Monday, July 5, 2010
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I awoke today in the Voyager Hostel to the tune of a blacksmith across the street incessantly beating metal against metal. "Clink! Clink! Clink!" I had to get out of there. On impulse, I decided to head on over to Malaysia's biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, a two-hour bus ride away. It seemed like three or four days in Melaka was enough, since I had already enjoyed most of its colorful charms. As I walked over to Town Square to jump on the bus to Melaka Sentral terminal, I was tempted to stay, because it was a gorgeous day with the sun shining in the middle of a clear blue sky.
Two hours and three easy bus rides later, I found myself strolling through the crusty streets of Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur. I rented a bed in a cavernous dorm room at the Red Dragon Backpackers Hostel, where I took a much-needed semi-nap and escaped the tropical heat by parking my corpse smack-dab in front of a fan. A little later, I mustered up the strength to wander through the packed aisles of the Chinatown market and rub shoulders with a cross-section of humanity that ranged from snow white tourists to aggressive Chinese and Malaysian hawkers to Muslim women completely cloaked in intimidating jet black burkas. As dinner time drove up, I settled for another plate of stir-fry at the Old China Cafe, a place that exudes an early 20th century antique ambience.
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