Ironic that i’m writing my first blog post on my trip to Malaysia only hours before i head off to Jakarta, Indonesia for a couple weeks. Better late than never i guess!
As the countries tourism board boasts very clearly, Malaysia is truly asia. I’ve had an amazing time over here, and gone on quite a few adventures in my brief time in the country.
So many things have happened since i’ve gotten here, that i’ll use pictures to try and describe my couple week in KL, and then have a few more posts about the adventures to the elephant sanctuary and Taman Negara soon!
After my long day of travel, i headed off to work at the outback steakhouse in Bukit Bintang. Bukit Bintang is basically the heart of the city, and the happening, touristy downtown area which made my stay in the country that much more interesting. The outback restaurant i was mainly working at was located in a touristy plaza called BB Park
Outback steakhouses all over the world haha
Me with my temporary boss and managing partner of the Malaysian Outbacks..Mr. Rajiv Bharatiya. I spent most of my time over here in Malaysia with Rajiv, and it was very interesting hanging out with him and getting to know about his life and the way he views the world. Although his management style and mine differ in some respects, it was a learning experience watching him lead his team and go about his daily business. He was a great host, and helped make sure i felt very comfortable from day 1 in the city.
They have random cultural events in BB plaza such as performing traditional malaysian dances, or on some occasions belting out unique versions of Bruno Mars’ “Just the way you are” haha
Picked up a local sim card over here so could still use my smartphone which is nice. Interestingly enough, it’s significantly cheaper for me to make phone calls to the US than locally which didn’t make too much sense to me
I only live a couple streets away from the restaurant i’m based out of, and so as a result i walk to work everyday. One of the streets i walk through is Jalan Alor, which is this crazy street filled with all of the hawker stalls selling good cheap food. I had been craving thai so naturally had to go grab some!
Also, chang beer is delicious!
They were using toilet paper for napkins haha
While at dinner i met a great German couple, and ended up talking to them for a couple hours!
The world famous KL petronas towers!
I met up with the “windgy” british girl (Just kidding!) that i met on the plane. Also, i’ve started learning and using all sorts of ridiculous british and australian terms that i’ve never even heard of before. It’s really funny interacting with brits, and aussies as we’ll be having conversations and there will always be a few times where we just look at one anothe rdumbfounded, wondering what the hell the other one just said haha.
Kate’s bud wes, who is traveling with her was with us as well, and we had an absolutely ridiculous night at the biggest nightclub in Kuala Lumpur. It’s far too ridiculous to describe on a public blog, but in summary: free drinks at the club from the dj upstairs, got into vip where world famous dj Marco V was playing, met a russian model, met a crazy turkish duke hater and umd basketball fan, and had an interesting exchange with a taxi driver…all in all a great, expensive night!
DJ Marco V playing in Zouk’s night club!
There happened to be a huge riot taking place in the city the next day. Was very strange situation, as there was one party protesting for more rights and freedoms, etc. (the bersih’s and people who were wearing yellow) and then there was the group i nthe pictures below who are actually governent supporters who were doing a counter protest (Red people)
They actually blocked off all the entrances to the city, and many of the major roads so that most of the protestors who were coming in from outside the city weren’t actually allowed to enter KL. They ended up tear gassing this entire street, and believe something like 700 people were arrested, but fortunately i don’t believe that there was too much violence which took place. For the record, this has been the 3rd riot that i was a part of haha..
Made some awesome new australian friends at the elephant sanctuary (Full story to come soon) and met up with them later on in the week. We had a pretty wild night, bouncing form bar to bar on the busy street packed with pubs right down the road from me and from what i remember it was an awesome night!
I’ve developed this really strange habit/ability to meet people and then have them ask me if i would like to join them for dinner in about 5-10 minutes. A nice new skill to have as i would otherwise be eating alone haha. I met some really cool girls from toronto one night, and grabbed dinner at a hawker stall. Despite popular american belief, the Canadians were actually very cool haha
The next night, i went to get dinner at an indian place down the road and ended up sitting down with a couple british girls who were traveling around. They were just about to start uni, and was pretty entertaining hearing their thoughts on the world. One girl hated angelina jolie, and went off on this rather amusing tangent about it
Yummy indian meal…I’m gonna miss malaysian food so much
After dinner with those randoms, i headed down to chukit bintang or something like that, and walked past this bar which had the coolest concept…free books and beer! They had a place where you could drop off, or pick up books for free. They had some really interesting looking books, and i managed to find one called “In the time of madness” which is all about indonesia and how the UN kinda fucked around with the country. Can’t wait to start reading it as soon as i get there!
