Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A tour of Kuala Lumpur

1: Chinatown by night
2: the Petronas Towers. a dashing landmark of modernity
3: The monorail - fast and with good views.
(click on a photo for a large version)

Been off the net for a week or more – unusual for me. Well, time to update my blog with photos on amazing KL – which I visited for 2.5 days , flying to Aus on the 9th and meeting the chill and dryness and sun of Noosa… first time I haven’t felt humidity in ages. A good feeling! I’m really not a tropics person, though I can take it for a while, I like to feel invigorating cold once and a while. 6 degrees in the morning here sometimes… cold for me. But quite sunny most days

KL…. A mix of Malay, Indian and Chinese quarters, great hi-tech transportation, old buildings right next to supermodern hi-rised ones. I walked around, sampled the night life t the beach club, bought and MP4 (small video) player at Imbi plaza, the electronics shopping center. I stayed in Chinatown, with food stalls on the street, steam rising from them, chinese signing and so on.

I feel a certain affinity or admiration with the hardworking, thrifty, sharp-minded, business-savvy, slightly hard-edged chinese - In another life, I was born in Hong Kong, my father a white Jardine executive (Jardine Matheson corporation – see James Clavell’s Taipan), my mother a beautiful Chinese escort lady. I grew up in Chinatown, practised martial arts at a rusty old gym with local Chinese and a wizened old master who always seemed to beat me, spoke Cantonese and navigated fluently from white culture to Chinese culture, though never fully Chinese. As I grew older, I went into business and went beyond my modest origins as an international businessman, with my base in Hong Kong, and an edge over the over-pampered Harvard graduates who I did business with, who were not always very street-savvy. Once in a whil, I would return to the quarter where I was born and sip green tea with old friends.
Mmmm gotta visit Hong Kong sooner or later – the land of laissez-faire capitalism, with a flat tax for everyone of 15%. One that even Kerry Packer couldn’t slip out of.

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