Friday, June 10, 2011

Kuala Lumpur: Part 2

I awaken quite suddenly. The bed I'm lying on is unusually fluffy. The covers are half flung back and there seem to be far too many pillows. The room is dim, but the highlights lining the edge of the curtain indicate that it is still bright outside. I'm groggy. The sleep seems doesn't seem to have helped much. On the contrary, it seems to have only reminded by body what it was missing out on. My body does not appreciate the memory.

Snatch Theives are a Problem that Merit Warning in English

I drag my ass out of bed and back out into the heat. I have a general plan to grab some food somewhere in Chinatown on my way to the Lake Gardens.

By Gum, the Monorail put Kuala Lumpur on the Map

For the most part I like Kuala Lumpur. It's not terribly big, has variety and character and isn't filled with people harassing me to buy something. There is a ton of construction going on, but plenty of older buildings that give off a sense of grittiness that I appreciate. Also, there is a monorail. Aside from it's airconditioned goodness, monorails are strongly coupled with that one Simpsons episode in my mind and that amuses me. Ah, Matt Groening, you destroyed America's hopes for mass transit for at least a generation.

Who Can Resist the Allure of the Alley?

As I pass through Chinatown, scouting for food, I'm irresistibly drawn to a dirty alley. What could be down there? Why, anything and everything! I mean, if I were laying out a city, I would definitely put the best parts at the ends of dirty alleys.

As it turns out, there are a couple of old ladies with a food stand at the end of this particular alley. It is clearly destiny that I eat at this food stand. I gesticulate at my stomach with the universal sign for food procurement. One lady gestures back that such needs can indeed be accommodated. I order something that my guidebook referred to as a 'must eat'. The old lady says something about Soba noodles. I'm not sure if this is a variation of the thing I asked for or if she's telling me she doesn't have that specific thing. Since I don't know what the thing I ordered actually is, I don't really care and say that Soba noodles are fine.

As I wait on a half-busted plastic stool a cat wanders past. An old man enters the alley and walks about halfway to the food stall. He stops there, maybe 25 feet from me, sets down his plastic bag and proceeds to urinate on the side of a building.

Unfortunately, the food does not live up to the lofty standards of the alley's ambiance. Maybe I just don't like this particular dish (some sort of noodle soup), but I am disappointed nonetheless. I guess you can't just wander into random alleys and get delicious food for under $2 while animals roam about and old men excrete nearby like you used to be able to. What is the world coming to?

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