and gave it back.
Girls were also pretty there: both chinese and malay, and even muslim ones. Posters of a model wearing hijab showed how muslim woman can look beatiful and modern.
The use of the latin script is also important. Along with english duplication of sign boards it made to understand the language became much more simple. To remember that “keluar” is exit and “awas” is attention was no difficulty. And in the plane “Maklumat keselamatan”linked with “Safety information”.
For many comparatively new words a transliteration is use, its rules seem amusing from first glance. Bus is bas, station is stesen, central is sentral, motorcycle is motorsikal, taxi is teski and so on. Maybe for hindi it is also applicable, but to prove it their script should be learned.
Everything for people. Proactivity
Proir to an exit from a largest trade center Suria KLCC, situated on first floors of Towers you can see such a sign. Can you expect anything in Moscow?
“Aren’t we courteous” form this sticker is also noticeable.
But what excites most at Kelana Jaya Line is that you can see everything not from first to a last wagon but also in front of the train and behind it. Trains are automatic and the line lies both under and above the ground.
Rapid transport is one of things that malaysians are proud of, it is depicted in every gift I bought. Most popular are Petronas Twin Towers и Menara KL, there are no gift without them and it seems me not right. Old buildings are also beautiful though they are colonial.
An impression that everything is well-thought permanently came into my mind in Malaysia. That a form of details was defined not by circumstances but because it had been thought that it should be right that.
Mynews.com salesmen beared a badge thanking for no change back. Usually it is spoken aloud and here people got an idea to make a special badge for it and turned it into reality. Take into consideration an energy-saving escalator also.
Motorcycles are covered not to warm up.
Malaysians are not typical nation worn out by the sun and lying down on a beach. Otherwise all these skyscrapers won’t be built (in Bangkok they look not like a rule but rather like an exception).
And all these wonderful companies won’t be created.
AirAsia, making 3 daily flights from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur, the company that made this trip happened – is a malaysian company.
Franchise networks Nelson’s and Rotiboy (one that expanded outside the country) – are malaysian companies.
And surely there are more wonderful businesses that I didn’t meet during several hours in Malaysia.
I spent as much time as possible in duty free only in a malaysian airport. Really I spent even more than possible getting informed about a delay.
I saw a shop with local candies available for tasting in duty free only in KLIA and bought them for 100 ringgits.
By their proactivity malaysians show their loyalty to principles of increasing consciousness and lifestyle design that I am loyal to. They care how they and their surroundings live. That’s why Malaysia is figuratively my country. The fact that malaysian domain zone is .my seems inaccidental.
A bit sightseeing
A colonial-style KTM headqurters is situated other side of the road
After my first leaving the mosque I realized that I would certainly come back to this city and settled down stopping a race for impressions.
Then I met with americans and informed them that now the mosque is closed for non-muslims. Surprisingly, they had driven through Russia by Transsiberian railway. They enjoyed the experience.
Former Post Office
At home I was surprised how it could be that there is nobody at this even and beautiful Merdeka Square.
What is it reserved for and for whom?
It turned out – that for nobody and nothing.
Come and enjoy.
Fountains on a north side is a good place to relax but there is nothing to see because of decay.
Noon at equator is not a pleasant time and place for photographer. Sun gives quite no shadow but if you make pictures from the opposite side you will have all the disadvantages.
Then I went to a St. Mary’s Church – the main temple of the colony.
It was the first church where I listened to… birds songs. Nothing hinders and nobody rejects them to get inside. Another stunning experience.
There I realized that for somewhat reason I put on pants for a trip to a muslim country and anyway I would be prohibited to enter National Mosque.
Unlike Great Palace in Bangkok everything is made for people here. I quickly rented a cape. Free.
Then I decided to buy it but the deal was prohibited.
A garden at a confluence of Klang and Gombak. The place where Kuala Lumpur started (“kuala lumpur” is “dirty outfall” in Malay).
A view to old and new Kuala Lumpur railway stations, KTM headquarters, a park with National Mosque from Pasar Seni (“Central market”) station.
A disadvantage and conclusion
The only but a solid disadvantage is that Malaysia is a smoking country. It stroke my eyes even at the airport. Many youth smoke. Girls too. It is only Malaysia when local citizen asked me for a cigarette. Maybe because it is a muslim country and alcohol is under much bigger pressure. I didn’t get into a smoke-screen like when getting out of a train in rush hour in Moscow. But all in all it was unpleasant.
If to relate to Malaysia like to a interesting girl, you should consider alternatives (“are there more suitable ones without this habit?”)
First-world european countries and Japan are good, but are either cold there or inhabited with explosive rather than calm malaysians. USA is a country of bureaucracy and absolutely not of high consciousness (however, to rate correctly it is better to have my own experience).
I liked India last year but nevertheless felt that I should find something more. And thanks to AirAsia I had visited 3 countries and found my Malaysia – where I spent the least amount of time in.
Is it correct to find an anternative to a loved one and find an ideal if it is lovely in general?
Malaysia is just a country and I don’t need to have kids from it.
There is also a 500 ringgit fine for smoking in varoius places. For eating in underground also. That is why locals looked at me with such eyes in a train when I was eating Rotiboy’s batch.
And all in all you can help a beloved one to give up a bad habit.
Malaysia and me
I tend not to treat these events, people and companies that I stumbled with as accidental thought they seem so.
Malaysia became a dream and ideal for me. Memory about it makes me better.
For example there was an important thought for me to calm down and give up a race for impressions while just getting enjoyment of being in a lovely city.
I lack it in life and often I am reproached for it. But in Kuala Lumpur I realized the issue and started to act differently. Better and more correct.
That is why sightseeing are not at first place here. They dont’ transfer the feeling of present moment.
And that is why I was in Malaysia not 5 hours in the city – but all 9 hours from passing passport control to sitting down in a plane on way back.
I decided not to collect malaysian cards and money for memory. What for if I certainly will come back there?
I do not collect russian money and cards – they are always with me when necessary.
I also realized in duty free that I started to communicate with people in another manner.
With open heart and having no afraid to receive standart rude Soviet Union answer.
Because I am in Malaysia!
Openness gives me the opportunity to get new acquaintance and friend.
In a plane on way back we got in communication with italianian Antonio from Ischia island (Capri) who also was prolonging his thai visa and lived in Patong that he first visited in even 1987.
Antonio very few speaks English anf German but nevertheless in talks about Maxim Gorky, Maradona, mafiaand camarilla, school studying and Brasil I didn’t notice that we started landing.
Antonio drove to Malaysia the same AirAsia morning flight as me. It really seems to be the cheapest and fastest way to leave the country from Phuket and come back there the same day costing just 150$.
But Antonio just left the country and came back to it while I managed to fall in love.
On malaysian echo I got introduced with Gary form Toronto, Canada, an owner of a shop in Patong and a constructing guestouse. I was seeking who could help me with transferring my music from iPhone to CD and stumpled upon his Macbook. While we spent an our trying to solve the task we discussed Apple, Malaysia, Phuket and other interesting things. Communicating with an englishmen you don’t need to simplify your language and your speech becomes richer and better (to the contrary – at a passport control in Kuala Lumpur I was horrored that I forgot the word “morning”). As a result – he shared me his thai playlist as to a friend and charged no money for solving this difficult task.
Maybe my next impression from Malaysia will not be such colourful and bright and now I idealize it. But now it have set a standart for evaluation of people and situations.
And it is worth bearing in mind that people construct their reality themselves.
And if real Malaysia turn out not as pleasant as during first day – I all in all know what country and what people I would like to be surrounded with. Not depending on place of being. And those people will be attracted to me.