Tim's Blog

Arrived in Kuala Lumpur
Always called KL by the locals, Kuala Lumpur's main international airport, the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) is about an hour away on coach from the city centre. The airport was designed for grandeur and the size of it is so huge that newcomers are often heard saying how quiet and empty it is especially compared to compact places like Heathrow. Although Heathrow probably has more flights going through it, the gargantuan spread of KLIA offers the illusion that it is sparsely populated.

Surrounding the airport are miles and miles of palm oil plantations on low-lying hills. The airport is to the southeast of the city. Between them is the newly erected government administrative centre known as Puduraya and the famous F1 sports rally that has people like Michael Schumacher coming to town. Sunway, where Wolf lives and where I'll be staying for a short while is a satellite town of Kuala Lumpur that lies about half and hour out of the city to the south.

Wolf wasn't in so I camped outside his apartment. He lives in an area called the Subang Damai apartments. It is a cheap collection of poorly=maintained high-rises where a lot domestic immigrants from the rural areas come to stay. In many cities, these might be called the slums. But a lot of families make their home here and have contributed to a "kampung" (a rural village atmosphere) despite the dank appearance.

I was initially surprised when a pair of Malay sisters saw me waiting outside the apartment and took me in and offered me tea. They let me make a phone call to Min, the ex-girlfriend of Wolf who sent Victor another mutual friend to come pick me up. It was then that I realised that it is the sense of hospitality that you find in Malaysia's rural communities that I was witnessing. The city-types that you are more likely to encounter tend to be extremely suspicious of strangers.

Victor came at about 8pm and we met Wolf. Wolf has been really down and out. He lost Min, his long-time girl-friend, he lost the money I lent him, he lost his band and whatever was left of his self-confidence. His apartment has no electricity so I'm writing this from an internet cafe in a district of Sunway called Section 15. Worse of all, he has no prospects.

I shall have to start making calls tomorrow to see which of my old contacts can put me in touch with a job. I've got people in Ogilvy and Mather, Bates, DDB and Leo Burnett. Senior copywriters are always sought after.

posted at 11:16:09 PM on 06/23/2001 by timyang - Category: General


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