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Archive for the ‘KL’ Category

Fake

As Alex and I were winding things up in KL a few weeks ago, we emptied and closed our Malaysian bank accounts. Thinking that we could live on a cash-only basis this summer while we traveled in the US, we changed all our leftover Ringgit into US Dollars – all in hundreds. We always travel with cash in Southeast Asia since you can’t always count on an ATM being nearby.

So, you can imagine our surprise when, on our first day back in the US, we tried to buy some food with those hundred dollar bills. Not a chance. If Alex’s parents hadn’t been there with a US$20 to save the day, we would have had to give the takeout back and walk away hungry. So much for our cash-only idea. We are guessing that most places are concerned that these “large”bills are fake(and, frankly, I use the term “large” quite loosely… it’s not like we were trying to spend a $500 bill).

Have you ever encountered a fake bill?

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Goodbye KL

Sadly, the time has finally come to say our official goodbye to KL

The movers came and packed our entire house just about a week ago. The house went from this:

to this:

Packed Away

to this:

Empty

in record speed thanks to the fabulous work of the Asian Tigers Transpo relocation team.

I wasn’t there for any of the packing because I was finishing a course across town, but thankfully Alex did an absolutely fantastic job, including cleaning the apartment to an entirely new level of spic and span never before seen in Malaysia.

So, when I finally got home from class on Friday evening, and saw just how empty and sad the apartment was without all our things, we decided to splurge and spend a few nights at the Westin KL. Talk about luxury! I don’t think I’ve ever stayed in a Westin before, but those beds certainly are heavenly! Plus we had a great view of the Petronas Towers – the perfect way to end our stay in Malaysia!

City View by Night

For the next few weeks, we’ll be living out of our luggage, traveling both the West and East coasts of the United States and visiting family and friends all over the country.

Although I am excited about our new adventure in Bangkok, I am so sad to leave Malaysia. We’ve had such a great time living in KL, and I definitely feel like we’re leaving much too soon… I guess that just means we’ll have to come back for a visit next year!

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My first time in a revolving restaurant! On the top of the super-high Menara KL tower!

Menara KL

Last week we had a (very expensive) dinner at the Menara KL Tower restaurant with our wonderful friends Darby and David (who are moving to Taipei, Taiwan in a few weeks):

Darby and David

In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting much. These kinds of things are usually tourist traps – totally overpriced with nothing to show for it, but this was pretty cool. The food may have left a little something to be desired (considering the absolutely outrageous price), but it was edible – and totally worth it for the amazing view!

We still haven’t been to the skybridge on the Petronas Towers, so I’m especially glad we had time to go up to the top of the Menara Tower. We could see the Twin Towers pretty clearly from waaaaay up there:

Petronas Towers

And, of course the rest of the city:

Downtown KL

It really makes you realize how beautiful KL is… And, of course, how much we’re going to miss it here…

 

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Blown Away

Even though we live in a tropical climate (read: 90+ degrees Fahrenheit with 98% humidity every day), we have barely used the aircon in our mid-level apartment over the last two years.

We have enough windows and doors throughout the apartment to let the air flow freely with just the use of our ceiling fan. Plus, we have the added advantage of having screens on every window and door – including our second balcony, which is all screened in – so there’s no danger of the dreaded Dengue mosquito pestering us.

Most of the time, I just prefer fresh air anyway. I hate that feeling of being all sealed in. The first thing I do every morning is open all the windows and doors “to get some air moving” (yet another trait I get from my mother).

But, lately it has seemed so hot (though I doubt the temperature has changed very much at all), that we are turning on the aircon almost every day. I’m not sure I like it…

What about you? Are you all about the fresh air, or the cooling A/C?

Image: http://farm1.static.flickr.com/21/27233149_71039b1518_m.jpg

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One of the benefits (or disadvantages, depending on your opinion) of living overseas is automatically being a member of a community of expats. Depending on the size of the city you live in, there may be just on small expat community, or, like here in KL, there may be so many expats that there are different small communities all around the city based around where people live.

Working in a school, you always have that instant community of students, parents and teachers, but overseas the boundaries are much more gray than the black and white “no socializing with parents” attitude of working in your home country.

Personally, I always have a little trouble with those blurry boundries. I know many teachers that spend time in parents homes, go out to dinner with students and their families, some even go on vacation with their students. Although I think it’s great that those teachers and families enjoy spending so much time together, I usually try to keep work and social life as seperate as possible (keeping in mind, of course, that the only people I socialize with here are other teachers, so they’re not that seperate).

Most of the time, I shy away from social time with parents or students, but over the last two weeks, I’ve actually spent several hours in the absolutely beautiful homes of two of our families.

What could make me do this, you ask…

Jewelry. Beautiful, colorful, handmade jewelry.

But, before I show you the jewelry, I have to show you the cute, colorful, bags that come with each piece:

colorfulbags.jpg

Inside each one of those shiny, colorful, bags is an equally colorful peice of jewelry. Here is a selection of my favorites:

colorfuljewelry.jpg

The best part about these two extended shopping trips is that I didn’t really have any jewelry before I went with my fellow jewelry-loving friends, Tammy, Ann, Jana, Maria, Darby and Mairin. In high school and college I used to wear pendants and I ended up buying lots from the various cities I visited in Europe while living in Italy and Germany. But, recently I haven’t been feeling the pendant vibe. So, thanks to the advice of my personal jewelry consultants (read: friends with great taste), I now have a whole selection of awesome, colorful, jewelry I can wear with anything!

What kind of colorful things do you own?

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They make it so easy

I’m often commenting on just how easy it is to live here in KL and this past Thursday night was no exception. We went out with our friends Jabiz and Mairin to see some (fantastic) local bands at a great club called Laundry. When I think about going to see a local band at a club, I think crowded, dirty, hard to find, totally unknown.

Not here in KL, even going to a club is supremely easy…

easy.jpg

This place was:

  • a total of five minutes away from my house, door-to-door.
  • in the mall – on the nice, open air strip with all the restaurants.
  • associated with Italianni’s (a chain restaurant next door) so they basically had a full-service restaurant in the club.
  • open to the outdoor seating area on two sides so you could either stand inside, sit on the couches inside, or sit at a table outside and enjoy your dinner.
  • clean, comfortable and not very crowded (and apparently the night we were there was the most crowded it’s ever been).
  • free! When do you ever get to go to completely free concerts?
  • on a “street” with three or four other restaurants featuring live music.

I mean, really? How much easier can they make it to enjoy new music?

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Hello TV!

As if I didn’t already watch too much TV….

Astro subscribers will have reason to rejoice when the company introduces nine new channels to its current service [May 1st].

The new channels come courtesy of the recently launched Measat-3 satellite, which effectively brings the total number of channels offered to 75.

My favorite of the nine are “the entertainment-themed Discovery Home and Health, E!, Discovery Real Time and Discovery Science.” Let me tell you, we’ve been hearing about this MEASAT-3 for months now. Never did I expect a channel I would like – let alone four! Bring it on MEASAT!

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