Books and beer, brilliant!
After i picked up my book at that place, i stopped at the bar across the street from my hotel as there were pool tables and i figured it could be fun to play a game or two. I ended up meeting this awesome indian guy from wales, and we hit it off immediately. Turns out he’s a doctor that just finished his schooling, and when all was said and done we had spent nearly 3 hours just talking about all sorts of random and interesting things. There are few things i enjoy more than solid, deep conversations with strangers. Really refreshing, and puts lots of things in perspective and i was very happy to have met him.
The next day, i went off to this epic mall called Pavillion to do a “competitive menu analysis” at Chili’s restaurant, which meant that i was able to eat a delicious chili’s meal while analyzing the menu haha. The mall was gigantic, and 6 floors. It seems that asia has a strange obsession with building ridiculously large, high-end malls for tourists to shop in, and for local to soak up the AC
Giant jersey inside pavillion mall.
Harry Potter Day!
On July 13th, a day i had been waiting for finally arrived. IT was the day that i was able to go and see the final harry potter movie! Making things even better was the fact that the movie was scheduled to release in the US on the 15th, and due to the 12 hour time difference i was actually able to watch the movie 36 hours before everyone back home haha.
I walked up and down the Jalan Alor hawker stalls and food market that afternoon during my off from work, and took a bunch of pictures of all the cool fruits i had never seen before. I also went to the bargaining market down the street, and haggled for a knock-off north face backpack, and some fresh looking fake paul smith shoes!
This is the famous durian fruit, which is one of the smelliest fruits in the world. It actually just smells foul, and it’s so bad that if caught with it in my hotel, there is actually a 200 rinngit (Rinngit is the local currency here, and the exchange rate is about 3 rinngit per 1 usd) fine haha. I decided to try some on the bus to the elephant sanctuary, and it was actually one of the sttrangest things i’ve ever tasted, and not in a good way. It tasted like a combination of peanut butter and mango, and took me a good while to get the flavor out of my mouth, and even longer to get the smell out of our bus haha
Durian fruit – try at your own risk!
That night, after work i decided to grab some Tom Yum noodle soup before the movie. Deliciousness.
Met some awesome swiss girls at the table next to mine, and talked to them for a super long time. I had actually met a really cool girl from Switzerland and an awesome guy from england the night before. The english dude actually studied abroad in Boston, and said he got with the local news4 anchor while there haha. We went out to the bars together, and had a pretty crazy time the evening before. It’s been so cool meeting people from all over the world, and hearing about their lives, countries, cultures, and travels!
On the other hand, hasn’t been great to hear global opinions on americans. Very interesting to hear other peoples takes on our culture and people, and it seems that people from other countries travel abroad significantly more than americans…but that’s a whole nother’ blog post
With new swiss friends!
After a lovely meal with the swiss girls, i headed off to see the movie. Movies abroad are soo cheap, and a 3d movie ticket was about 6usd! I saw the 11:20 showing at the KLCC towers, and lovedd the movie!
End of Harry potter, and potentially my childhood.
Amazing towers once more
After i got back, i ended up running into my welsh indian doctor bud Ravi at the pool place, and afterwards we headed to the local sk restaurant where i’ve been a regular patron and had a great meal for dinner #3 of the night. The restaurant’s open til 5am or so, and meals are super cheap so been heading there a bunch.
Ravi was a great guy, and thoroughly enjoyed his company. Unfortunately, i forgot to take down his contact information so have no clue how to get in contact with him, and he’s off traveling around different parts of malaysia. Wonder if i’ll ever see him again!
This post is turning out to be much longer than i planned, so i’m gonna split it up a bit and write another post in a bit about my second week in malaysia.
As excited as i am to get to Jakarta and explore a new city, i am just as excited to head back home to the US and see all my friends and family again!