so far, we’ve experienced this country in segue, a mild purgatory between Western and Eastern worlds. with a growth economy, available land, and a low effective tax rate, Malaysia has fast become a hub for international businesses and services, including satellite British university systems.
there are many diverse ex-pats here, mostly from British Commonwealth countries. we made a brief visit to The University of Reading Malaysia, as the sommelier’s sister is shortly ending her tour here.
an amazing campus, her architecture and interior design speaks volumes to the university’s dedication to its students and staff; her curves complement the natural light and beauty surrounding her, shielding her from the harsh rays of the outside world.
after dealing with finalities, we drove across the causeway to downtown Johore, amidst a sea of soaring cranes.
Malaysia is comprised of several states, nominally ruled by constitutional monarchies, and with ligaments resembling a federalist nation.
the Sultan of Johor is one of only five people in the world with his own private army, one which controls in a facade of threats and imagery.
we settled on a car park in city center, landing in a prime spot on the highest floor; the view of the city extended across the straight into Singapore, the tall buildings cascading into Johore.
we descended into the city streets, my feet barely hitting the broken concrete comprising the sidewalks. the heat bear down on the back of our necks, the sweat rolling into our eyes, burning our vision. we climbed a small hill, and looked up to see the State Secretariat Building extended before us.
our noses burned as we took in the airs of Johore city center, passing by store front shops, sewer runoffs, and cafes. we entered into Chinatown with enthusiastic flair and excitement, drowning in a sea of red paper lanterns.
the street art here is fantastical, to say the least.
we ate lunch in ravenous fashion, engulfing mee siam and chicken smoked in banana leaves, sipping on candied fizzy drinks to soothe our roasting bodies.
the whole city lie before us. and this day, we chose to respect centuries of local traditions and pay our penance to the temples. and you will agree… that this type of spiritual post deserves its own. hence, we meet again tomorrow.
Selamat Malam, friends.