My hotel stands in the shadows of the Kuala Lumpur Tower, so today I swaggered over there and climbed to the top of it. It offered a grouse view out over a city that is tropical, pretty and clean, but also a little bit bland. After half an hour of gawking out at the skyscrapers I was ready to head back down. but, wanting to get my $15 worth, I walked round and round and round, feeling like a goldfish in a bowl.
When I got to the bottom I had the pleasure of visiting the world’s worst zoo, which consisted of three or four cages filled with sad-looking lizards and turtles, and a chubby bloke who followed me around everywhere shouting things that I didn’t understand. At least I didn’t get bitten by anything rabies-infected… or raped by the chubby bloke.
I escaped the Tower and wandered south towards the centre of the city. It was quite a nice walk, thanks to KL’s wide pathways and abundance of trees, and it was great to be able to walk through a major city without having people pushing me around or spitting everywhere. Beijing and Shanghai, you could learn a thing or two.
I eventually made it to the city’s Chinatown, which seems to be some sort of in-joke because the place is actually full of Indians (the curry-scented kind, not the red ones who wear feathers in their hair and dance around fires). The whole place is basically one huge market, with scammers and cheap knock-offs everywhere. I bought a couple of shirts and got the fuck out of there before someone tried to stab me, exploring some of the quieter streets before ducking into a little Indonesian restaurant that served up a delicious nasi goreng.
With no sign of public transport except for a very tall, very skinny Indian man screaming “Klang, Klang, Klang” by the side of a beaten-up bus (I assume it either went to Klang, or he really likes the villainous brain-creature from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but gets his Rs and Ls backwards), I set off back home.
I’d heard good things about KL, but it really is kind of a third-world shithole spruced up with a few snazzy buildings to give the world the impression that it’s a wonderful place. Getting out and walking the streets blows away those misconceptions, though.
After half filling a bottle of F&N Ice Cream Soda soft drink (aka the greatest beverage of all time) with cheap, duty free vodka, I slipped into my sexiest g-string and took the elevator back to the pool for a (very) quick dip before they shut the place down and converted it into the shittiest nightclub in the universe once more. The whole time, my waiter from the evening before – whose name badge, I saw now, claimed his name was Monty, which is an odd name for an Asian – sat on a stool and glared at me for not giving him a tip. At one point he even made that throat-cutting gesture. It would’ve been more threatening if he wasn’t dressed in an all-white jump suit, as if he’d just come from the set of a homosexual gang bang porno.
I dried off and started walking back to the lift when Monty minced over to me, blocking the way. “You know,” he lisped. “You did not tip me last night.”
“Here’s a tip,” I replied, “get the fuck out of my way or I’ll push you in the pool.”
Monty looked shocked but impressed, then tuned away sharply. As I walked past, I saw tears in his eyes and he reached for me, as if he needed a cuddle. I thought about making good on my promise of pushing him in the pool anyway, but realised he’d probably take that as me coming onto him and went back to my room instead. Monty, eh? Cunty would be a more appropriate name.
I drank in my room for a while, danced around ‘cos there was so much space, and when I was hungry I set out to explore the culinary delights of KL. And explored and explored and explored, ‘cos I couldn’t find any restaurants that were open. I’d get a better meal at an anorexia support group. Hours were passing and I was that hungry I could’ve eaten a bowl of porridge out of Magda Szubanski’s smoo, when I ended up underneath the Petronas Towers. Now, KL might not be the fanciest town in the world, but those towers are truly impressive and cool. But first things first, I was hungry, so I wandered into the shopping centre underneath.
It was a huge place, but almost deserted by the time I got there. I went up elevators, down escalators, round and round past high-quality clothes shops and places that sold watches and jewellery and crystal and other stuff I couldn’t afford, and wouldn’t buy even if I had $100 notes falling out my arse. Not a lot of food, though. Not a lot of food.
I finally found a restaurant full of dudes in suits and women in fancy dresses and looked down at what I was wearing; cheap Heineken beer singlet, shorts and thongs. Had a bit of a stain on the front of the shorts from where I’d pissed on myself by accident. Fuck it, I was hungry.
When I walked in, every eye in the place burnt holes into me. It was as if a turd had crawled out of the toilet, slopped his way in and asked for a steak. I took a seat and a snobby waiter sauntered over and dumped a menu on my table before scuttling away like a crab, as if he was afraid I’d give him leprosy or, worse still, try to talk to him.
Upper-class wankery aside, the food was ace. I ordered some spring rolls and a Malaysian chicken stir-fry with a big glass of beer, and it all tasted delicious. Sure, it was expensive and I had to eat it while the suit-wearing poofs around me recoiled in horror, but it was nice. When I was done I walked out without leaving a tip, and a little Malaysian fella raced straight over to where I was sitting with a bottle of disinfectant and removed any trace of the dude who dared walk in wearing a singlet.
From there, I took a walk around the Towers, which really are quite beautiful when they’re all lit up on a clear night. They’re absolutely monumental, and with all the lights on them look like a couple of jagged slices of platinum jutting out of the earth.
With that piece of essential sightseeing out of the way, I winged my way back home, stopping in at a filthy Indian restaurant called Dipak’s on the way for a can of soft drink that, inexplicably, had little bits of jelly in it. A bloke who I assumed to be Dipak asked me if I wanted a curry, and I took one look at the luke-warm slop concealing in a tray and felt my stomach churn. I’ve had enough food poisoning for one trip, thanks.
I originally wrote this back in May, 2012, while being chased by a rabies-infected monkey with a big, red arse.