Everyday Adventures: Sidewalks and Galleries

With the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, we have traveled around the city much more. To keep safe, we look for uncrowded city streets and empty indoor venues. Museums are not popular currently, so it has been a dream to view the exhibits at our leisure, talk to the guards. We have better luck on weekdays keeping social distance, especially in popular museums. Galleries are generally good any time. [As always with the new WordPress, right click the images to view the larger version]

The GMBB, Gamuda Mall Bukit Bintang is a mall with event and art exhibit spaces, a creative community mall as their website says. This artist, Phillip Wong, creates sculptures from everyday materials.

Artwork based on culinary experiences SE Asia

In a similar way the Intermark Mall exhibited new fashions using recycled textiles.

The Fahrenheit88 Mall in Tourist/Shopping district has a marvelous gallery on the top level with interesting displays. A bus ride took us to the Kedai KL Mall near the University. It features boutiques featuring local entrepreneurs.

KedaiKL upper floor

As I write this entry at the GMBB, local illustrators invited me for a little bit of Hari Raya treats celebrating end of Ramadan Fasting.

Nasi Lemak wrapped in Banana Leaf

They have an exhibit here until the end of May and Congress coming in September.

The Illustrators

Back on the street, there is new art popping up all over the place.

The sardine curry puff must be delicious
An Indian Temple tucked underneath a major shopping complex

The REXKL is a repurposed cinema as a bookstore with art gallery, restaurants, and music venue.

In the day, the pillion rider watched movies seated where there are now books

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia was really interesting. There were only two or three others the day we visited so the galleries were wide open for photos. Really clear explanation and displays on Arabic writing.

Astrolabes along with books on Chess

In contrast to the Islamic Museum, an early mansion houses the Wei-Ling gallery. Very lively art works along with Exhibit catalogs dating back twenty years.

Experiments on brown wrapping paper

We’ve been to the Ilham Gallery a couple of times. It’s a smaller space in an office buiding. The lighting and area provide a good space to present works with local appeal.

Three paintings by Klang artist, Kok Yew Puah

Everyday Adventures: The Parks

Even though we are still stuck in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we keep looking for new places to go. That is the beauty of this city. There is always something. Beyond that, I have been stuck in WordPress trying to figure out their new block formats. It seems I am better at configuring Open VPN in Puppy Linux than I am at getting my blog to look right.

I have reset my WordPress theme in hopes of improving the response time when I create a new post. Nope, that’s not where the problem is. Also, tried accessing via Microsoft’s Edge browser under Ubuntu Mate Linux. Nope that didn’t change the editing slowness, either. In fairness, I use WordPress for free and they do provide a lot of information and tutorials on how to get the best experience.

Oh well. Rather than one huge post here, I’m settling for several posts with a few photos describing our different adventures. Accept my apologies in advance if the photos load slow. I’m still working on this. It seems right clicking on a photo to open in a new tab works well if you wish to see the larger version. Of course, it is framed with WordPress advertising. 😀 😉

Parks and hiking trails are still a favorite. They are outside and easy social distancing. During weekdays with few visitors, face masks are optional except at the entry and exit

One day we hiked the Kota Damansara Community Forest Reserve. We reached it from the Kwasa Sentral MRT station by taking a Grab share taxi. The walk to the lookout at the Three Princesses Peak (Denai Tiga Puteri Peak) qualified for our weekly strenuous exercise.

View from the Three Princesses Peak

On a Sunday, we had an enjoyable outing that was not too busy at Taman Tasik Permaisuri (Empress Lake Park in Bandar Tun Razak). One section near the lake has terraces of unique plants such as these orchids.

On the north side we explored Sentul Park. There are lakes, trails, a Performing Arts Centre, a barbecue and a coffee roaster. I’m checking out the cement living room.

Joining a Happy Birthday chorus earned us a piece of cake

Sometimes we just settle for an urban park. This is the Raintree Plaza. It is a walk from the construction at the new TRX tower to Jalan Imbi in the direction of Fahrenheit88 shopping mall.


