Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Kuala Lumpur

They advertise themself like this: Malaysia the truly Asia. But to be honest my first impression was different. I never been to Asia before…so everything I had in my mind about this area was from books, movies, magazins, news etc. I expected an underdeveloped country with a lot of bycicle and without any infrastructure. But when I opened my eyes in the taxi which took me from the airport to Kuala Lumpur in the early morning I thought I was in Europe. (I had a different impression immediately after the driver opened the door of the taxi and I felt again what does 100% humidity mean). I saw a well built highway with new cars and then I was the witness of an awaking huge and modern city at 6.00am early morning.

I havent seen the whole Malaysia only Kuala Lumpur but I wouldnt say this city is the truly Asia. Or maybe we may say the truly Asia in the future. Because Kuala Lumpur is a real cosmopolitan developed city. A few weeks ago I wrote that my experience was that large cities like New York, London, Moscow or even Kuala Lumpur were much more similar to each other then to their own country`s rural area. Now I felt this here even better. Taking the public transportation in Kuala Lumpur is the same feeling as if you would be in Italy if I just look at the infrastructure.

Kuala Lumpur

And since I love mixed cultures I found very amazing to see how natural is to see malaysian, chinese or indian people beside each other here. When I am in a new city I like to take the public transportation randomly and going to the last stop with it and then back and so on. My experience is that sitting among local people watching the changing area arround you is much better then any sightseeing in your closed and safe bus. Kuala Lumpur has that funny train we dont have in Budapest. Its like a subway but goes upstairs and called Monorel. In movies I saw Chicago has the same and I guess a lot of other cities have it as well. So when I saw this train I knew immediately I wanna take it because its so much fun. I bought a ticket to the AMPANG and back and I was just sitting there watching the people and the city arround. When I checked on the public map at the station this AMPANG seemed to be close to the famous Twin-Tower so I thought from there maybe I will walk to see that `monument`. But when I saw the towers more and more far from me I knew this is not the day I will have an excursion to there. Going to the AMPANG all the high buildings started to disappear and i saw rather crowded blockhouses with having hundreds of clothes hanging on the small balkoons or windows. Yes, Kuala Lumpur is not only a modern, well developed city with wealthy parts only. They have parts like the China town or as they call an other one the mini India which are poor and dirty. But not dangerous at all. Malaysia is very safe country you can walk even at night on the streets of Kuala Lumpur without any problem. Once I got lost and I was walking in the Indian part having my camera in my neck and people even didnt look at me. Malaysia is one of the `asian-tigers`. Growing economy, very low unemployment rate and a lot of new investments. Maybe because it was a British colony before maybe because of the good education system but in Kuala Lumpur everyone (I mean EVERYONE) speaks English. Not only at the tourists places but you can approach someone on the street asking something in English and you will get the proper smiley answer. (my God I start to feel myself as a PR manager of a travel agency but this area of the world impressed me really very much).

Malaysia 160-1

They not only speak English but at times I had the strange feeling that they speak malaysian (which they call Bahasa Malaysia) and suddenly you can hear some English terms included into their speech. Like I was sitting on that train and I heard a woman talking to her son..bla..bla. bla..bla…last station..bla bla bla. early morning..bla bla.

When I am in a new country I like to turn on the TV and to check the local channels. TV2 (it seems every country has a channel called TV2)..English speaking morning program for the youths. A smiley chinese like girl and malaysian guy makes fun, says news and celebrity gossips and you can send sms to answer the question of the day: shall we build more children hospitals in Malaysia?

Cute….
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