Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beyond the Surreal

AirAsia flies the good flight. Epiphanie Bloom was exhausted from staying up all night the night before. Worried that this state would make her less attentive to nuances, she created a hyper-alert state for herself, happily drained away by three nights in the latest Asian capital to catch her attention, KL.

At home, I find myself slightly dumb. I let some of my knowledge of the world slip away. I let my parents make decisions for me which I try not to resent. I feel mired in negative thinking. Overseas, I'm surrounded by new situations which require me to move quickly, update my sense of motion. I travel to feel alive.

KL is an intriguing mix of inviting and repulsive, as various minorities interweave themselves into the fabric of an Islamic philosophy and create hot-spots of calm, tolerance and beauty. I'm not going to pretend to have any appreciation for traditional Islamic values (or contemporary ones, for that matter) - I'm only in Malaysia because this was the cheapest way to get to Thailand. So the Chinese in particular offer me some respite from the unfortunate attitudes of some.

I'm taking a music break here in an air-conditioned net cafe just off Chinatown, reintroducing my ears to the sounds of Robyn, Lady Gaga, and, presently, Ace of Base.

My respect and admiration for Julian Assange grows. More than anybody else, he makes me proud to be Australian. WikiLeaks has made the market for news a much more exciting place, and in a way I wish I had more time to devote to the news, as so much material has been released. Then again, there's only so much reading you can only do without going bonkers.

At the restaurant of the AnCasa hotel, where I was staying up to yesterday, they had a very funny promotional spiel, full of references to madness. Think: Our psychedelic chefs go bonkers preparing a maddening array of food for you... all for the crazily incredible price of... :o)

The Kuala Lumpur air, as expected, is difficult on the respiratory system, but I only cough when on the edge of a particularly hectic road. The pavements are quite dodgy so I'm careful, but apart from that I feel safe and like my curiosity is well-rewarded.

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