Katja and Arne's travel stories

12.06.15 Little india and Chinatown

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After breakfast we go, a usual, to a coffee place to enjoy a little peace and quiet together with a good cup of coffee.
We buy bus tickets to Camron Highlands and book hotel there for a few days. We were almost slipping into a sort of waiting state before the trip to Singapore and then Bali. To make sure we’re on the top of our game and keep exploring we decided to take a few days in the highlands to hike before heading towards Malacca. Then we’ll try to get a little beach time before meeting friends in Singapore. Go KogA!

We take the monorail over to Little India. A part of KL that’s inhabited by largely Indian descendants, but that one you should pick up by yourself. This area is so “solid” it was formally opened by the Indian prime minister together with the Malay prime minister.

We are just inside the gates and start walking down the street when we smell food and see a lot off Indian people eating. We dive into the restaurant and have the Indian food of a lifetime. There’s different ways of ordering here, and we go for the buffet style. We get a plate of rice and dive into whatever goodness is displayed. The guy helping us tells us what the different dishes are and we fill our plates and sit down.

Spoon and fork is seldom used here, but they take pity in us and bring it. The other patrons are eating with their fingers. No matter how nicely dressed or the amount of gold rings on their fingers. Num num num.

Other ways of getting served is some sort of cans placed on your table and a palm leaf instead of a plate. I have no idea what’s in the cans, but it seems to be going down quite easily.  We’re the only white people in the restaurant and get served oven warm poppadom from a large plastic container by a kid moving between the kitchen and serving area. Very nice indeed. The whole meal came to under twenty ringgit (NOK 40, EURO 4), which is very cheap.

We walked the streets of Little India and looked at the Bollywood movies and flower arrangement for the daily prayers. The facades out towards this street are nice and relatively well kept. Going through an alley and looking at it from the other side shows a different story.

Finished with this area we look for a bus to take us to the central market. We to took a taxi and was ripped off, though twenty NOK hardly is ruining our budget. Central market is overrated in my opinion. Half of it sell cheap crap, the other half flowery shirts suitable for a bad taste party. We didn’t spend all that much time there, but walked through it. From there we walked the short way over to Chinatown.

Chinatown market it’s just a full of crap and annoyingly tight. You basically walk inside there stalls and  there’s like no room to meet and pass anyone. We walk through this also and finally sit down at a cafe and enjoy a cold beer. It starts to rain again and we just sit and people-watch for a while.

We debate whether or not to get dinner in Chinatown, but the restaurants doesn’t really shine. We have seen a steakhouse not so far from our hotel and aim there.

Getting a taxi to take us there is another matter. “No, too much traffic”, is a common excuse. The right to refuse service stand strong in the taxi community In KL. OK, let’s find as bus then.

That was easier said than done. There’s a big network of buses in town, but there are hardly any signs telling if there is a bus stop, and absolutely no-one telling where a potential bus might go. So we’re stuck with the monorail/MRT again.

It’s not that far a walk from our current location to the MRT station. We hassled a bit with which platform we should use. In the midst of a discussion Katja says quietly:”The two guys over there are following us. I saw them when we walked the other way a moment ago.” I spun around and lock eyes for a split second with one of them before he quickly turn his head. They immediately start walking away from us and probably started looking for another target. These two guys could have played the role of henchmen in any kind of Bollywood or James Bond movie. Holy crap on a cracker, if there ever was a bandido in KL…

The steakhouse is a winner. A get really good service and the steaks are unbelievable. Sirloin is one if the reasons I eat meat. And bacon of course. Needless to say.

We walk down through the back alleys and check if our laundry is finished. Indeed it is. It even smells good. Trust me, that’s not something you can take for granted.

“India is not, as people keep calling it, an underdeveloped country, but rather, in the context of its history and cultural heritage, a highly developed one in an advanced state of decay.”

– Shashi Tharoor


Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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