In every tourist destination around the world you will invariably…
Everywhere you travel things are different. Every place has its own quirky little traits that make up the whole. I’ve been in Kuala Lumpur a few days now, these are some of the little things I’ve noticed as an outsider.
1. KL is made for shopping. There are malls and stalls everywhere. And they sell almost anything. I even managed to find an adult store! Which I wasn’t expecting in a conservative country. Especially inside a mall which doesn’t even happen back home.
2. Supermarkets are hard to find. There are 7elevens everywhere but I haven’t managed to find a proper all-in-one supermarket. The closest was the Japanese food market at Lot 10.
3. I can’t find anywhere that sells combs or hairbrushes. The humidity is making my hair frizzy which is driving me nuts. I’d like to pick up a spare comb to keep in my bag but I can’t find one anywhere. Everywhere I go I see local women with lovely tame hair, so you must be able to get them somewhere!
4. Almost every beauty/body product is whitening. Even some of the insect repellants!
5. The mosquitos here are tiny. Which unfortunately means you don’t always see them coming. My feet are covered in bites because the hostels have a no shoes inside policy. You can’t get any DEET repellants here either. So far I’m not having much luck with the local offerings.
6. It rains. A lot. But when it doesn’t the humidity is so high you can almost drink the air. You’re either soaked in rain water or sweat. Deal with it.
7. As soon as the rain starts someone will try to sell you an umbrella.
8. There aren’t many animals around. When I visited Bali there were stray dogs and cats everywhere so I had kind of expected it here too. I’ve seen a couple of cats and a kitten but that’s about it.
9. You have to watch where you are walking. I keep tripping because the sidewalks are very uneven.
10. The public transport is pretty reliable and easy to navigate. It’s also very cheap which apart from walking makes it the best way to get around if you’re on a budget.
11. But there is always a taxi available if you need it.
12. People will park anywhere. And I mean anywhere.
13. Crossing the road is stressful and a little bit dangerous. More than once I’ve seen close calls between pedestrians and fast drivers. I’ve had a few too.
14. KL is very multicultural, and when it comes to food everything is available here. There are street vendors selling Malaysian food, Chinese food, Indian food, Middle-eastern food, Japanese food, Western food, Mexican food, Italian food, sweet food, savory food, hot foot, cold food, etc. Basically, if you have a craving for something you can probably find it. There are also you standard fast food chains on every corner as well if you just can’t handle the number of choices.
15. There are as many local women wearing skimpy clothing as there are women fully covered up. I suppose this is the city, but when I was doing my research for Malaysia most sources said to avoid anything that shows shoulders or knees. But there are locals wandering around in short shorts and a singlet.
16. The city comes alive at night. If you wander around in the morning you’ll notice a lot of the stalls and small shops are closed. All the big shops tend to be open late everyday and the bars are open all night long. In fact if you go to the bars before midnight you’re likely to find them pretty quiet.
It’s all about the little things.