An Asian Walkabout (Chapter 3)

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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With 88 floors, the Petronas Twin Towers stand 1,482 feet above street level and were the tallest buildings in the world until 2004.

Hey gang,


Well, before I can get to why Andrew and I split up, I need to give you a little background that was left out of last chapter.  Yes, you have to wait a few more paragraphs -- and no skipping ahead!!  I’m a bastard, I know...


When we were both still in Singapore, Andrew told me about the 2008 Rainforest World Music Festival being held on the mythical island of Borneo.  It was a whole weekend event from July 11-13 and was setup smack dab in the middle of the jungle.  He was planning on flying to the island and asked if I wanted to join him.  I’d never been to Borneo before and the festival sounded fantastic!  I told him so and that I’d give it a little more thought and let him know.

A closer view from the base of the towers.


The next bit of back-story revolves around a book I lost on the bus into KL (actually, left would be a better word than lost).  So, I’m reading my book (“Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein) and really enjoying it.  About 30 minutes before we get into KL, I decide it’s time for a little powernap.  I put the book in the seat pouch in front of me (just like you’d have on an airplane) and proceeded to give my eyes a little rest.


I awoke to Andrew telling me we’d arrived.  People were already shuffling out, so I grabbed my day pack from the floor and scooted out.  It wasn’t until we got back from the night bazaar that evening that I realized I had left it on the bus.  And let me tell you, I was not happy with the thought of having to wait until I got back home to finish it.  KL was a huge city; it must have an English bookstore somewhere.

This is an open courtyard under one of the towers. A sister area is found under the other tower and there are tons of shops in between and extending past the towers underground.
  I now had a mission - book or bust!


To say that I can be a bit obsessive at times might be a slight understatement.  But let’s not use obsessive, it has such a negative feel to it.  How about focused?  Yes, that’s much better.  I was focused.


Flash forward to the morning.  I wake up a couple hours after Andrew’s friend, Faria, leaves.  My sleeping patterns are still messed up and I haven’t fallen into a normal sleep cycle yet.  So I bust out my guide books and decide I need to make a decision about the music festival.


After a couple more hours pass, I conclude my best course of action is to pass on the festival.

There’s a nice park outside the towers.
  A few things factored into this choice, but the biggest reason for not going was that neither of us had tickets to the event and they had stopped selling them online.  Andrew was still willing to travel to the island and hope for the best, but I wasn’t willing to hang around Malaysia for another week and then throw the dice.


Andrew eventually woke up and we headed out into the city in search of breakfast.  We meandered around for a bit and he picked a shop (and I use that term very loosely) to have some tea.  This street was lined with those EZ Up canopies with small plastic tables and chairs underneath.  A small grill and kitchen stand completes the “shop”.  He enjoyed his tea and grilled egg-bread stuff that had a curry sauce for dipping.  I passed.


Instead, we continued our journey, which didn’t last long, until we found a McDonalds for me to feast at.

A water fountain show performs outside the towers constantly in the afternoon. This shot is from within a tower on the 4th floor.
  Yeah, yeah, I know all you “live to eat” kinda people are rolling your eyes at me right now.  Well, this “eat to live” person is taking baby steps in introducing new food to his gastrointestinal track.  Besides my obvious concern for needing to use my Imodium at this early stage in my trip, I was also a little worried because I could have sworn I saw something moving in the curry.  (and no, JC, I’m not willing to eat anything still crawling just because it will make a good story – I have my limits…)  :P


During our breakfasts, I let Andrew know about my decision for the festival.  He understood.  He let me know that he was meeting Faria later that day and spending a few days with her.  I found out that Faria is his ex and he still has feelings for her.  I definitely didn’t want to be a third wheel.


We went back to our hostel and packed up.

The water fountain show from outside the towers at ground level.
  We wished each other well and said our goodbyes.  He headed out to find another hostel closer to Faria and I set forth to find the Hostel Cosmopolitan, which I booked online earlier.


KL has a great public transportation system (monorails, subways, buses), which makes it very easy to travel around the city.  I easily found the hostel and checked in.  I cleaned up and then all my energies were once again put into my mission.  You remember the mission (book or bust!), right?


In my conversation with Faria, I told her my dilemma and asked her if there were any stores in town that might carry my book.  She said there were a couple of books store in the Petronas Twin Tower mall.  These were probably my best bet.


From both hostels I was able to see the twin towers and so I set out on foot to reach them.

A sign from a subway train that I found amusing. Not as funny as the old people crossing sign in Glastonbury, England, but worthy of a photo to share.
  It was a nice walk through the city and took me about an hour to get to them.  They are beautiful buildings – mostly glass exteriors with a sky bridge at the 41st and 42nd floors that connects them.  They are also connected by 6 floors of mall space that starts below street level.


I hustled in and asked around for where the bookstore was.  I later found a bunch of directories (including computerized touch screen kiosks) to help me navigate this monster retail area.  I located the bookstore on the fourth floor and rushed to the Science Fiction section.  As I scanned the shelves, a tear came to my eye as I spotted a lone copy of the book I sought.  My quest was complete!


I wiped away the tears and paid for the book.  I wrapped it carefully and gently set it into my daypack and then I was off in search of food.

The Petronas Twin Towers at night.
  Yes, you guessed it, I found a McDonalds.


Now, I hadn’t eaten meat (including fish) for almost 6 years.  This trip brought me back to my carnivorous ways.  Since I have a 6 year olds palate, I knew I wasn’t going to be trying many new things and I didn’t want to get sickly from lack of nutrients, so meat it was.  As a matter of fact, from the day I started the trip until after I finally leave KL, I lived on McDonalds.  Yes, five or six meals a day there.  A couple times I had KFC and a couple times in the towers I ate at Chili’s, but other than that it was Mickey-Dees morning, afternoon, and evening.


I do plan on going back to my non-meatetarian ways when I get back home.  But for a month, I become an omnivore again.  And, Dorina, you were spot on, my pancreas was happy to provide all the digestive enzymes I needed.  I experienced no issues with eating the meat.


Wow, these things are getting long...  Now it’s time for me to head to bed.  I wish you all a fun-filled week!  :)


Love and laughter,



P.S. I have since finished the book.  Sunshine/Grisel, you spoke rightly!  Heinlein's book was goodness.  I have yet to grok the fullness, but waiting will fill.  Thank you both.  Thou art God.


griselgonzalez says:
I'm really enjoying these Jeff - keep them coming! And I'm glad you liked the book! Who knew it would be so integral a part of one of your days on the trip. LOL :)
Posted on: Jul 14, 2008
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With 88 floors, the Petronas Twin …
With 88 floors, the Petronas Twin…
A closer view from the base of the…
A closer view from the base of th…
This is an open courtyard under on…
This is an open courtyard under o…
There’s a nice park outside the …
There’s a nice park outside the…
A water fountain show performs out…
A water fountain show performs ou…
The water fountain show from outsi…
The water fountain show from outs…
A sign from a subway train that I …
A sign from a subway train that I…
The Petronas Twin Towers at night.
The Petronas Twin Towers at night.