Sunday, July 28, 2013
"Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one, and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made of tricky tacky
And they all look just the same."
This protest song was written in 1962 by Malvinia Reynolds, a social activist. When I look out my window from the twenty second floor here in Mont Kiara, Kula Lumpur , this song rings true. There are high rise building after high rise building! From my vantage view I can also see that most blocks use either their roof or some other part of their building for a swimming pool which is absolutely essential in this heat.
There is nothing I love more at night than opening the lovely big sliding doors of the lounge and to try and take in the magnificent sight of all the twinkling lights coming from the various "little boxes". My mind then begins to wander and I start thinking about the people who live in all these thousands of little boxes!
Originally K.L. Was a collection of Kampung which is a Malaysian village or hamlet. Most of them have been lost to development and I am pretty sure this last bastion of traditional life for Malaysians in the city won't last too many more years. While watching, one can see that the kampung is pretty much self contained with little shops and eating houses. As it is the month of Ramadan all Muslims fast during the day so many of the temporary eating places only set up in the evenings.
Umbrellas go up, tables are unfolded and the Mamas start cooking. Many years ago when I first came here I asked a shop keeper if she knew of any quilting guilds and her answer was that Malaysia is a nation of eaters not sewers! She has proved to be so right. One can eat on any corner, down lanes, nooks and crannys.
Delicious food is obtainable for a few ringgit all over the place. This month of fasting must be very difficult for Malaysians and a real sacrifice. The second interesting face that I read is that in a survey done, eighty per cent of Malaysians said their most favorite thing to do for their holidays is shop.
I don't think it means spending vast amounts of money but going to the malls is so popular. Saturday's and Sundays it is so difficult to find parking in the various malls as every one is taking full advantage of these air conditioned havens. I LOVE to walk around the malls too and to people watch.