Wednesday, November 4, 2009


November 4th
Wednesday was a day of sightseeing – visiting south to Malucca (or Meleka- as spelled here). This site is a fascinating historic place – with a rich history in the 14th to 16th centuries – based in the significant trading across Asia. It was fascinating to see Portuguese, Arab, Thai, Indonesian, - as well as British and French involvements. I discovered that beyond the traditional government structures, there is a King and Queen valued and presented in a number of billboards. As we drove, I was particularly taken by the number of marketing signs for varied universities - clearly focused upon technology and medical areas. I was also impressed with the tropical, vibrant foliage - palms, banana trees, bougainvillea, calla lilies, birds of paradise, ginger lilies…and much, much more. In the late afternoon, we came back to UPM and transferred to a university jeep and visited the capital, Kuala Lumpur – or KL. It is a huge city, highly modern, significant traffic jams, and the second highest buildings in the world – Petronas Towers (two towers of beautiful sculpted metal – gleaming in the sun. As part of the visit – we visited the key shopping area of the towers – a place for the affluent – with Louis Vuitton, Coach, Burberry, etc. as well as for the day – to – day shoppers – with an interesting visit to the food court – represent food from all sectors of Asian society – and a little representation of “western food”. With surprise – Kenny Rogers chicken is a major quick food restaurant here – along with the other western regulars. As we finished up the day, we visited the major aquarium- Oceania – one of the best aquariums I have ever seen – including my visit to Sydney, California, and Florida. Although they didn’t have whales, dolphins and the “outdoor” water show, their displays were outstanding. With a city in lights and leaving in a traffic jam- we made it back to the hotel in the three downpour of rain for the day. Yes, this is a tropical and fascinating place.

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