Mont Kiara Microcosm

I've been in Kuala Lumpur, and more specifically the Mont Kiara area, for 4 days and am living a more normal life now that I'm in a condo rather than hotel.  Mont Kiara is a global condominium township and with 2 International Schools, attracts a large expatriate population.  The stores and restaurants cater to the Japanese and Korean majority but a website I found states that over 30 nationalities are represented in Mont Kiara and the grocery store has something for everyone.  If the restaurants and market don't have what you are after, there is also a McDonald's and Starbucks that are consistently packed.
Aspen Towers Condo - we are on 18th floor
We spent Thursday recovering from our travels to Labuan and Manila and getting some work done.  I enjoyed eating all 3 meals at home rather than having to choose from the hotel buffet or menu.  Oatmeal, PB Sandwich, and Lentil Soup never tasted so good.  Unfortunately, there is heavy pollution here too and it takes away from our view of the city.  The rains come thru in the afternoon and are usually accompanied by thunder and lightning.  Of course, this bumps up the humidity but does drop the temperature a tad.
Mont Kiara Condo
Condo View of Kuala Lumpur
We rallied that evening and took a taxi to the Mid Valley Megamall to watch a movie.  I don't go to movies in the States, but I don't think we have Gold Class like they do here.  Picture a regular theater but instead of rows of seats, just 20 lazyboys in sets of two with comforters and pillows.  There is also a separate lounge area with bathrooms and a bar.  But if you need something, you just hit the call button during the movie and a waiter takes care of you.  Although I was still battling a sore throat, it was a relaxing experience.  We didn't shop at the mall, but I did see a major difference compared to Manila  in that there were several non-American stores and lots of spending.
Gold Class Movies
On Friday, we spent most of the day working but walked to the Italian Restaurant (run by Albanians) for a late lunch and just made it home before the rain.  I worked some more and then crashed early.  Partly due to my cold, but also due to the fact that I had done a conference call with the States that morning from 2-6am.

We had a business appointment on Saturday and were fortunate to combine it with a little tourism.  Our Malaysian associate picked us up at the condo and drove south to Putrajaya which is a planned city built to house the government offices and employees.  Working for the Malaysia Government is a very good thing and once your family is in, you have a good chance of continuing the cycle with scholarships and jobs.  It was raining when we arrived, so we just drove a bit and then went to the _ _ _ _. (If you guessed mall, you are correct!)  We went to the Food Court, which is a lot different than an American Food Court.  Each stall represents a different country or type of food and the quality is very good.  Then there is a beverage stall in the middle.  I had a steamed soup and got to select my items before they were steamed - bean curd, mushrooms, noodles, and seaweed were my choices but I think I got some fish in there too.  I've been nervous about my food allergies  but as the trip continues and I haven't had issues, I've started to relax a bit and don't get as anxious when I get something I didn't order, which is more often than not.  My colleague is a very picky eater and usually falls back to McDonald's, but in this case that wasn't an option, so he had a waffle with ice cream.  Our associate had a Thai lettuce and vegetable wrap, which I tried and will keep an eye out for it in next few days as it was delicious.
Food Court - Steamed Soup Selection
Finished Product
Since I hadn't visited before, our associate decided to show me the monkeys he feeds.  I'm not sure where we drove, but it was an industrial area with factories, garages,and many places where they collect and sort garbage.  We stopped at a fruit stand for bananas, but also tried local fruits Dukong and Mata Kuching (Longan).  I liked them both and we bought some for the condo.  We drove up a windy road and left the industry for lush tropical forests.  After 10 minutes, we pulled off to what looked like a garbage dump. Mainly boxes and plastic sacks, but also some furniture and litter.  It took a second, but then I realized it was crawling with monkeys.  This was not what I expected when he said we were going to the park to feed the monkeys, but oh well.  As I mentioned on my FB post, it reminded me of seagulls at the dump or Yellowstone bears at the dumpsters.  They really enjoyed the fresh bananas, but seemed to eat anything and while we were there people would drive by and throw out plastic bags of fruit for them to eat.  It was all a bit strange, but our associate was so excited to share this experience we tried our best to get into it and not worry about the garbage and mosquitoes.  Luckily it was hot, so we didn't stay outside long and soon got back in the A/C and drove on.
Fruit Stand
Dukong & Mata Kuching fruits

Monkeys at Roadside "Fruit Garbage Dump"

I finally felt well enough last night to try out the gym and after only 20minutes on the treadmill had left a large enough sweat puddle to start worrying about electrocution.  I heard gym floor squeaks and I got excited that they might have a bball court, but upon investigation it was badminton.  There are also some squash and tennis courts.
Badminton Court - somehow the camera captured the humidity!
 My movie loving colleague wanted to catch another flick before heading back to the States today, so we went to The Gardens Mall late last night.  Each outing takes about 30minutes by taxi and compared to Manila, the roads and driving are structured but still chaotic compared to home.  This was also Gold Class but a tad nicer with complimentary drinks and more food selection.  We ate at the Food Court before entering and just ordered some hummus and falafel but somehow it took up the whole table.

Food Court Dinner for 2 - Hummus, Falafel, Coconut Water
Gold Class Movie Bar
We had a bit of sunshine this morning, but otherwise it has been raining.  With one colleague leaving, there are just two of us and she is now sick.  We are burning thru the hot tea and kleenex and happy to have no plans for today.  I put in another session at the gym and then walked around Mont Kiara, which proved difficult.  There isn't much pedestrian infrastructure outside the main strip since everyone drives, but I did find a sidewalk under the highway system and found another street to walk down that was also lined with condos. I got sprinkled on and sweated almost as much as the treadmill so was happy to get inside the mall for A/C and before the major rains started.
Mont Kiara Pedestrian Challenge

Ready to escape the humidity (can you see the sweat?)

This local mall has stores for life rather than the brand name shopping I've seen at all the other malls.  The grocery store is in the basement along with a magazine stand and seamstress. There are restaurants and spas, but also electronics, DIY, houseware, and a gym.  I spent some good time at the grocery looking at the brands, which for organics and naturals are mostly Australian.  The pork and alcohol are in different rooms to comply with Halal requirements.  I purchased a large tote of groceries for 100Ringgit (~$30USD) so very cheap compared to going to Whole Foods.  The store was full of expat families and it was the first time in a few weeks I've been around so many non-Asians.  Most were British and Australian, but I did hear some German and Danish.
Grocery Entrance
I attempted lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  All the other menu items listed meat or fish, so I figured I was safe with noodles in sesame seed sauce.  Eating out continues to be a challenge and this was no exception.  My first spoonful had white meat and shrimp.  I was able to eat most of the spicy noodles and haven't had a reaction in the last 3hrs so I think I'm clear.  I am ok with not keeping 100% vegan while I'm here, its just the fear of the allergy that keeps me on alert.  Maybe I'll stay at home tonight and have some couscous and then try out the pool once the rains stop.
Rice Noodle "Surprise" & Passion Fruit Cooler