"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."

Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Take 1.

It has been approximately 26 days since the move. So far, we remain homeless, uni-less and a whole bunch of other -lesses. On the other hand, it's pretty here in Malaysia. In the past almost-month, I've seen a fair bit of Kuala Lumpur, some of Putra Jaya and also put in a visit to the Swiss-Garden Golf Resort & Spa in Damai Laut.
Here's a general breakdown of events and cities (mostly malls):


Been living on and off in Presint 14 since arrival and there is an adorable market nearby. Food  if not in great variety in the Presint 14 area, at least to my knowledge  is good and we seem to have found an adorable Pakistani-run restaurant which definitely serves some of the best naan I have ever tasted in my life. Outside the presint I reside in, we also visited what is perhaps the only shopping mall in the city: The Alamanda. For being the only one of it's kind  again, to my knowledge at least  in the city, the mall is certainly adequate. Supermarket, a scattering of interesting stores, the staple collection of token mall haunts (including Forever 21, Dorothy Perkins and Benefit – the obvious ones to attract me) and the eateries you need on a shopping binge – McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks, Famous Amos, Dunkin' Donuts and the like - make the place a delightfully sensible choice for an afternoon of fun and shopping.
(Some might be glad to note that restrooms are also easily available and clean; always a valid concern.)

Also, transport-wise, the city is pretty interesting. Although hailing a passing taxi on the street is a nightmare, mostly because it is alarmingly rare to actually see taxis on the street, the commuter bus system is convenient, easily accessible and surprisingly comfortable (and clean!) for public transport.

Damai Laut

To be very brief to respect the fact that it was only a three day trip, the resort was positively stunning and very comfortable but had shit wifi that was only available for free in the lobby (room wifi was heinously expensive) and everything else was ridiculously overpriced as well. The resort's club room had great performances every evening with lovely covers of music in English and the beach was nice. Unfortunately, being gravely ill meant I missed out on the excellent adventures on offer, including archery, golf and nature walks and exploration trips, but I did get to have a lovely snooze on the beach and chilled by the pool for a bit. Not bad for a holiday if you aren't tight on expenses.

Kuala Lumpur

First things first, coming from a third-world country where public transport is mostly for the impoverished, let's just give KL a gigantic round of applause for being easy to get around. Taxis are easy to get and plentiful and I don't believe I've looked back since the evening I got my RapidKL card. It works on all three forms of transport – RapidKL bus, LRT and monorail – and can basically take you anywhere you want to go within the city. Handy dandy.

Malls-wise, I visited a few and I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. KLCC Suria – the majestic mall located inside the world-famous Patronas Towers – is certainly a sight to see. On the downside, however, the place is decidedly high-end and boasts the likes of Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and their high end brethren. For a more pocket-friendly experience, head to the Pavillion mall instead. It has every store you could possibly want in a mall, cinemas, an entire floor full of restaurants, smaller eateries and even sizable Sephora and H&M outlets right across the road. Moreover, the Bukit Bintang entrance has some pretty interesting things to see outside the mall to boot.

(Superhero fans would like to note that a shop called Superheroes that I have found in both Alamanda and Pavillion has some really cool merchandise and is basically a nerd's wet dream. I took a demented selfie with the Joker. Good times.)

For a desi experience, feel free to head to Masjid Jamek and get the full flavour of South Asia. I know I certainly enjoy being there whenever a hit of homesickness strikes. Well, there, and a couple of amazing low-end Pakistani-based eateries (found in Chow Kit, I believe.) Unfortunately, I haven't seen much more of the city clearly enough to comment on it, but it's a work in progress.

On the flip side, I've got no house, no university and no clue about what I'm doing with my life right now. I also really miss my pillow, my electronic pepper mill, my fridge and my sofa. Basically, I kind of want to go home a lot sometimes and there is no home to go to. But, well, that's just life, I guess. And moving. It's an adventure for now.

More soon! 
Anum xx

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