Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The routine

It's been a month since I arrived in Kuala Lumpur. I have settled into a simple routine.

My day starts at 550am, right when the nearby mosque's call to prayer starts. My breakfast is muesli or granola splashed with either a yogurt drink or Vitagen (a Yakult equivalent). I prepare my Nutella-and-jam sandwich to take to work before taking a shower. At 650am, I am ready to leave. Since I live in the last building of condo, I take the long and winding road to the gate. It is still dark by this time. The lights of the 120-plus steps down are turned off early, so I dare not take it.

The 15-minute walk downhill is an interesting one. The covered walkway is dotted with food vendors with tables of viands, sandwiches or curry puffs. I pass by school children waiting for their buses. Most of the women I walk alongside are fully covered, except for their hands and faces. I take the LRT to KL Sentral, where I ride the bus for the hour-long trip to LCC Terminal, where I work. I try to take a nap on the way to the office.

I leave the airport sometime between 630pm and 8pm. It's hard to fall asleep on the bus when my mind is still active, so I usually check social media on my phone. Seeing KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers in the distance as the bus pulls into town never fails to makes me smile. Then it's back on the train, which is efficient and often just as cold as our freezing office.

I take a cab uphill from the station if it's late, raining heavily or if I am carrying groceries. Otherwise, it's a climb up to the condo. I like to describe it as going up Batu Caves, only the slope is gentler and longer. On most nights, I pass by mamak stalls and tables of diners. I feel safe having people out. Our area is quite mixed, with low-class flats and a high-end condo not far apart (ours is somewhere in between). But with the ongoing construction, property values are sure to rise soon.

So that's my routine, which I wanted you to imagine. It's pretty tiring, but I'm happy with it. I get to do some walking that actually counts as exercise and I have quiet time for reflection. Will tell you more soon. Stay tuned.

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