So with my work schedule, we try to go out on Sundays to explore a little part of the city. Today we went to China Town and got what I have been assured by the sellers are legit Ray Ban’s and a real Antique Omega Seamaster. Amazingly, all this real merchandise only cost about $30. (Two pairs of sunglasses and one watch for the record, each about $10) There will be more on that trip later. For now, I am going to go back to one of our original weekend adventures, before I had to work on Saturdays.
Jayci, our dear sister in law, gave us a “Top Ten bucket list” of things to do while living in Malaysia. Essentially, as I understood it, things we should do because it is what she would want to do if she was living here. And it was a good list, without question. One of the things on there was to go to Chow Kit during Ramadan. Chow Kit is, as Lonely Planet roughly describes it, a place that middle class and upper middle class Malaysians stay far away from. It is easy to see why, although just like today with my Omega I am sure that the Lee jeans they are selling for under $5 are real Lee jeans…
It is a Muslim district, as much of KL is obviously, but this is a famous one. It is also the red light district of KL ironically enough. There was a story when we first moved here in the paper about a Transvestite prostitute beating up a john. Malaysia!
We decided to take the commuter rail. Here is Iris waiting for the train. Doesn’t she look so happy to be waiting? The train announcements are automatic, so while they were announcing that a train was arriving, there was no train to be seen. It came a bit late and had this wonderful section to it:
Another reminder that we are in an Islamic country. (maybe more on that later, but the reality is that the fact that this is a Muslim country has made little impact on my daily life) Ladies only trains, which is always where I seem to be waiting when the train pulls up and I have to hoof it down the platform.
A short train ride to Putra World Trade Center, which was interesting to see because it was the area we had originally wanted to live while researching living in KL before me moved here. While it would have been GREAT for my commute and a minor to mid major annoyance for Iris, it would have been a bad place to live. Our neighborhood is great because we can walk to places. The idea of living near Putra was that we could walk to Chow Kit and Little India (unofficial) and this would have been terrible. Chow Kit was fun, I am sure I will go again especially for the night time food market, but it is nowhere close to the kind of neighborhood Sri Hartamas is. Lots of reasons for that, the big one being rich people living in Sri Hartamas and not Chow Kit.
Chow Kit. Lots of people, lots of stalls. A warren of stalls really. I would have been easy to get turned around and a bit lost. We stayed close to the main road, except when we ventured to find some food for breakfast.
And this is what we found. We googled what it was before eating it, to make sure it was something we actually wanted, and I have completely forgotten what it is. Essentially, It is one of two things. Iris believes it is essentially a thin omlette with onions and curry in the middle. I think it is essentially a flour based dish with eggs, onions and curry in the middle. But either way it was super cheap and it was good. I ordered two, one for me and one for Iris. The large, like twice the size of me, Indian man sitting behind the grill started to make fun of me for getting two. In a good nature but still, HE WAS MUCH BIGGER THEN ME! This has happened a few times since….I am sure there is a reason why that I could dive into here but as I am posting this picture of food and it is 7pm here I am now realizing how hungry I am. Iris has her headphones on right now. I am going to stare at the back of her head and see if she senses me staring…and she did because I could not even finish the sentence before she stood up and asked if I was getting hungry because she was ready to eat.
Not the god but a god certainly. I might get promoted later, I’ll let you all know
So anyway, Chow Kit.
As you can see, there are tents lining the streets. And behind those tents, are more tents. And then more and more and more. And after walking through them all, it felt like they were all selling fabric or clothes for Muslim women. I kid…kind of. There was a lot of fabric shops throughout. In case you are wondering, the rail in the pictures is for the Monorail that loops through a few key neighborhoods in the main parts of the city.
Essentially what we did was walk all through Chow Kit, then walk all through Masjid Jemak which is the old Little India and it is ironic because while I do not know what Jemak means, I know Masjid is mosque so go figure. Actually, a good number of the Indians who live here are Muslims so it is not that Ironic, but when you visit the official Little India in Brickfields and feel like you are in some Hindi Bollywood dream, it seems ironic.
Long story short, we did not buy anything but food. Here is another great one that we googled, to make sure it was what we thought it was, and it was fantastic. They are essentially deep fried mini doughnuts, and they tasted just about as good as that probably sounded to you.
We also had some fresh lemon juice and Iris pointed out how mean we kind of were to do so, because this was during the height of Ramandan and almost everyone around us was Muslim and fasting. Also, it was about 112 degrees that day, real feel. Actual temperature was probably closer to 90 or lower which should tell you a thing or two about the humidity. (hint, it’s really high and every single day is a potential pool day as the Heise family would say) That made me think about privilege a lot, something Iris and I have talked about a few times. But that is a serious topic and this was not a serious blog post. I’ll end with this, Garden Grove around the world! For those who do not know, Garden Grove is the all brewery I used to work out. I took two shirts with me when we moved specifically for the purpose of taking pictures of me wearing them around the world. One is High Point, the greatest barber shop in Richmond that I do miss dearly, and the other was Garden Grove.
That’s all for now folks!
PS-Lalaki itu sedang di atas kerusi. Yeah, I know a little Malay, I can say “That man is sitting on the chair”