Malaysia

2 years in KL

January 7, 2015

Last month Anton and I celebrated two years since we moved to KL, Malaysia. I wrote about why we moved here, what were our very first impressions of Malaysia and have also documented one of our Saturdays living in KL in the earlier posts. Here’s what I feel these two years were great for and not so great.

What I don’t love about life in KL

KL (Kuala Lumpur, Russian speakers, it’s Куала Лумпур, не Куала, ну пожалуйста!) turned out to be a very nice home base for all the travels. It’s close to Cameron Highlands, Tioman, Penang and there’s plenty of fun places to go around the city.

What I don’t really get yet is if the city has any spirit or soul. I really don’t feel it..

2 years living in KL via TinyBlackBird.com

To me, every city has a character, a soul, it speaks through its buildings, people and smells. Some cities are straight forward and clearly defined, like Munich (to me it’s a tall dark handsome young man, very rich, because he inherited a fortune, yet smart and fun to hang out with, likes to eat great food and knows a taste of proper beer, very educated and has many interests – sports, arts, events). Gosh, I miss Munich badly…

Or Kiev, that to me is a very grown up and wise man. Or no, more like 3 brothers – one very young and still arrogant, one grown up and serious, and the oldest, my favourite, the George Clooney kind of guy, with grey hair and a spark at the corner of his eye when he winks at you.

2 years living in KL via TinyBlackBird.com

KL I just don’t get.. To me it’s still a character I can’t understand. That’s one of the things I don’t love about the city. Maybe just yet, we’ll see.

I also don’t love the fact that now, living in Bangsar South, we need to drive everywhere to be safe and comfortable. And the healthy food is expensive. And it’s hard to rely on people because they seem to be little careless oftentimes and they let me down. Like this place we booked for the New Year’s dinner and came there 2 hours before midnight to see a darkness of its shut door.. No one even bothered to call and say they cancelled the event. Duh..

But that’s that. Hopefully I’ll see more of the real KL that will help me understand it. I already accept it as it is, with all its flaws.

2 years living in KL via TinyBlackBird.com

What I love about life in KL

I really love

  • parks and hiking spots in and around KL
  • how everyone is running and there are so many races happening all year round and you don’t need to wait for Summer (yes, the races start at 4:30 because it gets hot and humid by 7:30, but oh well, better sleepy than a heart attack, right?)
  • affordable petrol so we can drive everywhere
  • the expat community I was lucky to become part of – really grateful for all the amazing people here!
  • hidden gems that make my heart fill with joy – places that make you go “oh, THAT’S really nice!” Like the outdoor sports store in Ampang, or the little side streets of Bangsar with really posh houses, or a dim sum place in Gardens… you get the idea
  • there is no winter. No need for winter clothes. No need to freeze your eyeballs when you blink. No fear of slipping on ice. I guess you figured who’s the biggest fan or winter here, haha

2 years living in KL via TinyBlackBird.com 04

There’s probably more, but I just can’t think of much now. Maybe I’m still a bit angry at the New Year’s dinner place. Or maybe this year was not too targeted at discovering KL. I’d love to do more things and maybe eventually understand it.

But I’m very curious now. Do you have a feeling of KL’s character? Do share in the comments below, I’d love to hear what you think of this definitely interesting city.

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  • Nataliia Golubenko

    I don’t know why but I love KL, it was my first Asian trip outside of China and it was unforgettable. I had both bad and good experiences, but somehow even bad ones turned into good memories. I do agree with you about city’s soul, I didn’t notice it. May be because it’s so diverse. I love KL and hope to visit it again!

    • I always admired your way of seeing things – it’s so different than mine! When you came to KL last time it honestly helped me a lot – to see the city with someone else’s eyes. I am very grateful for that, Nat. Thank you!