Kuala Lumpur is a city similar to Singapore but with a more Middle Eastern influence. The climate is uncomfortably hot which results in a culture centered around shopping malls and indoor activities. You go from your air conditioned house to car to mall all while limiting your exposure to “outside”. In all, Kuala Lumpur would rank among our least favourite travel destinations. This isn’t to denigrate Malaysians in anyway; they’re warm and polite people.
It was the last evening in Kuala Lumpur. We were tired and sweaty from the humid, hot air. The sky looked as though we were on the precipice of a thunderstorm. Wondering aimlessly, we walked right past a live musician playing a Chinese harp in an interesting looking restaurant. The music was peaceful, exotic and beckoning. We were drawn to the entrance of the restaurant and were promptly seated next to the musician. Immediately our orneriness dissipated. The music was just the perfect sound level and a wonderful hum of ambient conversation aided in its delivery. The interior lighting was a warm, red hue. Suddenly, to compliment everything already present, cool rain began falling, cutting through the high humidity like a sharp knife. What started as a sprinkle quickly became a downpour with pedestrians racing for cover. A brisk, pleasant breeze could be felt on our skin. The calming sound of falling rain on the pitched roof made us feel like this was the place we were supposed to be; nicely and safely tucked away in a big, busy city. The wet street reflected warm light from the surrounding buildings. Cars driving by whipped up water which made for soothing background noise. The decor of the restaurant was ornate and Chinese inspired with pink flowers wrapping around the railing of the restaurant. Looking across the table, Alayna was particularly beautiful; her classy appearance fitting in perfectly with the setting.
Both being taken aback by how quickly our attitudes and the atmosphere had changed, we decided to make an event of it. We splurged and ordered their expensive four course taster meal. We used gift money from our family to settle the tab. Our waiter had a genuine smile and seemed to love his job. As if bringing us our meals brought him immense pleasure. He took his time to explain each of the exotic dishes: Scallop with soya glaze, prawn yam roll, mango salad, fern leaf salad, curry spaghetti, beef rendang, cream butter prawns, Norwegian salmon, lotus leaf bun, poppy seed rice, and pineapple crumble for desert. As we enjoyed our meals and shared that experience, we felt a wonderful harmony and ambiance. In this giant world and all the footsteps that made up our trip so far, we were in the exact spot we needed to be. It was a refreshing change from the previous four days. It was totally unexpected and that was part of its charm. Maybe those are the “moments” that all the cheesy ‘Live in the moment’ signs are referring to.