Kuala Lumpur and a hidden gem

KL, like the locals are calling it, is Malaysia’s capital city. Everyone who is travelling through the country will certainly make a stop here at some point. The Twin Towers and Batu Caves are two of the most visited attractions that you must take a selfie next to if you want to follow the tourist trail. Yes, it was something we did too, while trying our best to hide the drops of sweat that were continuously rolling down from our foreheads in the insistent humidity. Other than that, there isn’t that much to see here if you’re asking for our opinion. There is a lack of interesting buildings or anything with historical value and the city can seem a bit bland and colourless if you are not open minded enough. Luckily, we met a guy at our hostel who took us to one of KLs hidden gems, “The village within the city”. Imagine a small traditional Malay village with small wooden bungalows, cats running wild, coconut palms, banana trees and narrow streets where the kids are playing, completely surrounded by skyscrapers looking down at it all. The ‘villagers’ here are currently fighting (despite being offered large sums of money) to stop their homes from being destroyed to make way for more office buildings, hotels, shopping centres or whatever else it might be. Amazing isn’t it, you wouldn’t know this place even existed unless you hear about it from a local, most of the traffic and tourists just pass around it without ever knowing that it is there. This is also the place where you can get the city’s best fruit juice. No, we are not selling it to you like a guide-book, we have experienced it, by chance. It happened when we stopped to ask for direction and the owner, Fauzi Bin Ismail, a 57-year-old electrician by day and juice maker by night, invited us in to what looked like a very simple place that wouldn’t have caught our eye if walked passed it. Fauzi did not ask for a single penny when he sat us down and prepared freshly made watermelon juice for us, he just wanted to talk to us. He said to us “I love communicating with people, everyone, from all around the world”, laughed, lit a new cigarette and added that communication is his passion in life. This was definitely our best spent hours in KL and thanks to our hostel friend and Fauzi, the city didn’t end up being so bland and colourless after all.

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