The stories you hear. Schapelle Corby, an Australian girl, narrowly escaped the death penalty. She’s still in Kerobakan serving her 20 years after they found cannabis in her boogie board bag. Her defense lawyers claim it was planted. I shuffle past immigration security carrying Schapelle’s story and my surfboard bag bundled in five rolls of heavy duty red and black duct tape. Please remember, Drug possession means Death.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport was our home for just one night. A hotel connected to one of the worlds busiest airports via umbilical can give you a weird sense of freedom. One thousand destinations just through the lobby. We study the Noodle soup map of greater Kuala Lumpur’s connecting concrete, eager to swallow another large gulp of Asia in the 20 hours we have. Beautiful silver leafed 50 Ringgit notes flick out the ATM. Blue flower money. Blue silver-laced flower money to buy you peace and palm oil rainbows and imported handbags. The morning starts with some mental gymnastics converting Malaysian Ringgit to Indonesian Rupia to American Greenback to South African Lions & Rhinos.
Petronis Twin Towers are an oriental hive standing at 453 meters. The twisted nest a centerpiece of thriving wet jungle kingdom. A Sungei Wang river (literally, River of Money) runs through the first 6 floors. An inner cocoon of luxury brands swarming with queen bee’s of commerce. Full lipped Asian cougars pampered and pretty fly goods through the hallways in specially designed nectar pouches from Vuitton and Jimmy. It’s called “Luxury & The Rise of Asia.” I remember that episode on Bloomberg. I’m much more impressed standing at the base of Petronis Towers than the morning I arrived at the base of Giza. You can tell a lot from a culture thats not stingy about their WIFI. You can also tell a lot about a culture which has prime TV scheduling dedicated to World of Warcraft. Kuala Lumpur was clean, efficient and embarrassingly friendly. I wonder if I could be an expat again.