03.01.2018 – Kuala Lumpur day 1


*Make sure you have a good chunk of time if you want to really enjoy/study this blog post, it’s longer than normal*

So I need to apologize for not posting many blogs over the past couple of weeks.  For me, using my camera is an art form that brings me a lot of joy.  My phone takes good pictures, but other than not taking photos as high quality as my camera, there are a lot of other things it can’t do.  For example, I shoot in manual mode (meaning I am controlling everything, versus having the camera adjust lighting and such for me on auto), and doing that with an iPhone would involve complicated apps and would still not be the same.

Losing my camera was heartbreaking for me. Thankfully, some kind soul chose to turn it in, and I am grateful beyond explanation! However, none of Hong Kong was captured on my camera, and it was that sadness that stole my motivation to blog.  Taking photos and blogging no longer felt like an outlet for expression, but rather a homework assignment.  And when I got my camera back, it took the whole week in Singapore to get back into the swing of things – indulging in taking tons of photos, then sitting down at the end of each day, downloading my photos, exploring and editing them, and then sharing them. (Don’t worry, I did take photographs in Singapore!  Those blog posts will pop up overtime.)

Despite all of this, I cannot reiterate enough how thankful I am to have an excellent camera on my phone. I’d have been absolutely devastated if I had no way to take good photographs in Hong Kong.

Arriving in Kuala Lumpur reset something in my brain, and I’m back in the mode that I was in during most of our time in the first three countries. I still won’t be perfect, but you should see blog posts more consistently again. 🙂  Thank you all for your patience as you have been mostly clueless about what we’ve been doing!

So without further ado, I present to you Kuala Lumpur – day one! I went nuts with photos… let’s just say I’m making it up to you. 🙂 (And making it up to myself – I’ve missed this!)

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Heading out for the day…

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Our hostel is above two restaurants – one gives us free breakfast, and both give us a 20% discount for being guests at the hostel. We plan on eating lots of places, but we have eaten at both and everything we had was delicious.

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The streets near our hostel! We decided to walk to the Perdana Botanical Gardens, which is a big park with a whole bunch of individual things to see.

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The national museum – we didn’t go in but it was an impressive complex:

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We then proceeded to walk in a big circle on accident, but we saw lots of great things in the process.

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I can’t believe I spaced it, but I didn’t really get any photos of the national mosque.  I think it was because a) I was captivated, and b) I was dripping with sweat in direct sunlight and my brain was pretty foggy.  (To me, the humidity felt the highest today out of all the days on our trip – based on my level of sweating! Wowee!)

Anyway, Malaysia’s official religion is Islam and there are gorgeous mosques everywhere.  The amount of Islamophobia in the US very deeply saddens me, and I wish everyone struggling with prejudice or fear could visit places like this and see how peaceful of a religion it is and how beautiful there people are.  I grew up with a lot of false information about Islam and I was both devastated and relieved as over the past few years I’ve learned how many lies I was told.  Devastated because I had been so fearful of an entire demographic of people throughout my entire childhood, and relieved because it isn’t what I was led to believe it is.  It breaks my heart that there are so many people who would feel uncomfortable being around lots of women in hijabs, seeing Arabic written everywhere, and hearing Muslim prayers sung over speakerphones, but I just pray people can be open-minded and exposed to reality.

(I’m sure I’ll touch on that subject several more times throughout the trip, but that’s all for today.)

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So we finally got to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park – we weren’t sure we’d pay and go in, but it was a good place to pick as a starting destination as it’s in the middle of everything – and a storm hit.  It was a beautiful thing to watch and feel. But it meant we lost over an hour of time. We weren’t too sad about it (at least I wasn’t, but I didn’t actually ask Jennifer, haha, but she seemed okay) and enjoyed all the thunder and lightning. Indulge in a moment of the storm with us:

The Chinese lanterns added a good effect!

Muslim prayers are really enchanting, and listening to the heavy rain and thunder and echoed prayers all at once was a truly captivating experience for me. It so happened that I had just used the restroom in a pretty secluded place, so I got to enjoy it in peace and quiet and by myself. This is a longer video (one minute) but I couldn’t help myself:

Super beautiful, right?

When the rain stopped we walked over to the Orchid & Hibiscus Gardens.  It felt weird because there were no people (thanks rain!) but it made it a super peaceful experience.  The rain added elegance to all the plants and flowers and I’m really happy I got to visit post-precipitation!

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We enjoyed walking around some areas closer to the city before returning to our hostel to get some food.

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I love the architecture here.

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I know I already shared a video featuring the audio of a Muslim prayer, but I just think it captures some of the heart of this area so well and it’s lovely to listen to:

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(this one was unimpressed by me sticking a camera in its face)

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(that green stuff is a little fountain lit by LED lights in case you can’t tell)

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Notice the pensive chicken on that building?  Haha!

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I love Chinatowns at night!

Here’s a couple pictures of dinner – I forgot to get more because I was so excited. Basically, there’s a stand with a ton of different food items on skewers, and you pick what you want (they are priced according to color, just like a sushi bar!) and hand them all to one of the cooks. They fry each one for you and bring it over to your table, which has a pot of boiling water available for the things you’d rather boil.  It was really inexpensive and so delicious!

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I got tofu, mushrooms, and green beans fried, and then some other kind of vegetable (similar to bok choy kind of?) that I steamed.  So delicious!  I want to eat here again, and when I do I’ll get a picture of the main stall.  The atmosphere adds to the experience with nearby neon red signs lighting everything up!

WELL… there you have it!  After 50 photos or whatever.  SORRY.  Hopefully you survived the onslaught.  If not – if you skimmed it – don’t feel bad!  It was a lot at once.

We are in Malaysia through March 8 (after which we are headed to China).  I look forward to sharing this week with you all [hopefully] every day!  🙂

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