Arrived in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

Well I’ve arrived in KL safe and sound. Breezed through check-in at Phnom Penh airport, and the AirAsia flight was very comfortable. I even got the sense that the flight was quieter than they usually are – perhaps a newer model plane.

As it was pretty much dark by the time I landed in KL and seeing as I didn’t know the city at all I decided to wimp out and get a taxi even though the price seemed quite high ($23 approx). The taxi ride was quite amusing as the driver seemed to know the hotel I was going to but was determined to get his GPS unit to give him directions. So he basically spent the entire drive playing with the thing and entering different variations of the hotel name whilst the unit constantly did “route recalculation”. After a while I realised why the taxi was so expensive (bear in mind I’m used to lower prices now) – the drive from KUL to the hotel, which is fairly central in KL is 66km, so that’s actually an incredibly good deal.

When we got into town he drove around where he thought the hotel might be which turned out to be a street with a massive market on it (KL’s china-town), so I jumped out and went searching through the jam-packed market.

I’m staying at Hotel D’Oriental Inn and so far so good. Clean, cheap, decent net connection – does the job nicely. I’ve only ventured out to get some dinner and am back in the hotel for an early night.

Only observations I have thus far:

  1. The Petronas Towers look incredibly impressive as you drive into the city.
  2. The mix of cultures here so far is staggering. You can see a massive range of ethnic backgrounds and mixes in people.

There appears to be a strong Indian influence along with a wide range of East Asian facial types and a wonderfully varied collection of skin tones, from the surprisingly pasty (makes my pale Irish skin feel like it doesn’t stand out too much), to rich dark skin. Ever since I left Ireland I’ve been fascinated by the variation in ethnology to which I’ve been exposed. In India I found it fascinating to see characteristics in some people which I could link to characteristics present in some of my Greek family (not sure what they’d think of me saying that), and could momentarily visualise the vast melting pot of ethnic and cultural background that exists around the world. Seeing things like this just makes me wonder how racism exists – it really is an insane concept.

Anyway, I’m just rambling here. Going to watch some more of “The Pacific” and crash out.

Image from Wikipedia