The Western Tourist in an Eastern Country

tile steps at Central Market Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

We decided to spend our time in Kuala Lumpur in a vacation rental rather than a hotel, as typically in a vacation rental, you get more room and are better equipped for some home cooking. Our 3 bedroom vacation rental in Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a comfortable place to call home for a couple of weeks and Metropolitan Square is a very secure condo complex with security guards at every entrance, swipe cards and metal locked gates at every condo entryway.

condo entryway at Metropolitan Sq kuala lumpur malaysia

There are loads of restaurants and shops right out front of our condo complex and our secured recreation area offers 6 outdoor pools, several playgrounds, tennis courts and a ping-pong table. I can’t believe that, on most days, we have these pools to ourselves. I guess nobody else feels the need to cool down as often as us heat stricken Canadians.

metropolitan square building and recreation area

metropolitan sq 2For the Western tourist, some things you may find different in the typical Malaysian home are; the gas tank for the stove is in the kitchen, every electrical outlet has a switch to turn on/off the power supply and if you want hot water, you have to flip a switch to turn on the hot water pump in the shower. Oh, and every toilet is equipped with a spray gun to wash yourself as that is common practice here. Lydia had her first squatter toilet the other day while we were out and about. She was not sure what to do, but between the 2 of us, we figured out a system that worked. She prefers the toilets we have at home.

hot water system malaysia

elevator in KL Malaysia

The elevator is called Lif Bomba…love it! Sounds like a dance move.

Dining out in KL is affordable and absolutely delish. Because of the cultural diversity here, you can find just about any type of food. We stopped at a food court in one of the shopping centres and ordered a curry dish with naan bread. They made the naan right in front of us and the food was served on plates…not plastic or paper, but real dishes, in a food court! That is some crazy shizit. We have not had a bad meal yet. And if your travelling with kids, or one picky kid, they have all the typical places like Mc Gagers, Quiznos, KFC and Pizza Hut. Lydia’s favorite eat is the chicken strips at Texas Chicken. Tonight we are checking out the street food. I will let you know how that goes.

We have two english speaking channels on TV and because our Netflix does not work here we have resorted to watching riveting programs like Americas got Talent. So, as you can imagine, we have not been watching TV. Instead, I have found a local radio station called the FM Capital. Paul gets his Katy Perry fix and I can Funk It Up with Bruno Mars.

This week, we went to work with my sister-in-law Angie, who works with the KL school system in striving to improve their English programs. Our kids put together a presentation which included some info about themselves and Canada. We were able to visit 2 different schools and 4 different classes.

visiting a school in Kuala Lumpur malaysiaWe arrived at the first school while the kids were eating breakfast in the cafeteria. Kids seemed super excited to see us and rushed over to say hi once they finished their meals. When the bell rang, we all headed down through the open halls to the classrooms. Callum and Lydia enjoyed talking to the kids about Canada and this was a fabulous experience for them. Unfortunately, Lydia was still battling her cold at the time and was struggling to get through the day, but she pushed through.

visiting school in Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaOnce we were done presenting to the first class, we were lovingly offered a Typical Malaysian breakfast in the teacher’s lounge where we were able to visit with some of the teachers. What a lovely bunch. Breakfast included coconut rice, fried eggs, sliced cucumber, redskin peanuts mixed with anchovies, sambal and hot tea. As we were leaving the school we watched some monkeys playing in the field. When we approached, they jumped into the trees and the surrounding jungle.

Chinatown Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaOn top of going to a couple of schools this week, we also made a couple of trips to KL City Centre to check out Chinatown, Central Market and the Bird Park. Chinatown is filled with merchants selling knockoff brand name handbags, wallets, t-shirts and scarves, while central market offers a wider variety of authentic merchandise. We were able to find Lydia a traditional Malaysian outfit at Central Market which she wore for her presentation at the schools

Bird Park Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaAh the Bird Park. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon. The kids just loved it! We had planned on visiting the Islamic Museum as well as the Bird Park, but ended up hanging at the Bird Park all afternoon. With an entrance fee of 180 ringgit ($60.00 Canadain), it is not cheap, but well worth the visit, especially if you are travelling with kids.

peacock at the Bird Park in Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaIf you love the Peacock, then you will love the Bird Park as these guy’s are everywhere and they seem to love displaying and shaking their tail feathers. If the Peacock does nothing for you, I am sure you will find a bird that does as there are over 3000 birds and 200 different bird species in this park. We even saw Lydia’s favorite bird from the Waikiki Zoo.

Feeding the birds at the Bird Park Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaKids feeding some of the birds

Bird Park Kuala Lumpur MalaysiaAnd guess what? There are monkeys here too. We saw some wee li’l ones. OMG, they were so cute. Just watching them playfight…so entertaining. As if birds and monkeys were not enough, there are also several fish ponds. You can purchase little packages of food and feed the birds and fish as you make your way through the park.

On a sad note, our little niece Chelsea who is battling cancer, ended up in hospital this week with an infection in her port and resulting high fever. Our hearts go out to this tough little cracker who will beat cancer. Always thinking of you guys.

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