Saturday, October 16, 2004

KL: in India?

Last night, I dreamt that I was in India. My hotel room was facing this massive Hindu temple - gods and goddess in elaborate poses and colours. Looking down, I could watch the busy streetlife: the loud vendors, rushing passer-bys, the congested traffic, the noise, the smells - all were vivid. I wanted to take a couple of photos of the people but whenever I raised the camera up, I was met with angry stares.

I think my dream was influenced by the fact that I am currently staying in Brickfields for the weekend. There is a very significant proportion of Indians living here that it's become a stereotype - "you're Indian? Do you live in Brickfields?". For the Indian food lover, it's a delight although I must say that Indian food in KL so far have disappointed me. Maybe it's not my weekend for Indian food. The idli for breakfast was good though but the teh tarik was 99.99% condensed milk. One-quarter of the drink was all I could manage before giving up. Sheila, on the other hand, barely touched hers. I should have done the same thing.

Last night, I was feeling the effects of the extremely greasy thosai, and was rolling around in agony in Sheila's couch. It turns out that they had given me ghee thosai, instead of the plain thosai that I had specified. It's as awful as one could imagine, possibly worse. Basically, they pour ghee over the thosai. And apparently, people eat it.

Actually, it hasn't been that bad for Indian food this weekend. Sheila made this great bajji for dinner. How do I describe it? It's like Indian stew made mostly of eggplants and tomatoes. You boil it until the consistency is similar to stew. She also added red and green peppers, and a combination of previously stir-fried mustard seeds, red onions, and curry leaves. We also had stir-fried greens (bak choy?) and potato curry.

Gee, I know I said something in the previous entry about not spending too much time in cyber cafes but I still have two hours to kill before meeting up with Joyce and I'm so bored of the malls. Yup, I've said it. I guess right now, shopping in KL isn't as appealing as it was before. I'm just focused on my trip to Bali right now, and KL is just a stop-over for the weekend. I am looking forward to tonight however.

I am repacking again before I leave for Bali. Sheila took one look at my backpack, sighed and said, "Cayce, why don't you just leave most of your stuff here and buy what you need in Bali?" And she's right. I really don't need some of the clothes I had brought. So I'm leaving a few things behind. But I think in general, my backpack is heavy as it is and it doesn't seem to help much leaving a couple of tees behind. I'm contemplating leaving my shoes, and just wearing my sandals but what if I wanted to do some trekking? I thought about leaving my sarong since I'm heading over to Sarongland but my sarong is kinda like my security blanket. Like shoes, you have to break in new sarongs before they get really comfortable. I think i'd take my sarong with me.

I was telling Sheila, and her bf, C. about my new colleagues, one of which Marita describes an unsettling encounter with him here. Unfortunately, I had reverted to blogspeak, and actually said SAPPY. So immediately, they wanted to know what he was like. Sometimes I get really confused, and I don't really answer questions properly so I told them what Marita told me - that women in the rural areas love him because he always helps out in the cooking and cleaning, instead of sitting back like most lazy biologists. I didn't mean to imply that because of this, he's called Sappy but C. gave me a rough time exclaiming that he too, must be sappy because he's not a neaderthal. I know he's just bantering with me but part of me still feels bad and I'd try to placate him but he pretends that he's very offended. We both know it's just an act but aahhh, I still feel bad! Sheila told me reflectedly, "out of all my friends, he seems to give you a bad time the most". But it's all good because I genuinely like C. and I think they're a great couple. And anyway, in that context, it's not bad to be a "sappy male". Women love 'em.

But anyway, the reason why I brought Sappy up was because I wanted to recount a conversation I had with him. He had asked us whether we had read "Zen and Motorcycle".

"You mean, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig" I countered.

"Cayce," he exclaimed, "I'm surprised! You don't look like the type to read this kind of books."

"WHAT??!!??" I spluttered, "do I look like a bimbo to you??"

Crazy guy. I'm rather miffed. I'm not sure what first impressions I give out to people but I didn't think I gave out vibes that indicate I don't read books, or rather philosophical books. Who knows. But sheesh, at least I got the name of the book right, including the author - instead of "Zen and Motorcycle".

That's right - there's more than meets the eye with Cayce. She's a lot smarter/deeper than you think. (I think)

I'm really liking the new colleagues - they're all genuinely nice. Actually, everyone in the office is very nice, which worried me because, as I asked Marita with concern, "does that make me the office bitch?"

(because you know, in every office, there are stereotypes, and I always think that I could be a better person, and I've noticed that I can get pretty intense in the office compared to most of my colleagues - I think my boss is right, I can have black-&-white views on certain issues)

I noticed that she didn't give me a straight answer, and came up with a joke, "what about me?" (yeah right!)

I had wanted to do more touristy stuff (like visit a museum) in KL today instead of the BB crawl but like a homing pigeon, I found myself at the BB area, about over four hours early before I was supposed to meet Joyce. Most of the stores were closed and I found myself wandering aimlessly, looking so much like a lost tourist. (I have my cap on too)

And even when they were finally opened, I had no interest of window-shopping. I spent most of my time in the MPH bookstore, and that was good. (that would show Sappy - hah!)

I was in YMCA earlier and it's looking pretty good. If I were staying in KL, I'd be taking part in some of their activities. They have classes like capoeira and scottish dancing. SCOTTISH DANCING?? The idea of Asians doing scottish dancing seems hilarious - sign me up for a class or two! Rooms there cost RM66 per night and the locale is pretty good. Well, aside from the fact that it's just next to a red light district. During the day, it's pretty safe to walk around. It's only a few minutes away from the monorail and KL Sentral, which of course, takes you everywhere from the airport, to BB area (I need to stop mentioning shopping complexes in my blog - no wonder Sappy thinks that I'm a bimbo) and others. And of course, since the YMCA is in Brickfields, there are tons of Indian restaurants around.

Just make sure you enunciate "plain thosai" properly.



7 Comments:

At 8:17 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Glad to hear it's not just me who always ends up around the BB Plaza!

 
At 8:57 PM, Blogger mac said...

What is the draw of that particular quarter in KL you wonder....Honestly, there are nicer places in KL.

As a college student, the BB area was like a second home. I spent several thousand hours there (and possibly several thousand ringgit too) doing not very much at all.

I miss it.

Have a good time in Bali. Don't forget to write !

 
At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 11:23 AM, Blogger sativa said...

Wow. Looks like you're having fun already (watching a play and see Shelley Leong performed live!) and being well fed by Sheila and all that :) Send my regards to Sheila!

Have fun in Bali!

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger Dee M said...

I think people's first impression of me also is not that good.Oh well,heheh..never judge a book by its cover they say.So,have a good time,don't you dare think of work!:p

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger Bertha said...

Heh. When I'm in KL (which isn't very often), I just stick to the BB area. And there was that one time with the Bartender and another friend in Bangsar. That's it! LOL

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger cabiria said...

I have a teory about ending up in BB. It works for me. It's central enough, lrt and monorail all around. Good shopping. Pubbing opps of all types and styles. And since I don't drive, whenever I need any of the previous, I also end up in BB...

By the way Cayce, didn't reply your sms cause I'm not sure you're getting them in Bali, but no worries about not meeting up on sunday. Yes it would be cool to meet up again whan you are back in KL en route to Kuching, but if it doesn't work, I'll make sure I mail you the KLue with the Gavin Yap piece!

 

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