Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Break 2014-- Kuala Lumpur

When you meet an expat in Oman, there are usually a few common questions.  Where is home?  How long have you been here?  How much longer will you be here?  Well, we have known for a while that our time in Oman will be much shorter than we first thought.  Joe's company has decided to send him to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!  So that is where we went for Spring Break.  We wanted to show KL to the kids, and let them see where we will live and where they will go to school.

But first, Savannah gets a new selfie of the two of us at the airport, with no Austin.  :)

A beautiful view of KL from the hotel.  We stayed at Le Meridien this time.  Not quite the Shangri La, but I really liked it.  It was more modern.  It was right across the street from the KL Sentral Train Station, which made it very handy.  We took the train to and from the airport to the hotel, which was the fastest way to go.

This blog post will be a potpourri of pictures from KL.  The most touristy thing we really did was the Batu Caves, and I already blogged about that.  This trip was more to get our apartment ready for future occupation, and to take the kids to see their new school.  But here is one thing that made Austin very happy.  Krispy Kreme!

Elevator photography

I wonder how many countries Ikea is in.  I know it is one of the main reasons to go to Dubai from Muscat!  Here we are in Ikea in KL, shopping for bedding.

The currency in Malaysia is the ringitt.  There are 3.3 ringgits in one US dollar.  So instead of multiplying like in Oman, I get to divide.  Shopping can sure turn into a mental exercise.  My friend Mike says a good expat thinks in the local currency, but that is hard to do!

All the denominations are different colors, but they all look the same and are the same size.  As opposed to Omani rials, which are all different colors and different sizes.  And then there is American money, which is all the same size and the same color.  I am full of all sorts of useless information.  :)

A misty morning in KL.

I loved this building.  Not sure what it was.  I promise I will blog more fully on all the best sights in KL.  But that will be for my next blog.  Still thinking of a name!

Sentral Train station.  If you walk through the train station, there is a huge brand new mall.  There were not very many stores open yet, but enough.  I don't really consider this trip to KL to be a vacation.  It was really more of preparation for living there.  But to Savannah, it was the perfect vacation.  We stayed in a hotel, minimal sight-seeing, and lots of shopping!!  She had a great time.  :)

These trees were very common.  Kind of like a cross between a palm tree and a fern.

One place we did visit was this Central Market, here since 1888.  Think souk, Asian-style.

This is not the only place we saw models of Malaysian Airliners for sale.

Sunny view of KL from hotel.  Sunny days were more uncommon.  It is close to the beginning of rainy season for KL. 

Do you see the name of this shoe brand??  Wanda Panda!!  I have never seen these before.  I tried to buy a pair, just because of the name.  They were very comfy, but they didn't have my size.

Take a look at this shirt tag.  See all the sizes?  This is common in Oman too.

I have been to At.Mosphere in Dubai, and there is a 360 restaurant in Muscat (which is very good), but in KL we went to the Atmosphere 360, located in the KL Tower.  It is the highest restaurant in Malaysia, not to be confused with At.Mosphere, the tallest restaurant in the world.

This Atmosphere serves lunch and tea, and has two sittings for dinner buffets.  The times are 6:30-8:30 or 9:00-11:00.   I highly, highly recommend the 6:30 sitting.  You get to see the sunset and night lights.  The food was fine, but the views were stunning!  There was also a live piano player.  It made for a very nice evening.  

Unlike the restaurant in Muscat, this restaurant actually does rotate and you get 360 degree views.

Here are Austin and Savannah at their next school.  The hallways and cafeteria are all open.  You really get a sense of the jungle.  They had to take placement tests, which is just what they wanted to do on spring break!  We spoke to the counselor and selected courses, took a tour of the school, bought school uniforms, and signed up for bus service.  Busy day.

This will be the view from the new apartment.  I will have to give up my ocean view, but this is not too shabby.

Notes on Kuala Lumpur:

It is a Muslim country, but nothing like living in Oman.  Not as high a percentage of Muslims.  You see the Muslim women with their heads covered and modestly dressed, but I did not see any wearing black!  In Oman, I will not go out in public showing my upper arms or knees, in respect to the culture here.  Not in KL.  If you are not Muslim, anything goes.  Lots of skin!

Weekends are Saturday and Sunday.  Yay!!!  Here in Oman, they are Friday and Saturday.  We go to church on Friday here.

There is currently water rationing occurring in the city.  There was a sign in the apartment elevator informing us of the days where there will be no water.  We didn't really get the whole scoop on that.

Whenever I told people I was moving to Oman, one of the very first things they asked (after asking where Oman was), was "What side of the road do they drive on?"  I always thought that was a strange question.  I thought it was only United Kingdom that drove on the 'wrong' side.  Well guess what?  Malaysians also drive on the 'wrong' side.  We will probably have a full-time driver, but I am sure I will be driving on the 'wrong' side.

I am sure there will be lots of more notes to come, as I get to learn more about KL.  But I am not moving yet.  I plan on enjoying the rest of my time in Oman to the fullest!!

1 comment:

  1. What a cool experience for your oldest. Good luck to Savannah, and very cool you can wear what you want! Nice to get back to the "weekend" and have fun if you drive on the "wrong" side lol. Happy Travels!