Sometimes we just count the monitor lizards on the River of Life.

Or observe the jungle reclaim the construction cranes.

Here’s an update. On May 2 from the Bukit Jalil Recreational Park. We were caught in a downpour first in a Japanese garden, then in a Chinese garden (where I snapped this photo looking from the Malay house).

The Japanese Garden (the shelter roof leaked).

Movement Control in Kuala Lumpur

As the Malaysian government try to get some control on the Covid-19 pandemic situation with an alphabet of plans and procedures, we only adventure out to buy groceries once a week. We walk 1.5 km to 2 km to one of the shopping centers. All shops are closed except those deemed essential. Lately our preferred route is along a six lane highway. It is noisy but the walkway is well maintained. Another plus is that hardly anyone else takes this route. Occasionally, with a small detour, we can find a fruit stand with Durian. If you stay in SE Asia, you either love or hate this fruit. The smell is so strong we find a motorcycle rest stop to sit and eat the fruit before returning home.

Trees blooming along the pathway by the motorway.
Taking a break with Village Durian

Our Journey to Torremolinos

This is an odd post for me to get right. We were planning an adventure to southern Spain when my dear sister-in-law, Elizabeth Ruenitz, passed away unexpectedly. In my heart, I carry many memories of her on this trip. No pictures, just some memories: her subtle sense of humor, how she and my daughter shared their favorite Tom Lehrer songs, the care she gave the cats and my brother, and the tributes from her co-workers at the FDA. It worked out to add a week in Atlanta to our plans to celebrate Elizabeth’s life with my brothers and other family members.


Sometime in the 1980’s I read Michener’s fantasy novel, The Drifters, that relates the lives of a group of youngsters that intersect in Torremolinos in the 1960s. When we decided to look for Spring in Europe, I wondered what might remain of the young free life. Our final destination would be Malaga on the Costa del Sol of Spain. First, we would explore Torremolinos and some southern points.

Here are some images to carry with me from Kuala Lumpur to Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to Atlanta. Then, a week later, Atlanta back to Amsterdam. After a day in Sloterdijk neighborhood of Amsterdam, we flew down to Malaga Airport, heading 10 km south to Torremolinos.

Our take on Torremolinos. The youngsters left and came back when they retired, like us. Many retired British and German expats here along with Spanish jubilados who find the weather less harsh in the winter.

Covid-19 concerns. Before leaving Malaysia, we were already limiting our social engagements. Getting together with my family, Wife and I used the Indian bow and greeting of Namaste, and did not touch or hug. No reason for us to take chances as we are all on in years except for my grand nephew who has just turned one. So far, so good.
We are staying indoors in Malaga Spain now during the State of Emergency. Its rainy and cold on the Costa del Sol so no big deal. We have an apartment for 4-6 weeks with several small grocery shops just up the street. Out of the little kitchen come Soups Stews, Salads, and Olive oil with fresh “pan integral”, whole wheat bread baked locally.

Kuala Lumpur Recovery

During our short stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I captured a few new views. The first two are views from Genting Highlands, a casino, hotel, and entertainment complex North of Kuala Lumpur.

 

 

 

One of the places we stayed was connected to public transport so well that several days I never touched street level.  Walking was safer with no broken sidewalk obstacles, no need to carry Umbrella during rainy season, there was a seat on the LRT for me.

Answers from previous post:

  1. Playwright: George Bernard Shaw
  2. Activist: Gandhi
  3. Saxophone: John Coltrane
  4. Beatle: George Harrison
  5. Detested Fascist: Hitler

Others can be found on Wikipedia: List of Vegetarians

A Visual Question: What is odd about this road in the Brickfields / Little India district of Kuala Lumpur?

2018-11-04 11.35.23

 

KLUnique

After six weeks in Central Asia, we moved on to Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it is known by all.  Handling family matters has brought us to Malaysia several times in the past twelve months.  This time, Daughter accompanied us, which provided a change of focus to our activities.

