Sunday, March 13, 2011

What I was doing two weeks ago today (8)

After 8 full days in a place, and with the flight home starting to loom... the appetite for exploration and sightseeing dwindles... and you just want to sit at a pavement table in front of one of the ubiquitous 'food court'-type open restaurants, idling away your remaining hours, trying to pump beer-fluids into your system as quickly as the tropical heat sweats them out of you.

My Beijing drinking pal Ruby, who'd joined me for this second weekend, had spotted a little Chinese place (well, it had a Chinese menu, but the staff all seemed to be Malays) on a sidestreet just off Chinatown's main street market strip of Jln. Petaling which was advertising - narrowly - the cheapest beers we could find anywhere in the city: 14 ringgit for big bottles of Tiger, and a 'special offer' of only 13 ringgit on a brand I'd never heard of before, Anchor (a slightly darker style than the typical lagers down there, but not very engaging; no idea who makes it - it doesn't seem to have anything to do with San Francisco's famous 'Anchor Steam Beer').  We spent much of the afternoon getting mildly toasted there - and occasionally trying out snacky options like their satay and their salt & pepper pork ribs (although we passed up their intriguing/horrifying 'marmite spare ribs'!).

Fine times.

[For a city where the Chinese-descended population forms the largest ethnic segment - well over 40% - KL has a surprisingly tiny 'Chinatown', only one small block. I imagine the reason is that the Chinese were always so numerous here that they were never ghettoized, but are widely distributed throughout the city - and the 'Chinatown' district may be quite a recent development, perhaps cynically targeted at tourists. The 'Little India', focused on the Masjid Jamek mosque and a number of small Hindu temples, feels like a much more authentic community.]

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