dimanche 13 juillet 2014

TOURIST NOT AN ANTHROPOLOGIST IN MALAYSIA: LAZY DAYS IN KUALA LUMPUR

This is the first time, in a very long while, that I have spent any time as a tourist in the capital of Malaysia.
First of all, I have to shut off all my observant eyes of an anthropologist and just enjoy the train rides, food and conversations with people. 
So obviously when I approach anyone there is a change in my demeanor or the tone of voice and I am rewarded for that.

I have to hide my sorrow at the indentured laborers by the thousands and the ridiculousness of the Malay politicians (hail hitler, said one of them, when Germany won, racist sentiments prevalent in the country, such as Indians drink Toddy and they are all Gang members etc)

Once that stage is over, it has become a very pleasant experience.
All Malaysians that I come in contact with, including some of the immigrants, have  uniformly been friendly.
(searching for remnants of colonial architecture has been rewarding)
I am staying at a very nice hotel and the room at 32nd stood affords  a panoramic view and can see the Twin Towers of Petronas very easily from this floor. The Executive Lounge at 34th floor is staffed by people, who I have become friends with, so breakfast at 9 AM and the afternoon wine and cheese and canapés are long drawn out affairs. The pastry chef is very good and there is a good combination of food offered during the day, complimentary, at the Lounge: 

Hummous and arab salads, samosas, various Chinese tapas like dishes, and wonderful cakes and snacks, and wine served by lovely people who are attentive to your needs.
Each day, I plan to do one touristy thing: Botanical Gardens, Batu Caves, taking the Commuter train to nearby towns, a day trip to Malacca
Shopping is not an option as I have to travel to Bogor from here and then on to Miami and I have become used to traveling with just hand luggage.
 (I am surprised that the entire populace is not obese only about half of them, as there is good food, bad food at cheaper prices and thousands of opportunities to eat them)
(Can you be a health conscious Moslem and break your Ramadan Fast at Pizza Hut? Look what they are offering!)
Along with Indonesia, Malaysia is very tolerant to non moslems enjoying their food during their Ramadan month of fasting/ In fact Ramadan is hardly evident in the air!

All in all it has Visit Malaysia Year 2014 for me!
The rest of the year my academic responsibilities will keep me in the western hemisphere, so let me savor this lovely visit to Malaysia