It’s amazing how quickly I could tell a difference in the friendliness of the people as soon as I stepped off the plane in Kuala Lumpur! Everyone from the Malaysia Air flight attendants to the immigration agent to the people at my hotel in KL were all so friendly and welcoming.
Landing a bit late, I was worried I’d miss my pre-arranged hotel pick up, but immigration and customs was super easy and since I’d checked my bags all the way through to Kathmandu and didn’t need to wait for them, it was easy to find my driver. The most hilarious thing was we’d arranged a few months ago to meet next to the Dunkin Donuts stand, and sure enough, there it was – a little bit of home right next to the baggage claim!
My driver was a bit quiet, and I slightly worried for a second about getting in the shuttle alone with him, even though he was scrawny, wearing a hotel shirt and the van was clearly marked with the hotel’s name (hey, after the Shanghai scammer debacle I’m a bit jumpy!) However, as soon as we got in, he started sing along with Taylor Swift on the radio, LOUDLY. I figured at that point the chances of him being a murderer or a rapist were slim to none.
The hotel I chose was called youniQ, a trendy, off-beat and clean one near the airport that costs half as much as the one actually inside the airport, perfect for my quick overnight layover. The workers were all super friendly and it even had some coffee and toast in the lobby in the morning. This was when I discovered kaya, which is apparently a fruit curd made from coconut milk, sugar and eggs. It is unbelievably delicious on toast and I’m pretty sure it has crack in it, it is so addictive.
On the shuttle ride to the airport, I caught a gorgeous sunrise over the large groves of palm trees and have decided that someday I’ll return to Malaysia for a proper visit. The people are far too nice and the weather was far too lovely to not come back and explore it further. If only so I can have more kaya…
I’m now 40 minutes from landing in Kathmandu, where I’m meeting up with my childhood friend Kayla for two weeks of trekking in the Himalayas. I’m feeling blissed and looking forward to the companionship of an old friend.