I had arrived in Kuala Lumpur just 2 nights before. On the bus down from Penang i had been talking to a teacher from Korea who was flying from KL airport the next day but hadn't had anything booked in the city, so we hopped in a taxi and made our way to the hostel I had arranged to stay at hoping that they would have room in a female dorm for her too. En route the taxi driver asked where I was from. "England" I said as this seems to get recognised easier than "UK" or "Great Britain". "And your wife, is she from Japan?“ he asked. I didn't know i had one.
At the hostel there was ample room available so checked in and split off in different directions. I grabbed a shower and a much needed shave to wake myself up after the 5 hours of travel, make my self look a little less worn and to cool off from the heat that the city itself contained . We then headed out to get some food.
Just a block away lay busy street food stalls and tables, as I walked through with my usual "no thanks"or raised "stop" hand it was interesting to see that Miji had a different tactic in play. There was little or no acknowledgement at all from her part from approaches and it worked like a charm, cutting through the usual barracking from the street sellers with hot knife like ease. Once we had chosen a place to eat the same level of control and authority was displayed when ordering food. Hand in the air and waving someone over to take our orders, there was no waiting for eye contact and you could tell that this was an environment she was comfortable in.
Over dinner I asked her about the canon camera she was using and she showed me some of the pictures she had taken over the last couple weeks including some of the art festival in Singapore that I had been told about by another traveller in Penang a couple days previously. I told her about the a77 I was using and she seemed to know a lot about it, so suddenly we had a common ground.
After food was done we walked the 20 minutes or so towards the twin patronas towers that lit the night time clouds brightly above them, stopping just the once for coffee as the rain became too heavy to ignore, ladies of the night passing regularly outside in their short brightly coloured dresses. We wandered around the base trying to get a decent night time shot, she sporting her canon, and me my htc 1x, which to its credit had performed remarkably well for a phone camera the last couple of months, and it kept up the good work capturing a couple of shots which could have almost have been used as promotional stills for Die Hard, if they had been taken 28 years earlier.
In the morning we headed off bright and early to the KL tower which stands higher than the patronas towers by virtue of being placed on a hill. It also has the advantage of having a 360 degree observation deck at the top to observe the city below. I took a few photo's of the landscape around but again found that the best photos I got were from watching my japanese wife interact with the environment and photographing her as she scoured over and captured the life that surrounded her below. I think these may be some of the best photographs that I have ever taken, a couple in particular would not look out of place in any gallery in the world. Its not a bad little camera truth be told and she was thrilled when I showed her the pictures I had captured. They are striking and pin sharp.
We spent the next couple of hours exploring a little of the city,communicating in broken English with exagerated movements and expressions. A completely different experience than i have had at any other point on my travels so far, and one of my favourites also.
After she had gone later that day to catch her plane back home I decided I had seen enough of KL. Its just another westernised city with crowded streets, busy traffic, big brand names on big flashing billboards with women walking passed you trying to meow seductively. It had been a good day but with time running short in Asia i hooked into the internet and booked a room in Melaka the following evening and set about working out how i was going to get there from the hot, sweaty sprawling metropolis that is Kuala Lumpur.