The Sultan Abdul Samad building, according to our corres-pondents here at so much world, so little time, is the most photo-graphed building in Malaysia. So why should so much world, so little time be an exception?! This lovely little building was once the home of the British colonial administration and now houses, if I recall correctly, court offices. It’s across the street from Inde-pendence Square, aka Merdeka Square – home of the world’s largest flagpole, about which more later. (Are you sensing a trend here in KL?) Part of what I found so delightful about KL, to be honest, is its scale: it’s not too big, not too small. True, it lacks the extra- ordinarily vibrant street life of Bangkok or Beijing, but frankly after a year in Beijing and 17 months of China’s vibrant streets, I rather welcomed the change: KL is vibrant and multi-cultural in ways that are new to me; waking to the sound of the morning call to prayer is something I’ve not done since a week spent in Jerusalem nearly 20 years ago. There are streets full of Indian spice shops and vendors, and others full of Chinese shops and vendors. Then there are the ultra-modern ultra-chic malls peopled by anything from tight mini-skirt toting sales girls promoting Mentos to more traditional muslim families with women in full burka; and, of course, everything in between with a healthy spattering of us pasty-faced travelers, tourists and expats.

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