Malaysia in general, and Kuala Lumpur in particular are easy to navigate.  There are lots of interesting experiences and sights for tourists and travelers.  Feeling like I had exhausted the list of the places I was interested in, I looked for some unique views and experiences.  Even in this, it is hard to get away from the temples, food, and street scenes.

On this trip, I signed up on the new share bicycle service, obike.  This was the first service I have used where bicycles can be left at any public location.  All other services I have experimented with in Asia, Europe, and Mexico, located the bicycles in fixed stands.  The ride that made me proud took me on a 5 km route through the central area that could not be duplicated by car or by walking.

In previous posts, I have featured photos of the KL skyline, famous for Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Tower.  Some different perspectives provide a contrast to the usual tourist brochure.

I visited some of my favorite temples and found some new ones too.

Even after so many meals in Malaysia, there were some new adventures.

 

 

Stops Along the Way

After reuniting with Wife’s family in Tapah, Malaysia, we began what has turned out to be an epic journey in less than four weeks.  I hope a timeline helps me make some sense out of this.

Feb 14-16 Petaling Jaya, a suburban district to Kuala Lumpur.  Wife and I met up with her brother, David, and her sister, Vicki, visiting from Sydney.

Feb 17-21 Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam.  A short side trip before our return flight from Kuala Lumpur.

Feb 23-Mar 1 Malpensa Airport, Milan, Italy. Met up with Daughter and classmate on their way to and from Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria. This must be our favorite airport as we most often post from the airport’s Art exhibits.  We stayed in the city of Ferno which borders on the actual MXP runways allowing us an afternoon walk of plane spotting.

Mar 2-6 San Diego.  We flew into LAX, Los Angeles for a drive down the coast to visit Brother George and wife Gloria.  A chance to celebrate her birthday and his final chemo sessions.

Mar 7 Los Angeles. Travel Inventory Day. Last sunny day.

IMG_8355
Leaving the cloudless skies
Mar 8-11 Seattle. Home (sort of).

Mar 12 Vancouver, Canada. Lucky we planned to relax and recuperate as it was the wettest, cloudiest March on record.  Our apartment was in Metrotown section of Burnaby city, just east of Vancouver.

IMG_8409
The day without rain
Here’s the whole map courtesy of Google in case you are curious.  For simplicity, not all flights are shown.

FebMar2017

 

 

A few views of Kuala Lumpur

KL as everyone refers to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the Federal Territory.  It spreads out including other suburbs without much distinguishing the official borders.  There are new developments as the famous Twin Towers area is almost completely built up and connected via highways and mass transit.  With all of that, it seems to be friendlier to walkers compared to the first time I arrived back in 1987.  Here are a few photos that capture some of the interesting aspects from my walks.

 

 

“What hurts more, a coconut or a durian falling on your head?”

“Your head, of course (ha ha ha).”

For those who are not familiar, durians contain a sweet custardy flesh around large seeds.  It has a distinctly pungent smell reminding some authors of sitting in an outhouse.  I wonder if Joseph Conrad ate durian.

Thirty days hath highs of 34°

The lows were  25°.  If you still use the British (now abandoned) System, the daily high was 93° and a little more, and a low of 77°. A month in Malaysia with a long weekend in Jakarta with no variation in temperatures. We stayed in the heart of Kuala Lumpur near Masjid India (Indian Mosque), not the real Little India of Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, but pretty close.  I could bear the heat so enjoyed walking all over the city. I used to work here. In those days, I was driven by many interesting locations. This is the first time to really explore on foot.  Except for the oppressive heat, Kuala Lumpur has become a very walkable city.

I have lots of photos of the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur Tower. I like this one from the Thean Hou Temple:

IMG_6599.JPG

Here are three more:

Lots of good eating:

In Jakarta, we walked all over Old Town and China Town contrasting the traditional with the modern.  My photos fail to capture this essence.  For me having seen the whole humbly-jumbly cacophony, the photos remind me of what is not shown, not captured.