P: Big Bling in Little India

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.

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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.

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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.P1030624

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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.  P1030592

P1030599Then 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!!).P1030605

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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!

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5 thoughts on “P: Big Bling in Little India

  1. I am reading every word that each of you writes, and really enjoying the different perspectives on the same travel experiences. I dress Gabriel in Max’s clothes, and we play together with the toys Emma and Max have shared with him. We look forward to following in your footsteps across the world. I hope you bought the rose-colored resplendance for Emma, because I didn’t see a picture of her in it. I am loving seeing your family so grown and so happy.

    Patty, when you get home, it will be turnaround time. Now I have an almost school-age, unusual little boy whose intellectual appetite right now is voracious. Help!

  2. Hi you all;
    It sounds like the dosa’s would be my kind of food, crisp! What are the rolled up cloths at the table? I thought the large metal platters were very cool serving plates. I guess you could keep sauces from running into each other. Or, was there some other use for the compartments?

    As Michelle noted, did not see Emma in the deep rose pants and sari? Did you get them?

    Off to Singapore and yet another adventure. Do get your dad to tell you about the airport and their special runways.

    I hope to see wonderful pictures of the many birds at the famous avairey?

    I am missing you, but so enjoying the many stories you have to tell.
    Love you all,
    Grandma

  3. Hi Freedmans!

    Glad to see Max is eating more than rice! Looks like city life is treating you all fine and it sounds like it is a crowded city! Max- Addy wanted me to let you know that he has taped the new clone wars and is waiting to watch them with you! We miss you guys! Loved reading about the turtles- what a lifetiem experience!!

    Bill, Lisa and Addy boy

  4. Once again your trip has inspired my day! It is Grandma day today with Hannah and I will show her your photos…she is almost 4 yrs. old. I am beginning to plant the seeds of travel in her mind and body. Thank you for your inspiration. Enjoy the sights, sounds, smells and tastes from everywhere and everyone.

    With love,
    Marilynn & Hannah too!

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