Sunday, December 13, 2015

shopping in kl

Here’s a first: We stayed in a pricey five-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur and didn’t do anything for three whole days, but shop and eat in department stores.

* A very urban holiday. Pix by Day

* Jo in KL

What made us embrace what is apparently a very popular Singapore past-time?

KK is very busy. I’ve said this before, but I have to say it again. This year is singularly marked by the growing absence of the father, and all of us getting used to it.

He just isn’t able to go on a break of more than three days, and he also refuses to fly.

Given that, I would love to pack off with the kids myself and travel. But as he doesn’t even like me to take the public bus with the kids - lest I lose one of them under the wheels of a vehicle (but we still take the bus, of course) - solo overseas travel with the kids is out.

One day, KK’s sister suggests that we drive up to KL together. An easy-peasy short trip where the agenda will be more for the kids and their cousin Liyen to hang out, than anything else.

The kids have never been to KL.


* Liyen and her other best friend, the phone

The problem of our wheezy Lancer, which expires in four months and nowadays produces a rather alarming flapping sound in the lower gears, is solved because she has a spare Volvo.

There! We have our holiday!

* The party (excepting photographer me) in what looks like London, but is actually KL

The drive is a dream, as the girls take one look at the two cars and hop into the brand-new seven-seater BMW where Liyen is seated, leaving me and KK in peaceful solitude in the other car with Day, who unsuccessfully tried to sleep out a stomach flu during the four-hour drive.

Instead of the quality we’re used to ($40 a night hotel in JB), we stay in the $300-per-night Mandarin Oriental.

* KK working. The blessed Internet access (which we have to pay for) is the fastest we've ever experienced in a hotel (but that's probably because we always stay cheap)

* Nice robes hanging in the hotel wardrobe

Then we spend most of the time hanging around the Suria KLCC mall which is right next door. It’s interesting how it’s exactly like Ion Orchard, with a high-end floor with toilets with a 2-ringgit entrance fee, and then the rest of the floors with the same mass market shops (Borders, Uniqlo, Isetan) for the hoi polloi.

* Suria KLCC at Christmas

I'm a bad shopper. I find it extremely difficult to walk around and randomly buy things which catch my fancy because I probably don't need any of it. But KK is much better.

* Waiting for KK

* He pops into every watch shop but ends up not buying any, thank God

The one thing KK wants to do is to visit the soaring Petronas twin tower, which we are also staying right next to. He views the construction videos and observes the sides of the tower with an engineer’s eye.

* Who watches these videos? KK!

* He is most fascinated by the thick struts which hold up the sky bridge (which is not fixed to the sides of the two towers. It's kind of flexible)

* There's the sky bridge and the huge diagonal struts on either side

* Jo, Gugu and Liyen on the highest floor for visitors. The kids are oblivious but Gugu feels weak-kneed.

As for the kids, Day had an utterly miserable time as his body grappled with the tummy bug. He slept through half of KL. 

* Flaccid Day, who doesn't even stir when the room service banquet is brought in

But the girls had a great time with Liyen, who became even more attached to Jo.

Only Jo could push her stroller, only Jo could hold her hand. Whenever Jo left her, she wailed.

* Jo holding Liyen's hand. Lu is a bit of an afterthought. I'm an after-afterthought.


* Jo taking care of Liyen in the pool


* The girls enjoying complimentary chocolate chip cookies from the hotel

* Bathtub and bubbles

I tell Jo, who at some point got a bit exhausted from being ordered around but was still doggedly serving the little girl – You were once like that, you know?

The holiday was also a reminder of Ipoh, as Liyen’s Daddy paid for all our meals except one, and even the petrol for our car. I just couldn’t get a note in.

* Dimsum meal in the hotel. Halal dimsum is rather odd.

We are very lucky to receive such largesse, not once but twice, but I feel really bad; and I’m starting to think that it should be KK who is fighting to pay and not me because I just can’t win these men!

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