Picture Gallery 78

Kuala Lumpur ("KL"), Malaysia, February 2012

Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok) – super modern! Or so it seemed, until I passed through again on my way home. Transit passengers are required to go through customs and immigration, and then turn right around and go through security and passport control to leave the country. There were about six officials on duty to process thousands of passengers. I spent my entire layover (almost 3 hours) waiting in various lines. Argh!!

I spent the majority of my time at the high court in Kuala Lumpur, where I was the "expert witness" in my employer's Intellectual Property case against a Malaysian company. I learned that when this courthouse was built, the plan was that the basement would be used for parking. But then they realized that they had forgotten to plan for file storage. Oops. So they ended up using the basement for that, as well as for a dingy cafeteria to serve all of the people working and appearing at the courthouse. So parking is a nightmare. (Fortunately I didn't have to worry about that.)

The entrance to the courtroom where we spent so much time.

Inside the courtroom. I was quite fond of our attorneys by the end of the trial! What a fascinating experience. Often I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat. In the Malaysian court you address a female judge as "My Lady". When she enters or leaves the room, a bailiff pulls out her chair for her, and you stand and bow. If you leave the courtroom while the judge is still in the room, you face the judge and bow before leaving the room.

Eileen posing in the witness stand during recess.

Cupcakes on sale in the basement of the courthouse.

A view from inside the courthouse. Max noticed the shark swimming around KL....

On my first day off, a fellow witness took me to his home town of Malacca, about 90 minutes' drive from Kuala Lumpur.

New Years decorations were still up.

It was a very hot day. (Actually, every day was a very hot day, seeing as how the area is very close to the equator.) This cendol was quite refreshing. You start out with shaved ice, add kidney beans and these jelly-like "worms" made out of green pea flour and pandan leaves, and cover the whole thing with sugary syrup and coconut milk.

In Malacca we managed to catch the end of stage 2 of Le Tour de Langkawi Malaysia. It was exciting to see all those cyclists come through at like 60 km per hour.

A funny moment occurred shortly before the cyclists showed up. The crowd had been waiting excitedly for over an hour, as police had cleared the streets too far ahead of time. When this Chinaman came biking through on some errand, and the crowds were so ready to cheer and holler that they started cheering him. He took it in stride and raised his arm in a victory gesture. We all had a good laugh.

Here's a way of paying for parking that I never saw before. You buy a tablet of these sheets, use a coin to scratch off dates and times, and put them on your dashboard. Cool, huh? The problem with these is that tourists don't know about them, and they get a lot of tickets.

I wish I could tell you what building this is in the background... but I can't remember.

Malaysia’s oldest traditional Chinese temple, Cheng Hoon Teng.

Detail from Cheng Hoon Teng.

The famous Petronas towers in KL.

Another view of the twin towers.

Mee (fat noodles) with vegetables, and rice noodles with vetetables. Ate lots of noodles! I also ate a lot of fruits, including several that I'd never seen or heard of – jack fruit, rose apple, dragon fruit, and others. Speaking of food & drink, at once place I asked for a glass of water and was served warm water!

An ancient banyan tree in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. It is on this lot that is surrounded by skyscrapers and being used as a parking lot. I'm guessing the owner has been approached once or twice about selling his land....

Part of a very large, lush park, right near KL's "sentral" station. What fantastic trees!

A funny little bird in that park, and interesting flowers in the butterfly park, which was as hot and humid as a steam sauna.

A cloud formation. It rained every day, but usually only for a few hours in the late afternoon or evening.

The Kuala Lumpur monorail. Excellent but too small for rush hour. (Each train has only these two cars.) People packed themselves in like sardines, and I quickly learned to avoid public transport during rush hour.

The pool on the sixth floor of my hotel. I never saw more than six guests there at a time. It wasn't very relaxing, due to the intense traffic and blaring horns six floors below. (Malaysians don't just honk their horns now and then. They lean on them for a minute or more at the slightest provocation.) But the water felt refreshing after a day of sightseeing.

There are pockets of old neighborhoods scattered throughout the city. I took the snapshot on the left in Chinatown. And I went up in Kuala Lumpur Tower.

A view from Kuala Lumpur Tower. As you can see, KL is a very modern city with many skyscrapers.

One of my favorite buildings in KL, the Dayabumi Complex. (The one on the left is taken from KL Tower.)

Just beside KL Tower there is a small zoo, where I posed with these parrots. I don't know if you can tell, but the parrot on the right is BIG! A monster, as parrots go!

There is also a beautiful rainforest park right next to KL Tower. It is home to birds, monkeys, and (inevitably) dangerous snakes and insects.

At Aquaria you can walk through a tunnel surrounded by fish, sharks, stingrays, and coral. Pretty neat!

One of many strange creatures that can be seen at Aquaria. Look at this guy's eye!

More fish at Aquaria.

Ok, sorry about this picture, but I found the toilets a challenge. Toilet paper was often not available; you had to ask for it or take your own. Fortunately most places also had western-style toilets.

A parking structure at KL International Airport. Nicely landscaped, don't you think?