Tuesday, 29 October 2013

I Love KL! But...

This year marks the 17th anniversary that I have lived in Kuala Lumpur.

17 years! If you deduct the number of years spent away for work related moves and travels, it will still round up to about 14 years. 
Inspired by a post by Joanna Goddard in A Cup of Jo, I will list some of the unglamorous things I find about living in KL (in no cute cartoons or photographs though):
1. The taxis do not use meter most of the time.
Despite the warning and sticker on taxi windows that prohibits haggling and negotiating for rate per journey. Once, my ex-colleague at PETRONAS tried taking a taxi to my old flat to bring some files so that I could work from home. The taxi driver told her it would cost her RM20.00 one way. For less than one kilometre! She ended up walking in the hot humid afternoon sun to my old flat, and back!  
2. Hot and humid.
All the time. 35C seems to be the average nowadays. Except when there is a thunderstorm. Then it floods. Despite the SMART tunnel.
3. Tolled roads and tunnels.
To get to anywhere outside the city, in avoiding the traffic jam, especially during a thunderstorm, I take one of the many highways. Hefty toll to be paid. That, or sit in the traffic jam. For hours. Burning petrol.
4. Friday gridlock at Tun Razak/Ampang.
We avoid driving out on Friday at or after 12 noon until 9 pm, except for quick school run at 3pm. Bad manners from drivers jumping the amber and red lights, ignoring the yellow box completely usually result in gridlock at the busy city interchange. Traffic police when they appear to man the traffic, is often just quite ineffective/pointless.
5. Traffic jam whenever there is a thunderstorm.
Usually happens in the evening, just as gazillions of office workers driving to head home, it pours. Cats and dogs, torrential. Blinding the driver behind his/her wheel. End result: Crawl.
6. Haze.
Strikes at every hot and dry season around May-July. Slash and burn at plantations in Sumatera, wind then blows those thick smog to Malaysia and Singapore. Burnt smells, watery eyes, dust everywhere.
7. MRT projects.
Being constructed to ease future traffic burdens. Construction sites aplenty on every major road. End result: more traffic jam.
8. KLCC.
I live within walking distance to KLCC. And yet, I have lost direct view of the PETRONAS Twin Towers and the KLCC Park. Every inch right in front of the landmark is being filled with more high-rise buildings. It is depressing that we soon have to say bye-bye to the water fountain view.
9. Potholes.
The council tars the roads very often, and pot holes magically appear almost overnight.
10. Sale.
I used to anticipate the sale and discounts for clothes, shoes and bags. Now, I just do not bother anymore. There is a sale on almost every weekend. I just shop whenever I need to (like a man too - lock target, try it on, pay, exit), as opposed to waiting for a sale. Having 2 kids truly changed my stamina in looking for best buys. 

11. Snatch thiefs
My handbag was snatched in the early days of living in this city at Medan Damansara. The avenue where I currently live is still on red alert, and we have police beat base on top of private security and guard dogs. The House was robbed and has scarred us for life.
Despite all that, I love KL!
Maybe it is a love-hate relationship.
I love that there is a tiny, private, green lung on my tree lined street.

I love that a new Starbucks is just a walk away.

I love that the sale is on so often that I get discounts almost all the time without having to wait too long.

I love that I can check into a 5-star hotel across the park and look at my own flat.

I love that my FIL played a major role in building of KLCC and we now have a landmark for Malaysia.

I love that there are more days of clear skies and sunshine than days filled with haze.

I love that the grocers in the city are well-stocked, enabling me to try cooking many types of different foods.

I love that there are so many restaurants and cafes serving international cuisines, and we can eat out whenever I do not feel like cooking.

I love that there are many international schools close to home.

I love that I miss home even when I am away for just one night.

I love that there are even more things I love about this city than I can possibly list! 
Which city do you live in? Do you have a love-hate relationship with your city too?


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