If you have 18 hours in: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

sketchy part of Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

– spend 2 hours running after your friend (literally running, dodging and weaving through crowds of late-night shopping families and groups of Malaysian adolescents, and belatedly hoping that no one thinks you’re a purse-snatcher because getting arrested in Malaysia is not on your list of things to do today) around the malls (of which there are many more than one would have thought necessary for any one country, let alone one city) looking for a camera accessory that no one has and that you were pretty sure wouldn’t be available in stores yet anyway.

KL noodles

Noodles from a street vendor for dinner.

– spend 2 hours eating (dinner and breakfast).

– spend 8 hours sleeping in a cockroach hotel (there was a cockroach scurrying across the blankets on the bed when we checked in, and I’m not sure what happened/who was brutally murdered in the shower before we got there, but it was not properly cleaned afterward. Don’t be deceived by the pleasant-looking exterior- Hotel Mexico is not a good choice).

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Lanterns in the street outside our hotel.

– spend 2 hours checking email and Facebook (priorities, and confirmation that those you left behind on the other side of the world do in fact still exist).

– spend 4 hours semi-patiently waiting, in transit to and from the airport, and for a departing flight to Thailand.

Max catching flies

Despite what he might tell you, Max does in fact sleep on airplanes.

– spend at least 3.5 hours of transit and time waiting for flight to Thailand wondering: what the city of Kuala Lumpur is actually like; what it would be like to live here; why people live here; at the differences between Kathmandu, Nepal (where we had just been trekking) and KL; when I can go back to the Himalayas and see a yak; what Thailand will be like; what everyone is doing at home; how best to take a sneaky picture of Max sleeping in his seat with his mouth gaping open catching flies; wondering when you can next take a real shower and wear freshly laundered clothes.

– spend the remaining 1/2 hour waiting in line for the restroom, at least twice. 1 minute spend taking care of business, 29 minutes trying not to gag at the condition of the squatty potty.

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