I got to wear summer clothes again!
More seriously, it was here in KL that I discovered that you can purchase cakes, yes cakes, of laundry soap; just perfect for our hand-washing needs. Unfortunately the soap happened to strip the skin off my palms, so I’ve had to invest in a pair of black rubber gloves (size large, so they fit Colin too of course…)
I will also remember KL for Fat One Steamboat, which has been one of our most memorable meals so far. At Fat One, you choose from a vast range of food threaded onto skewers.
The meat and seafood skewers are barbequed for you, while you take vegetables and tofu etc back to your table to boil in the pot of water sunken into your table.
Pots of chilli sauce and satay sauce are provided for smothering. It was fantastic, and I think it might even rival Yum Cha at North Sea in Albany (sorry Yum Cha Society).
I will also remember the night markets, which were very like the markets in Phuket. Jalan Petaling (the street our hotel was on) closes to traffic every evening and rapidly fills with stalls. You only have a narrow space to walk through and you can buy just about anything – Louis Vuitton tissue box perhaps? Fake cigarettes? T-shirts, handbags, belts, and of course, food stalls everywhere – fruit, roasting chestnuts, violently coloured baked goods.
KL will also be memorable for the first time I saw a squat toilet. Hoses are provided for you to gently cleanse yourself “afterwards”, but I couldn’t figure out how you are supposed to dry yourself off – no puff of air like a bidet, and no toilet paper provided either. Getting-dry presented something of a dilemma, so I never did try one out. At the airport yesterday morning I decided to go to the bathroom before boarding. I heard our names being called over the loud speaker while I was running from stall to stall trying to find a western loo…
In KL we also well and truly learned that prices for the same items vary wildly depending on where you are. On the main strips, you can expect to pay 2-4 times as much as a few streets over in the less busy areas. Take coffee for instance – for two coffees at KL Tower, we paid 12 Ringgit; at a shop in a mall, we paid 5 Ringgit; and at a cafe which looked like it was frequented only by locals, we paid only 2.20 Ringgit. Moontree House (see earlier post) offers a variety of imported coffees for between 12-15 Ringgit each – we bought a pot for 38 Ringgit. At least Moontree coffee arrived with sugar on the side, unlike most coffee in KL which is pre-sweetened unless you remember to ask for no sugar.
We’re now in Siem Reap, Cambodia…more to come.