musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Snatching it Back in KL

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As I noted in the previous post, I had another whirlwind trip to Kuala Lumpur last month. I don’t know anyone in the city except for the nice folks at my hotel, as well as the helpful clerks who remember me at the various branches of Rock Corner and Victoria Music where I always buy CDs, but always I enjoy spending time in Kuala Lumpur.

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I like to walk around Kuala Lumpur as much as possible, but when going somewhere that’s more than a few blocks in distance I use the handy train system they have, which includes a monorail and the KL Komuter line. This time around I ventured as far as Subang Jaya, in pursuit of — what else — more CDs, at a branch of Rock Corner I had never previously visited in the Subang Parade shopping center.

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There is not much in the way of historic buildings to see in Kuala Lumpur, but nevertheless I do enjoy the variety of modern architecture and skyscrapers that sprout up around the city, plus the colorful old shophouses in the Dang Wangi area. I had read something online recently about a rash of bag snatchings in the city, mostly perpetrated by thieves on motorcycles. I didn’t witness anything like that, and thankfully I didn’t have anything stolen, but I did see several notices around town, warning people to “beware of snatch thieves”. Such a shame that scum-sucking, cycle-driving thieves have to prey on pedestrians. Despite those warnings, however, I find KL to be a very safe city.

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As usual, I had meals — and a few nighttime bottles of beer — at Gantawin, the Myanmar restaurant located near Central Marker (Pasar Seni). And, as usual, I was the only Westerner in there each time I visited. But I get a kick out of eating monhinga for breakfast, having Shan noodles for dinner, and speaking Burmese with the waitresses. Plus, there is a variety of other Burmese business scattered on that street —including young women selling betel nut — another factor that makes Kuala Lumpur such an interesting and colorful city.

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