Malaysia : January 12 - 18 : Kuala Lumpur

14. January


While we were still sleeping in our hotel room in Kuala Lumpur, back home the world was welcoming...






Dorothy Mae





Jan 14, 2008

at 6:06 am





Mara Murphy & Chuck Mortimore

[Click on any picture to view full screen slideshow]

14. January

Kuala Lumpur


Boy what a busy day we had today. It is best summarized in bullet points for easier digestion:

  • Got up, took a cab to the KL Tower (4th tallest tower in the world) and took a look from above.
  • Took a cab to the Petronas Twin Towers (highest twin tower in the world; remember the movie Entrapment?) to check it out and take pictures.
  • Took the subway to the Merdaka square were the union jack was lowered and Malyasia’s independence was proclaimed in 1957
  • Walked to the bus terminal to get the bus tickets to the Camaron Highlands
  • Spend 1-2 hours at the internet café
  • Walked to KL’s infamous Chinatown and it’s Petalling Street Market with all it’s hawger stalls. And boy are the people aggressive in trying to get you to buy. But some amazing deals are to be had after bargaining them below 50% of their starting price.
  • Walked the Bintang Walk and discovered the reflexology and fish spa in the mall (you put your feet in a tank of fish and the nimble the dead skin of your feet, come on, what’s next?)
  • Checked the amazing food court in the ultra high-end Starhill Mall*
  • Ended up at the Skybar on the 33rd floor of the Trader Hotel, which has the most amazing views of the Twin towers at night.
  • Went to bed very tired but satisfied.


*I saw only her eyes. The rest of her was shrouded in a veil of black, giving the illusion that she was somehow floating through the air like a ghost. The sharp contrast between this black shroud of a woman against the overindulgent and capitalistic backdrop of the Bintang Walk in KL’s ultrahip shopping district was a reminder of the stark contrasts within the human experience. I was enthralled. But could I look at her? Should we look away? Patrick too has noticed her and reacted by turning away, not sure of the appropriate behavior.


Moments later we saw her walking again, in the mall of super indulgence and this time I observed the shiny Dolce&Gabbana slung over her shoulder. Again, a sign of the times. But my questions still remained – had he chosen this, what did she look like? My Western mind could only see suppression of the feminine but is our Western addiction with physical beauty, plastic surgery and clothing any less constricting and suppressive to women? Because I could not “see” her, it was as if I could not find the way to relate to her as a woman – only her eyes, and I did not want to divert my gaze.


The next day on the bus, Patrick and talked about the woman in black and wondered about her life, her desires, her wishes, her choices, her religion. Being in a Muslim country, women in head scarf and traditional clothes are ever present, and the colors and varying styles suggest that choice is available and women’s preferences and personalities are expressed through their choice of color, style and pattern. We want to learn and wonder whom we might be able to ask.

[This is a playlist with several videos, click on the film strip button (next to the play button) to see all]








Cameron Highlands