At this point I have been in Malaysia for 4 days. The conference activities are just getting started, but I had a few days to explore the city (ie. shop) before the madness. More on the madness to follow in another post, but I will say that my blogging about this trip is going to be in the form of photo blogs, because time to write in full sentences is tough to come by. A recap of my pre-conference days:
The Market: Justine and I went in with the intention of browsing for an hour then moving on. It swallowed us up for nearly 5 hours and when we escaped we had purchased many wonderful things…including furniture. We each bought a beautifully hand crafted wooden table (it collapses for transport).
Chinatown: All fake everything. Louis, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Ray Bands, Tiffany. Stalls upon stalls of less than authentic name brands. That’s all I’ll say about that. Chinatown is also home to the $20 massage. I plan to indulge later this week.
The Vibe: The part of KL that our hostel was in was busy, it seemed to be a working class neighbourhood and people were friendly – protecting the foreigners from oncoming traffic. Nobody really pays any attention to me (except when I get too close to oncoming traffic) which is a pleasant departure from what usually happens when I travel.
Other stuff: Malaysians are nowhere near as aggressive as people in markets in other parts of the world. Most of the time they don’t even acknowledge you, and if you decide that you don’t want to buy anything, they simply wish you well and send you on your way. A far cry from being grabbed in Ghana or even the Philippines where they were more aggressive. The exception is Chinatown where every vendor wants to make sure you know that they have what you want to buy.
I also don’t quite know who is Malaysian who who is foreign. There seem to be a lot of people from other parts of South-East Asia living and working here.
The food & weather: Delicious and hot. Malaysians love them some 7/11. There is one every 20 feet. A few random American chains and of course McDonalds.
So, those were the days before the conference started. I’m pretty sure that I’m still a little jet lagged, but confident that I’ll adjust just in time to come home.