Don’t Visit KL

Don’t Visit KL

Visiting KL feels like travelling backwards on a train – mildly nauseating and you’re glad when it’s over. It doesn’t feel natural for humans.

In KL the busses are on time, and the towers are tall. The food is cheap and the taxis are metered. They’ve got gardens, museums, markets, and malls – but something’s not right.

I use three criteria to flag a bad place: (a) did I see crime, (b) are there gunshots at night, and (c) do people shit in the street. KL nailed the trifecta. And, to expand on Meatloaf, if two out of three ain’t bad – then all three is terrible.

KL is to Singapore what Oasis are to the Beatles – somewhere between conceited knock off and forgettable footnote. As Boo Boo covets Yogi – there’s a weird vibe that underwrites all their dialogue. It’s dominant and recessive. Or maybe I’m projecting…

Most people visit the Batu caves. It’s not difficult – just take the MRT from central. Now, call me a cynic – but I was underwhelmed. They’re part cave and part temple – a kind mermaid with fish head and girl body. The concept is fine, but the execution is wrong. There’s a big gold statue and hundreds of steps. Monkeys get fed, but won’t pick up the rubbish. I guess they’ve got a good union.

Then try the aviary. Now, I care as much about birds as they do about me – but at least I don’t try and shit on them. I ran for the exit, as moist shells of guano exploded around me. I took heavy fire.

Last, try the Islamic art museum. I found it ok – but it’s just a library where the books are off limits. Hundreds of Qurans encased in glass: worst…aquarium…ever.

Believe it or not, those were the highlights. An honourable mention goes to the National Textile Museum – which was as fixating as it sounds. Did someone say Rayon exhibit?

So, that was my stay, and I’m glad that it’s over. Now I’m headed to Penang, and again by train. This time I’m facing forward – and I don’t feel as ill.