I Left My Heart In Petaling Jaya

Petaling Jaya is an area about 10 km from Kuala Lumpur, with a pretty hilly landscape, but relatively developed, with high-rise buildings dotting the landscape, but not as closely packed as central Kuala Lumpur. This area is where my company’s office in KL resides, and also where the hotel that I stayed at, the Eastin Hotel.

It’s a pretty decent hotel, nice facilities and all, and since I was booked into the executive rooms, there was complementary use of broadband internet and swimming pool (well, I only got to use the internet, as it is my primary food group). But then I realized, after passing through Central KL, there’s the upscale Westin Hotel.. urm, as opposed to the Eastin hotel. Well, names aside, it got me thinking twice about the hotel. Well, anyway, the hotel was good, the staff were nice, although they couldn’t exchange rupiah to ringgit, forcing me to spend the first 2 days with only about RM 180 in my wallet (that’s about USD 47 or Rp 400.000).

I did not manage to reach the hotel until well into Tuesday night, however, because I was stuck in meetings then a late dinner. I checked in, went to my room, and attempted to connect to the internet, while sorting out my stuff. I only managed to log on close to midnight, as there was a verification page first before logging on to the hotel network, and that page took ages to load. So after a bath and change, and watching useless TV, I made my last post, before turning in.

I started our early the next day to catch up on my emails, before going down for the complimentary breakfast. I stayed at the hotel with my associate from HK, so we had breakfast together. The funny thing is, I came to KL with some of my better shirts, and also my unique homemade suit denim jacket (Mommy dearest made it a couple of years back).. and this guy from HK, who technically is my boss, and I assumed to be older… looked like a kid (not that I don’t look like a kid) and wore t-shirts to the office. This always happens to me. When I started my previous job, I always wore these ultra-neat shirts, occasionally with a tie, when everybody else was wearing standard day-to-day clothing like t-shirts, jeans, sneakers etc. It just never felt right going to the office without at least some degree of neatness, so I always go to the office with casual shirts. And there goes my boss in his t-shirt.

Anyway, Wednesday was also filled with meetings here and there, punctuated with lunch at a restaurant called Madame Kwan’s, in an upscale area called Bansar. The food was pretty good, some tasting relatively familiar, as most Malaysian food is similar to some traditional Sumatra food in Indonesia. The thing that surprised me was if in Indonesia, girls would eat only half a portion of rice and be satisfied, in KL they’d eat 1.5 times the amount and never think it was too much; another thing is that KL folk (like Singaporeans), if they have had enough to eat, they would leave any leftovers just like that, without any qualms of unfinished food. Compare to Jakarta, where virtually everybody finishes their meal, the portions are smaller, and food going to waste is generally frowned upon.

After going back to the office, and having good chats with everybody, I went back to the hotel, as I had a 6.30 appointment for dinner with a couple of other friends, people I knew from previous projects, but never had the chance to meet. They took me out to a Mediterranean restaurant still in the Petaling Jaya area; the food was fabulous! Except for the liver pate. Ugh, I hate liver. The rest of the food was great, especially dessert…

Afterwards, they took me for a drive around KL, so I could sightsee and take the tourist-standard photo of the KLCC (also known as the Petronas Towers). I’ll spare you most of my pictures in KL, just this one would suffice as representative.

The next morning, I got up early, finished some work due to be sent to the Jakarta office, and finally went to the one place I had been wanting to go to since I arrived: IKEA!

It’s not that I am a big IKEA fan, but I always find they have well-designed products at relatively cheap prices, so off I went… and browsed there for about 2 hours, before I finally got together a couple of things to buy, either for myself or some friends back home. Unfortunately, I did not manage to take any pictures.

The bummer of the trip back to the hotel was, it was really hard looking for a taxi, and all you could do was wait around in a designated taxi zone… I tried walking to the main road and getting a cab there, but it didn’t look like standard procedure there, and I didn’t want to get into trouble or anything for getting a cab. Finally I got a cab, almost missing my check-out time at the hotel, so after some quick packing, I checked out and headed straight for the airport for another appointment.

I have to tell you, KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is one of the best airports I’ve been in, design-wise and function wise. But well, I haven’t been in to many other airports anyway…

Anyway, I had another meeting with someone who works at KLIA, and we chatted on work and anything else till it was time for me to board…

I have to say, everything that the Lebaran holiday didn’t give me, I think I got during this supposed work trip… feeling much more refreshed, I have a lot of ideas to expand the business I’m in charge of… and, I guess I can’t complain about the opportunity that I had going overseas, which a lot of people do not have.

Now, you know what I’m thinking? KL is a nice place to live.

About barijoe

Failed Musician, Reformed Gadget Freak and Eating Extraordinaire.

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