Our main purpose in stopping in Kuala Lumpur may have been to get Mark’s visa, but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t make time for sightseeing. To celebrate our first night in Malaysia we headed to the Menara KL, a tall tower with a killer observation deck. The Petronas Towers, KL’s true claim to fame, were the tallest towers in the world in their day, and now clock in at number 5. But the observation deck is actually quite low and very hard to get a ticket onto. Not really being the competitive types, we settled for Menara, currently the eighteenth tallest freestanding tower in the world, but with a high standing observatory and amazing views of the Petronas.
Our tickets bought us entrance to a little zoo on the grounds as well as a racecar simulator. Also free of charge was viewing this poster in which national monuments were turned into corn. I love Asia.
The views really were amazing. Standing up there I felt the same swells of urban energy and center of the world-ness that have led me to choose New York City as my home. Truly a great experience that I recommend for any visitor to KL.
Now. I have a confession. A very shocking confession that will come as no surprise to anyone who has known me for more than a week. I promised Mark I would never tell anyone, a promise I intended to keep, with the exception of telling The Internet. Our first night in Kuala Lumpur, we dined on the international delicacy known as McDonalds.
While I might believe something like this needs no defense, I know there are some people who would find eating at a chain restaurant in an exotic land to be blasphemy, so let me set the scene. We were walking home from the Menara tower when severe hunger struck. Considering it is evening in a large cosmopolitan city, I didn’t expect this to be a problem. But street after street, every eatery we passed was filled with leering full bearded muslim men, and not a woman in sight. Suddenly the streets seemed dark and not so friendly. While we both purposely avoided shorts and went for pants and a long skirt, we were both baring our shoulders in tank tops, a move I thought would be acceptable in a large city but probably would avoid if I could have a do over. Just when it seemed we were going to have to join the boy’s club or starve, McDonald’s glistened in the distance, a beacon of nourishment without judgment.
After stuffing ourselves and regrouping with Lonely Planet, we found out there was a backpacker reggae bar not two blocks away! Our people! We belined over and spent the rest of the evening with the Bob Marley crew.