Wednesday, July 7
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The charcoal grey sky dumped rain almost non-stop, so I took the day off to rest and get caught up with that dang World Wide Web. I ate an odd egg and tomato sandwich and French toast at a prim little Chinese restaurant. My taste buds were quite surprised to encounter peanut butter on the toast. My only rain jacket trek consisted of a leisurely stroll a few blocks away to the local Indian temple, Sri Maha Mariamman, which was undergoing a major renovation. The entire facade was hidden behind a huge thatched cover and the rest of the building was obscured under plastic tarps and scaffolding as dudes repainted all of the complex carvings and statues. The fact that they had stripped away all of the old paint was mighty impressive.
I made a donation at an incense-soaked shrine and nabbed a quick shot of three devotees who were standing there. Various other Indian men, women and children hung around for some services and grub. On my way out, one of them offered me free white rice, sweet brown rice and garbanzo beans on a palm leaf, which I happily ate with my fingers like they did. As I put my shoes back on at the front door, I couldn't help but think it odd that the temple is in Chinatown instead of Little India. This is a shining example of Kuala Lumpur's multi-cultural landscape, which mainly consists of Muslim, Indian, Chinese and Malays. Later, as I ate dinner at a Chinese food stall, Glen Campbell came on singing "Rhinestone Cowboy," which strangely recalled a live, cheesy cover version of the same song I heard at the Geographer Cafe in Melaka a few days ago. I hadn't heard that song in decades before that, so it was strangely synchronous to hear it twice. Actually, three times, because someone ended up playing it again at the food stall. How normal.