Our first house guest

It is perhaps fitting who our first guest here in Kuala Lumpur was. It is also perhaps a matter of logistics working out perfectly. We moved to Malaysia one month ago, right at about the time that Miranda was getting ready to wrap up her almost two year journey around Asia. So of course she was our first guest, she was the closest one to us!

Miranda came down from Thailand on Friday night. First up, Liverpool versus the Malaysia XI all star team at the national stadium. It was chaos getting there, as a big boy band called, well, Big Bang, were performing at the arena right next to the stadium. Plus like 50,000 people were going to the game inside a stadium that fits 100,000. We just barely made inside to hear the fight song of Liverpool “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. I am not a Liverpool fan. Not a hater, but not a fan. But they have the best fight song in the history of professional football. No question. Look it up. It is awesome. Or just watch the video below

Lots of empty seats, but lots of people too
Lots of empty seats, but lots of people too

The game ended up tied 1-1. Everyone was cheering for Liverpool, but as the game went on they were more then happy to throw a little support towards the Malaysian side. Iris did not join us as she was feeling a bit under the weather. Miranda and I left the game early to try to avoid the chaos and to get a taxi. Well, that did not work out too well. We ended up next to a highway. We got a taxi via myteksi, an app on my phone kind of like uber but for taxis. But my phone died. And given where we were, we were sure that the driver would not be able to find us. 15 minutes later, we were more certain of this. So we took off walking down the side of the highway towards a surface street and low and behold who drives by but our taxi driver, on his way to meet us at the spot we were at. No one would pick us up on the surface street. Every taxi went by because they were already booked through the app. (it is a very popular app). We finally found a taxi driver who was willing to overcharge us to get us home, how nice of him! But it seemed to be our only option as the game was over and lots of people were around us so we swallowed out tongues and took the overpriced ride.

We enjoyed our Saturday exploring the malls, looking for a new pair of shoes since her’s were just a bit worn down after walking all over Asia. One phone thing we say: Some guy playing an umbrella like a musical instrument. Yeah that happened.

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We did stop off at a famous food street in KL to get some food to go. Some of the food was a bit different.

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The lovely ladies on the street
The lovely ladies on the street

And we got to share the wonder of durian with Miranda. She did not like it as much as we do however

Sunday was the big day, a visit to the Batu Caves!

This was number 1 on my list of things to see in Kuala Lumpur. Brief History of this hindu holy site. Its name comes from the Sungai Batu (Batu River) that flows nearby. It is apparently one of the most popular aka visited Hindu holy sites outside of India. It became a holy site in the 1890’s after it was dedicated to Lord Murugan because the opening of the cave reminded a local prominent HIndu of a Vel, which is a divine javelin used by the war god and other mythology. The 272 concrete steps were built in the 1920’s. The giant gold statue of Murugan was not built until about 10 years ago. The big festival at the caves is Thaipusam where about one million people come to pay respects. Some of them bring milk to donate, some pierce their bodies with hooks and spears in order to prove their devotion. Oh, and they walk to the caves from a few miles away. So yeah, we will be there in February again for sure!

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So the steps. There are a lot of them. And there are a lot of monkeys all over the place. They are friendly, perhaps too friendly. People are not suppose to feed them but they do. So they are not afraid of humans at all. I have read stories about them being a bit aggressive but they were okay when we were there.

Offerings at one of the temples at the base of the cliff
Offerings at one of the temples at the base of the cliff
Iris and a monkey!
Iris and a monkey!
We made it to the top! oh this isnt the top???
We made it to the top! oh this isnt the top???

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Inside there are a few shrines. And a few gift shops. And a lot of trash. Nothing was going on at the shrines when we were there. The caves we went in is just one part of the series of caves. The other ones you have to pay to get into. One is a shrine, one is an art gallery, and one is a dark cave.

The opening of the cave that inspired it being a holy site
The opening of the cave that inspired it being a holy site

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And now the monkeys. I have a lot of great photos of them, but here are just a few.

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Okay last part of the visit, at least in terms of photos. We went to a banana leaf restaurant so Miranda could experience the joys of eating with your hands.

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Phew, a long post! Hope everyone stayed with it to the end. Overall, a great visit. It made us both happy to have such a good friend, someone who spoke for me at our wedding if you remember, visit us on the other side of the world. We both love her dearly and miss her already. We are looking forward to our next visitor who is coming all the way from…South Korea!

Selamat Tinggal!

Kevin


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