Destination Malaysia for our girl gang
Kuala Lumpur and Genting Heights, Malaysia, proved a perfect getaway for an all girls' trip, regales, Nalini Garg. A bustling tourist destination, Malaysia welcomed our band of giggly girls.
Kuala Lumpur is an organised web of skyscrapers, fancy malls and hotels, and very very clean. The famous twin towers amazed us! 80 storeys up the elevator in seconds! After sunset, their ribbed blue and silver exteriors, all lit up make a picturesque sight.
No horn please
A sea of cars moved on the roads but we Indians were surprised at the apparent silence on the roads; not a single horn was heard! The cabs don’t cheat. The culture of the place and people is very tourist-friendly. The discipline, cleanliness and civic sense of citizens forced us to introspect about our role as citizens back home.
All our familiar veggies: aubergine, okra, gourd, etc. find interesting incarnations in local cuisine
The local metro and moving staircases spoilt us silly. The place where we stayed, Hotel Crown Princess was a comfy luxury hotel. But the irony is, juice is for free here, while water is for sale. They said all taps have potable water, and we were expected to drink water from bathroom taps, which was ridiculous!
The half an hour ropeway ride to Genting Heights Hill Resort over tropical forest was awesome. Succulent plants, outstanding textures, size and hues of flowers enhanced the green cover. There were beautiful flower arrangements in shops, malls, hotels…wherever we went.
We gained a few kilos binging on the local food and samples of global cuisines. Sea-food steals the show here. Also, all our familiar veggies aubergine, okra, gourd, etc. find interesting incarnations.
Indian food is no problem at all though the South Indian variety prevails more than North Indian Chole-Bhature.
South Indian connection
On visiting a museum, we discovered the rich conglomeration of cultures which have survived in Malasiya. South Indian influence also reigns here. Strangely, no old monuments as such were around, like we have by the score here in India.
Local Muslim girls in head-scarves and micro-mini skirts displayed the living blend of tradition and modernity; adaptability of the locals to an international milieu.
Sales girls in shopping malls actually turned up for work, covered from head to toe, and changed into mini-skirt uniforms. And grabbed there hijab and home clothes before they left the work premises.
Song and dance
One evening after dinner at a restaurant, we took the cue from a Pakistani singer Salim Malik and crooned and danced with abandon to his rendition of old Bollywood songs, spinning the magic of India.
Shopping as the locals do
Shopping malls take the cake for an excellent array of commodities branded and locally made. Batik fabrics, metal artefacts and pressed-flower crafts are worth treasuring. The shopping scene is as varied as interesting.
China bazaar, a parallel of our Chandni Chowk or Aminabad market gave the real Malaysia away. The bargaining noises, familiar dialogue, smell of sweat, jostling crowds made us smile at the immediacy of the experience.
In summation: Malaysia is a perennial tourist destination with exposure to standard international comforts and local culture. Great shopping, wonderful food, sweeping coastline, green reserves and polite locals to look forward to :-)