And so we’re here in Kuala Lumpur.
The first 48 hours were pretty rocky for us. Without internet at home, I was checking my e-mail on whatever computers were available (“Move over, kid, math class can wait”), and so it was difficult to write new posts knowing that the youth of Malaysia might have been losing precious time on the development of their future while a 30-year-old glorified housewife sat idly in front of a computer uploading photos of snacks.
I did, however, manage to find the time to fire off a mournful missive to some of my friends and family about three things: 1) my ankle, which I cut on our luggage cart the second hubby and I passed through customs; 2) the condition of our house; 3) the reality of leaving everyone behind. With respect to the ankle, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal if I’d packed a basic first-aid kit in my carry-on, which, of course, I did not, because it would’ve meant putting my picture book on Southeast Asian food ingredients in my checked luggage, and that’s just crazy talk.
As for the house, it’s okay. We’d thought we were going to be living in a nice, modern apartment, but a last-minute bait and switch landed us into a 4-story townhouse. There are some things that we absolutely love about the place — for example, the house includes 2 refrigerators and a meat locker. Nicely done, Malaysia House. However, this house has serious issues that need to be fixed, and the mere sight of them resulted in some tears the first two days we were here.
Happily, I’m doing much better now, and that’s not just because I’ve driven all over KL getting myself places (which I have, and they drive British-style on the left side here), or because I’ve been meeting some really nice people (which there are, and I’m meeting both Malaysians and Americans who are all incredibly warm and welcoming), but because of the picture at the top of my post, which is a collage of just some of the foods available at just one shopping center here. Kuala Lumpur is apparently taking their cues from Singapore and moving some of their street hawker stands to more cleaned-up food courts indoors. The hubby and I literally clutched each other with glee when we discovered this one, at Pavilion KL, pointing and staring and running around in between stalls trying to decide what to eat for our first meal. We finally settled on some curry chicken mee, which is a stir-fried Malaysian noodle with a curry chicken, broth and chili sauce on the side.
The total cost of this little plate of happiness? Less than $2 US dollars. As we slurped away, we chatted again, like we have many times before, of all the possibilities and opportunities that might come our way in the next two years by having moved here and embarking on this adventure. The only difference this time, however, was that our discussion was much less speculative, and suddenly real. For example, we found out there’s a gym directly upstairs from this particular food court, so we’re thinking we’ll probably join. I mean, at least this way we’ll be able to eat well after we work out, right? And we don’t even have to eat the same thing! Ever! It could take us two years just to work through this one food court! As the Malaysians say: