It was planned to be a short stopover….at the end we got stuck in Kuala Lumpur (KL) for more than three weeks. So, what happened….
Heading more south to Malaysia and therefore taking a plane to KL leads to the decision to stay some days and explore the modern Malaysian capital. We did some research in advance for volunteering but when starting in Vietnam there was no option so far. After arriving in KL things change and we get the possibility to stay and help at the “yellow house”, a project offering support and help for homeless people and refugees.
But first we want to explore the city. Accommodation is not that cheap in KL and it’s hard to find a good value for price so we checked out Airbnb and were lucky to find Hafiz place. This nice and welcoming Malaysian guy offers a room for people and we are more than impressed about the well and lovely prepared room. His flat is part of a so called “condo”. These kind of living is very common here. There are a lot of flats in one main building, which is not that special, but most of these “condos” have additional facilities like swimming pool, gym and sometimes even small supermarkets or restaurants. The swimming pool with amazing view on KL skyline and the well-equipped gym belonging to Hafiz place are open for us too. A quite luxury place and not expensive at all. It’s the place from where we start our first city tours with general sightseeing including the national mosque and the famous Petronas Towers.
Unfortunately, KL is not very pedestrian friendly. Just a short walk can become somewhat challenging when crossing big streets or big construction places. It’s seems nobody really does it, just expats like us, that don’t know better. Most people go by car, traffic can get really bad.
Sometimes KL seems to consist only of shopping malls. You leave the monorail and you are directly inside one of these gigantic consumption places while the next one is just behind it. Crazy and sometimes really tiring, but also welcome when there’s no vegetarian restaurant all around. We don’t want to make our backpacks even heavier so we don’t go for shopping a lot, but nevertheless there seems to be no escape….
After four days staying with Hafiz we move to the Yellow house in another part of KL. Many malay and people with indian roots are living around this place, so there is Tamil language again and that remembers us on our stay in southern India. Expats are less and on the nearby night market people seem quite surprised about us.
Usually there are regular projects at the Yellow House including cooking and free haircut for the homeless, helping at a nearby refugee school and an animal shelter. But because of holydays and just Seven and me being the actual volunteers some things cannot be done. We use the time to take care for the place and the house, that was all made out of plastic and other garbage. Seven installs air ventilation in some rooms and builds a supporting system for the pipe in the backyard out of concrete. I clean up the place and care for the dogs and the cat cooking their food, a mixture made out of rice and meat. We also spend some time distributing information papers about dogs and cats in the shelter to find possible caretaker or people who maybe want to adopt one and I join the movie afternoon at the refugee school once to prepare popcorn for the kids. They are so grateful and lovely. Three Chinese girls are staying at the yellow house too and we have a lot of fun doing crossfit and yoga together. After one week we feel that it’s time to leave and head up to the next project. We decided to join a yoga class offered by an instructor with very interesting CV and at the end Dr. Dhillip Kumar is really an impressive guy. Indian roots, a lot of yoga experience, working as a psychotherapist too and as we find out also the yoga teacher of the Malaysian king and his family.
After the yoga class he invites us to have lunch together and we have a nice chat with lots of recommendations for yoga practice and schools in India.
Before we start volunteering again we spend a few days in a hostel because unfortunately Hafiz place is not available again and visit some more places we had on our to do list but didn’t check out so far, for example the KL tower having a drink in one of the bars on floor 57 together with Alida and Johannes, a nice German couple, the botanical garden and the remaining parts of the rain-forest.
Now we move to Minut Init (http://minuinit.com), an art gallery In KL supporting local artists. Seven is helping with their website and we are staying for one week, sleeping on the floor inside the exhibition room. People are easy going and time follows other rules here. Sometimes it feels a bit like a youth club. 🙂
Its different places and different people we met in KL and so time was passing by so fast. Three and a half week, but now we enter the bus to Singapore!