Our Final Day in Kuala Lumpur – Betel Leaf, the Royal Palace, Batiks and Ciao Ristorante

The Royal PalaceI was feeling quite sick again and had spent the whole morning coughing up a storm – my flu/cold had morphed into what feels like the beginnings, if not the onset, of bronchitis. I was exhausted and not sure how I would survive lunch and another tour without passing out.

But lunch managed to revive me! Our guide had told us how Indians use spices to clean the alimentary canal and improve health, and following a fairly spicy lunch of papadams and various chutneys, along with rice and chicken curry, I actually started to feel much better. It really was uncanny.

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A Day in Kuala Lumpur – Batu Caves, Royal Selangor, and Carcosa Seri Negara

The owner of Royal Selangor
Everything was delicious (I had a special non-seafood menu – that would be a theme throughout the conference), but by the end of the meal, we were all stuffed. And running almost an hour behind schedule.

We agreed to cut out one of the afternoon activities, but I was unwilling to push the dinner back – it was already set for 8pm, and we had more than a few jet lagged delegates.

Finally, we got on our way and first headed to the Royal Selangor Pewter factory. Kuala Lumpur is known for their pewter, and our guide filled the spaces between stops with a stream of consciousness soliloquy about every tiny detail he’d ever heard about Kuala Lumpur. Some of it I remember and will share with you, but my brain certainly reached a saturation point fairly quickly.

We did learn that although making pewter seems like a very repetitive, menial type of job, those who do it are considered artisans and are paid as such. It’s also a job that is handed down through generations – those who come from pewter artisans are given the first opportunity to become artisans themselves.
The other thing that I remember is that our guide said that pewter is often given as a wedding gift in Kuala Lumpur. It’s called a “seven generations” gift, because it is seen to be so meaningful that it will be passed down through the family’s generations. Since I’m headed to an engagement party next weekend, I’ll be bringing them some pewter and sharing the story. Continue reading

Traveling to Kuala Lumpur, via Dubai

And sleeping and resting is (mostly) what happened. I was able to sleep a LOT on the flights going over to KL, and had picked up some flu medication, hand sanitizer, tissues and mints in London to use on the plane. So by the time we landed, while I wasn’t feeling good, I certainly was feeling better – no fever, for one!

We were flying Emirates, which was an interesting experience. I was pretty excited that they had hummus as an appetizer for pretty much all of the meals, so that made me a happy camper. For some reason, even sick, I can still manage some bread and hummus.

We landed in Dubai in the fairly early morning, and the airport was pretty quiet (I only know this because when we got there midday today, it was a mob scene). We did a quick stop at the ladies room, and it was the first time I’ve ever been in a ladies room that was totally silent. No one said a word. There were a lot of women in various forms of burkas – some were full, with only their eyes showing, while others had their faces showing. It was always interesting to see a couple, where the man was wearing a very casual outfit of shorts and a tee shirt, while the woman was covered head to toe. Although, as I said to my dad, at least it was easy for her to pick out what to wear that day – like my former days in a Catholic school uniform! Continue reading