Sayangi Kuala Lumpur

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My last day in Kuala Lumpur has already become an instagram photo in my memory; the edges are blurry, the colors have both brightened and washed out, giving it the overall effect of a day viewed through humid sunglasses. I remember the brilliant greens, vibrant reds, and soft yellows. It was a bittersweet day. Trouble at home weighed on my mind, but new friends lifted my spirits.

The greenery of Jalan 1 was enhanced by a sheen of rain when we got caught in a tropical downpour, and the sheer brilliance of the color sticks in my head like the spontaneous laughter of looking at each other and realizing that we were soaked and lost and didn’t particularly care. The red and gold Chinese lanterns stood out against the inky dark of the night as we got lost yet again, looking for a western supermarket on the way back to the hotel. And the soft yellow glow of the kitchen at Raymond’s house, where we all sat around the table and ate and drank and bickered like old friends.

KL, too, feels like an old friend. After three short weeks of constant exploring, endless arguments with cab drivers and a million amazing meals eaten on stools at plastic tables, I feel as if I’ve truly gotten to know the city. And although on the surface KL can seem very plastic and fake, the city has a heart and a soul seen in the faces of its one point six million proud residents, a few of whom I was privileged enough to meet. And so although I am excited to hit the road to my next destination, I can’t help but spare a glance back.