Week 7 | Malaysia
Malaysia currently sits in fourth place of most industrialized cities in the world; Malaysia has one of the best economic records in Asia, conquering the 29th position for GDP worldwide and the 10th for GDP in Asia. The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, Malaysian citizens speak Malay and eat Malay food, but the high percentage of Chinese residents makes Chinese the second language. Islam coexists with Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism and, obviously the Chinese traditional religion. We were supposed to stay more than one week in Malaysia but unfortunately we didn’t; the first stop was Kuala Lumpur.
Leaving Singapore had a strong impact on us. Kuala Lumpur is a real Asian South-east metropoli. The highest buildings on the large streets stand prominently, contrasting the tiny houses and their tiny red roofs. In the city is very rare to find crosswalks, pedestrians are always on the run. Our host strongly suggested to take the metro after 5PM, because traffic is so dense that the risk to be stuck in it forever is serious. Our apartment is on the 27th floor and from up here we can observe this crazy rhythm.
We decide to experience the two opposite sides of Kuala Lumpur. First of all we visited Thean Hou Buddhist Temple (we will check the skyscrapers another time). Thean Hou Temple is one of the biggest and most ancient temple of the whole Asia and we were totally stunned by it and its incredible colors and shapes. There was a child making soap bubbles on the patio and Teo and Lia quickly approached him laughing so hard and this made the scenario even more magical. Then we headed towards all the other must see in Kuala Lumpur, such as the Petronas Tower: we had lunch inside and then we stepped out to admire the green lung of the city, which is the KLCC park, a small and super cute Central Park from where we admired a splendid view on the towers while the kids were playing among the fountains (water games do wonders against that crazy heat that never leaves us).
I realized that we’re always so busy and absorbed by this intense journey that it feels like we’ve been travelling our whole life; in this context it’s hard sometimes to think of home. It’s not that we don’t want to think about our families, they are walking with us every step of the way. Sometimes we also wonder about the weather in Europe (are Parisians already wearing jackets? Who knows if the leaves are red already?) while we spend our days in flip flops. What I mean is that in this constant chaos & hurry it’s difficult to feel home and that warm mood on our skin. Sometimes I like to imagine we are standing in Piazza della Repubblica in Florence, closing my eyes and ears.
In that exact place, in that exact time I lived a grand moment de la vie. It happened, just like that. Boom. I found an Illy coffee shop and I had a real Italian coffee. It happened in a flash, just a sip of that coffee from my white tiny cup was enough to transport me there. It’s been a shock. I’ve drunk that coffee for 15 years of my life but none of those times left such a strong impression in me, I kept tasting that aroma the whole afternoon. And I kept feeling home. And this was just an introduction of the evening ahead.
We have been guests at the Prego Restaurant of Westin Hotel. After one month and half spent “on the other side of the world” we had our first dinner in a real Italian restaurant. We have been welcomed by huge smiles, into a warm and cozy environment where we spent unforgettable moments. We never thought it would be possible to feel so touched by just reading “Insalata Caprese” on a menu, with Italian music on the background. We drunk a glass of wine. Ah, a glass of wine! A mix of appetizers, a risotto, an incredible carbonara. Extra pizza for the kids, that were already full and satisfied with the pasta. And last but not least… ta-dah!! Great moment! Florentine steak with roasted potatoes Kuala Lumpur style. Heaven, we’re in heaven. The chef is Italian, from Tuscany, that’s why the meat is exactly how you eat it in the best Tuscan taverns, and you can also find Zuccotto on the menu! :-) We headed back home with a pleased smile on our faces.
The next day, we were ready for the next adventure! Destination: George Town, a UNESCO heritage city on Penang island, Malaysia north. George Town is well known for its gastronomic culture, awarded the prize of Malaysia Food Capital. Chinese and Indian influences are blended in its architecture and taste, with a twist of British and European colonial mood, establishing a real melting pot. What we enjoyed the most in George Town was getting lost in the historic city center among the colorful shophouses and the street art, real masterpieces well known all around the world.
We visited the Blue Mansion - Cheong Fatt Tze, wonderful. You can really breathe the mood from the past. On top of our favourites list is (drum roll, please) Chew Jetty and the walk towards the sea, through the tiny wooden houses, the kiosks and the blue boats docked at the marina. The Malaysia of the people.
Our yearning for the sea is so strong, we’ve been waiting for this moment. After a crazy busy month and a half we feel the need to allow ourselves longer stays and leave the luggages for a while. We left Malaysia knowing that we probably didn’t spend enough time here, but we’re happy we’ve experienced it.
The flight number 7, destination: Thailant. Phuket, here we come!
With a Lot of Love - #miljiansgotomalaysia