Kuala Lumpur so far: Part I

Yes we are here!!

I saw the Petronas Twin Towers. I tasted the famous Nasi Lemak. WE FOUND A HOUSE!

In an ideal world I would have left it at that, and spared you the ordeal of having to go through my unnecessarily long posts to realize at the end that these lines are precisely what I meant to convey in a pretty wordy way. But well, I have been disconnected from the internet for all this while, and I have been cooped up inside a guest house all by myself for the last three days, so woe betide anyone who tells me I haven’t earned the right to ramble a little bit. So just so we are clear, right? I. Will. Ramble. And you will read. Or not.

Day 1: Awestruck

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I am a woman who believes in signs. Not superstitions, you know, but signs. Like the fact that the gentleman at the check-in counter in Singapore airport waived off 10 kilos of extra luggage for us. That too without us having to ask him to do it. Good sign, that one. So in the forty-five minutes which is what it took us to fly from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, all I kept saying to the husband was “I have a good feeling about this”. And just before landing, when I saw the mountain ranges in the horizon and the land below dotted with pines and palms across every inch of the surface, the stupid grin on my face just got a little bigger. Everything from then on looked fascinating: the Aerotrain from one terminal in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the other, the taxi ride from the airport to our guest (which incidentally, also took us forty five minutes) and the sheer amount of lush greenery that met my eyes.

And then I saw them, and I fell in love.

The Petronas twin towers. The jewel of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Glittering like a magnificently cut diamond. When the husband first pointed it out to me, we were almost twenty minutes away from it, and all I did was make a passing remark about how I finally got to see it. Five minutes later I realized I couldn’t take my eyes off it. Could be the rhythmic flashing lights that made the towers look like they had twinkling stars trapped inside them; maybe I was hypnotized. But by the time we reached the twin towers, I was completely besotted. I must have looked like an idiot, gaping open mouthed at the towers and twisting and contorting my neck as much as humanly possible to look at it from inside the taxi, but I couldn’t care less. Wonder of all sweet wonders, on reaching the guest house we got to know that we could actually view the towers from our bedroom.

Dinner was an interesting trip to the Suria KLCC (the mega shopping center at the base of the Petronas towers) and after having a good time deciphering and deconstructing menus to finally figure out that nasi means rice, goreng means fried, mee means noodle and ayam means chicken, we were ready to call it a night. Tired and yet super excited, it took me an entire hour of gazing at the towers from our bedroom window before I could finally shut my eyes. And I swear I am not exaggerating.

Day 2: Mission House Begins!

Malaysia Fact 1: Breakfast could be anything starting from the regular toast and eggs to rice with spicy curry and fried chicken. There’s no such thing as a “wrong” time to have rice. And spicy curry.

We ventured into a local food court called the Nasi Kandar Pelita and my still sleepy senses were jolted awake by the sheer variety of smells that hit my nose. Admitted, I am from a place where rice can be had for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but even I couldn’t imagine finishing off a whole plate of chicken curry first thing in the morning! Not quite in the mood to experiment, we settled for Thosai (quite like our Dosa, but served with a different curry) and decided to go house hunting right on.

Before I move on, I should probably let you know that I had been house hunting on the internet for over three months now, and it had become kind of like an obsession. Quite like those months before my wedding shopping had started and I would stay up nights searching for the perfect color templates and lipstick shades and what not. And finally after months of looking at pictures and reading blogs trying to find the best areas to live in, the moment had arrived to see everything for ourselves and wasn’t I psyched!

Having called an agent who would show us some units, we headed to Brickfields, which is the prime Indian locality in Kuala Lumpur. The first thing that met my eyes was the massive temple that stood facing all the nearby condominiums. The day being a Sunday, I could see a lot of sari clad women making way to the temple. Kind of reminded me of Chennai, really. The first unit was no-go from the very beginning, but then the agent took us to another condominium which looked quite nice. It was spacious and airy, and had a pool view too. I was almost inclined to make the rookie mistake of deciding to take that unit, but then realized that it would indeed be foolish to take a decision on the very first day of house hunting.

That evening, we sat down and made some calls to all our contacts here, and thank god that we did! One of R’s ex-colleagues discouraged us from taking the unit we had checked out earlier that day because apparently security is a major issue there. We planned to meet her and her husband for dinner, and this amazing couple drove us around KL, took us to Damansara where we had dinner, and then drove us back to the Seri Maya Condo, which is where they live, so we could get some idea.

And that’s where that nasty devil called desire raised its ugly head inside my mind. As we walked around the condo, which is quite a huge area spanning across several blocks, it was all I could do not to yell out, “I want a house here! Right now!“. The condo has two swimming pools and a separate kiddie pool, and at least two gyms that we know of. And while some of the blocks are low rise buildings, two of the blocks are high rise ones, with up to 38 floors in them. All that remained was to check if there were any available units within our budget inside that condo. I spent another sleepless night waiting for morning to come so I could call up the agent and know once and for all if what I so desired could be mine after all.

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