I'm currently staying in Klang, a stand-alone town within an hour's drive of Kuala Lumpur but outside the ring of suburbs. This is a neighborhood of landed houses, as opposed to apartments; because they are all connected one to the next, my American brain categorizes them as one-story townhouses.
Quite a few neighbors were out and about, enjoying the relative cool of the evening. Small groups of men sitting in the shade, packs of boys playing football in the park, a sweet teenage girl sitting on the curb, busy with her cell phone. I'm sure they were a little curious about the white woman with the iPhone snapping pictures of their alleys and flowers but they left me in peace.
As I wandered about, I was pondering once again the disjointed familiar-yet-foreign vibe that I often feel here in Malaysia. So many sights were shocking to my eyes: the street-side pots overflowing with extravagant orchids and hibiscus; the intricately tiled driveways and gleaming, ornate gates; the ongoing streams of motorbikes bearing flip-flopped riders; the ubiquitous heaps of litter. But the mood of the people, relaxed and quiet after a long work day, the happy sounds of children playing, the smells of dinners wafting through the air: these things are just like home.
So I decided to incorporate a few of my favorite American evening traditions into my walk. I took some pictures of the sunset, and bought myself an ice cream bar to eat as the evening light faded.
And that was a lovely way to end my Malaysian after-dinner walk.
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