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Mr Grumpy does Kuala Lumpur

By Mr Grumpy - Thu 11th Oct 2012

As much as I enjoy Blogging and reading other blogs, there is one particular genre that really swings on my rope.

Travel Blogs.

I'm not talking about the enthusiastic and passionate Expat who is educating the masses about their local village or city. I'm talking about the the roaming travel blogger who keeps a diary on their various journeys around the world, expressing their smug opinions on the locations visited in the hope that it will finance their extended holidays in a way which would give a 1980's gap-year student a bout of giddiness.

There always seems to be the faint whiff of a wannabe Judith Charmers about such blogs (if you are under 25 ask your Mum) - and at times it often seems to me as though the author is treating it as an interview for the Telegraph.... and why do such blogs always seem to feature a visit to a local market ?

So when my company sent me to Kuala Lumpur for 3 weeks, and staying in a part of the city not much visited by tourists and with a number of colleagues acting as tour guides, I decided to cash in, jump on the bandwaggon and have a shot at writing my own travel blog.

How hard can it be ?

If I had to sum KL up in one word it would be this : Diversity (Not the Dance group who won 'Britain's got talent' a few years back)

It seemed oddly surreal to have so many different cultures, religions and languages all existing side by side in the same city : Malaysian. Indonesian, Chinese, Thai, Taiwanese, Burmese, Singaporean, Pilipino etc... ad because of this mix almost everybody spoke to each other in the broadest common denominator - English. It was odd to hear a mix of Asians from different cultures speak to each other in English - this being the only language that all of then could easily understand.

The mix of cultures also made dining out an interesting experience. In the time I was in the city I was entertained to Japanese, Thai, Hong Kong, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Malaysian and Hainanese cuisine - none of which tasted anything like the crap served up at my local 'pile it high, sell it cheap' Chinese Wok-Buffet restaurant. In fact the only food I didn't really like was when they decided it would be a great treat to educate us to the culinary delights of TGI Friday. You can't win them all.

The diversity also extended to the mahoosive rich : poor divide and it was by no means unusual to see three people scoot past sharing a rickety moped, and a few second later a Ferrari (which, incidentally is taxed at a whopping 200% along with all other luxury cars!).

Using the public conveniences was also an interesting experience and am still confused as to what function the hosepipe served. On the other side of the coin, the facilities in the Petronas Twin-Towers were outstanding, with some lackey washing my hands for me and squirting deodorant down my tee-shirt sleeve. It took the sting out paying 40p to use the facilities, however on reflection I suppose they had to charge for something as nobody could afford to buy anything in any of the designer shops located in the shopping mall on the lower floors of the building. Got to charge the tourists something.

Took the inevitable 'oh-so-amusing if not entirely original' photo of me pretending to hang off the bridge between the twin towers before being harrangued by the local drunk trying to sell me an i-phone he had just stolen.

The obligatory market : China Town. Full of cheap fake goods with the thieving traders doing their best to haggle. To be honest I can't be doing with haggling I want the best price first time round without having to go through the whole charade of reaching an agreement. I haven't got the time, patience or social skills to get involved in all those shenanigans.

Called in at some Hindu temple to look at a giant gold Buddha or something on the way back to the hotel. Climbed to the top of about 400 steps to look down over the city and over Buddha's bald spot whilst trying to avoid getting mugged by the family of wild monkeys. Laughed a little bit too loud when the alpha male monkey ran off with some Chinese guy's sunglasses.

So there we go - Kuala Lumpur in a nutshell. "Wish you were here" or the Telegraph's Travel editor can send their offers of employment via the website.

Comment on this Blog

The hosepipe is for washing your nads, also muslims do not use toilet paper.
John - Sun, 3rd Mar 2013

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