Down the street and over a few blocks from our hotel is a bustling enclave of shops and restaurants that make up Little India. Just like any big city, ethnic neighborhoods have their own identity. KL is no different — its Chinese, Malaysian, Indian residents all have their own areas. Different from the Chinatown night market hustle bustle, Little India showed off its colors. The gold jewelry, the shimmering headscarves and bright flower offerings dazzled.
In the early evening we set out in search of a good Indian meal. We wove through the jammed cars, broken sidewalks, and buzzing motorbikes (with 1, 2, and even 3 people on board weaving in and out of traffic like insects ready to sting).
Emma is not a hardened city traveler; loud traffic makes her anxious. She squeezed my hand tightly and argued with her brother to relieve the tension. So we were ALL grateful to turn at the light and find ourselves suddenly in the garment district.
The small open-air storefronts flowed onto the street. Jumbled rows and racks of fabric were on display. Mannequins modeled the latest Muslim women’s fashions in every color and pattern. Headscarf shops were the most common boutique. Evidently, for women who wear western clothing but also wear the Muslim headscarf, you can’t have enough of these things. The headscarf (and its associated scarf pin) seems to be the most popular fashion accessory in KL.
The next ‘hood was the Indian Gold Jewelry ghetto. Delicate, ornate necklaces and earrings on display reminded me of the gold filigree jewelry in Spain. The gold was darker than gold in US. I suppose it was 24 or more carats. It’s red shine looked so good on women’s darker skin. Max was very impressed with the jewelry shops and liked to look in the windows.
Finally we made it to a fabulous vegetarian restaurant serving dosas. We ordered one of each type. The kids loved seeing them made; the batter was poured out on a huge griddle, then pushed around on the hot plate until it was very thin like a crepe.
Then it was filled quickly with a scoop of curried vegetables; folded in thirds and served crackling hot. You can’t believe how thin and crispy it was! The dosa was served with several sauces and we all ate with relish (even Max!!).
Next door to the restaurant was a sari shop with fancy Indian clothes. We went upstairs to look at the children’s fashions. Emma and Max tried on some outfits with lots of hand-sewn beading and jewels. Max couldn’t find an orange shirt that fit, but Emma was resplendent in a tunic and pants in deep rose color.
With our full bellies and happy kids we wandered home again under and umbrella and dodging puddles. It was a treat to walk in the cooling mist of the evening drizzle.
Tomorrow we have an early start; we are off to Singapore. We’ll be staying with friends a welcome change from the hotel life. Although the kids have enjoyed the endless buffet and mirrored elevators, I think they will love to be in a home with other children.
We miss you all and look forward to the next chapter in our journey!