Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur is one of the strangest cities I have ever been to.  Half the time, I couldn’t figure out where on earth I was.  The Islamic culture combined with conspicuous wealth reminded me of some oil-rich country in the Middle East.  But then around the corner is a Hindu shrine, and you think you’re in India.  We stayed in Chinatown.  Look up and you see some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.  Look down and you see people without homes sleeping on the sidewalk.  I declare that this place makes no sense!  But that’s why it’s interesting.  This is the view from the rooftop of our hotel.  Let’s be honest, it’s more like a hostel.  Let me tell you, this place really puts the “s” in “hotel.”  Had I been aware of the male and female shared bathroom situation when I booked our room, I might have chosen to stay elsewhere.  The free “breakfast,” which was toast your own white bread and do your own dishes, did not earn the establishment any extra points.

We spent only one full day in the city, so we tried to make the most of it.  We began the morning at Lake Gardens, a beautiful collection of several parks and museums.  The butterflies were ready for their close-ups.

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Just down the road, on another part of the campus…

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Whatchoo lookin’ at, bird brain?  This guy almost took my waffle with peanut butter and chocolate right out of my hands.  As I’d had to eat like a bird at breakfast that morning, I was in no mood for sharing.  Don’t ruffle my feathers.

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Hey red bird, I like your fly style.

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The royal peacock, king of the birds.  Or is it just a turkey wearing fancy clothes?  Think about it.

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I don’t totally understand what this is, but I like it.

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We ate a rather decadent lunch at the Islamic Arts Museum and viewed a couple of the exhibits.  The small-scale models of famous mosques from around the world were amazing designs in and of themselves.  However, not having much prior knowledge about Islam, some of the explanations of the history and philosophy behind the art objects went over my head.

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It probably would have helped to go to the National Mosque before the museum to get some background information.  I took this picture while we were waiting to go inside.  Tourists are allowed into the mosque only during designated times.

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A conservative dress code is strictly enforced.  Our full-length sarongs came in handy, and Natalia’s hood was allowed to count as a hijab.  I wrapped my scarf over my head.  Visitors who are not dressed properly must borrow a purple robe, plus a black hijab for women.

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Only Muslims are permitted inside the prayer hall.

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The mix of Islamic architecture and modern skyscrapers creates a dynamic cityscape.

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The pinnacle of our time in Kuala Lumpur was having a sunset cocktail at the Traders Hotel Skybar with a view of the Petronas Towers.

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Although they are no longer the tallest buildings in the world, they are still the tallest twin towers.

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Natalia was super excited about the view of the city.  We had photo shoots during all stages of the sunset.

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I had fun figuring out all of the different ways to edit the pictures later on.

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The height of the towers was even more impressive from the ground level.  Soon it was time to go, because we had to rise early the next morning to get back to the airport.  My alarm was set for the ghastly hour of 3:40 AM.  (That would be perfect if you’re on my dad’s schedule.)


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