Back in the days when we were apartment-hunting, Ian and I had ‘A shop we can walk to’ and ‘places to eat we can walk to’ on our list. Both were scotched when we picked this apartment because everyone said there was nothing within walking distance round here.
So, I just carried on cooking. Which is lucky, because I love cooking.
But on Friday, Ian’s office moves to KL Sentral, which is kind of over the road from our condo and he fully plans to walk to work.
Only everyone says he has to walk over that pedestrian overpass, under the flyover, up some steps, cross the busy highway, skirt a heap of hotels and offices on a pavement one foot (I mean the width of a human foot not 12 inches) wide, up a bit, down a bit, round a bit and cross some roads with no pedestrian bits on them, to get there.
But my husband usually thinks he knows better.
He’d noticed a much more direct route that avoided all the over and underpasses and round-the-houses bits. And what’s more, the only three roads he’d encounter had pedestrian crossings on them. So, on Saturday night, we headed out to the location of the new office – Brickfields, also known as Little India. Just to prove everyone wrong, you understand, we went the way everyone told us to go. It took 25 minutes.
There were foodstalls and sari shops, places selling beans and spices, a shop selling lots of shrines and Buddhas, a centre teaching kundalini yoga and stalls selling bright yellow wreaths. Indian music blared from massive speakers placed outside one of the shops and there were people of Indian origin everywhere. After spending eight years in Dubai, a city with fantastic curry and lovely fabric shops, this felt like home. Mounds of fresh herbs tied into bunches lay on tables right on the pavements, motorbikes drove on the pavements, tailors, barbers and lots of places to eat, crammed with people of all colours eating with their fingers under slowly-rotating ceiling fans. I was keen to stop and try one of them, but my ‘better half’ persuaded me to go a bit further just in case.
There on the corner was a supermarket, bang opposite his office-to-be stood a large supermarket. Three floors of it. Walkers shortbread was piled up outside. There were Kettle crisps, fresh blueberries and strawberries and yams as well as extremely long drumstick beans. There was local Boh tea from the Cameron Highlands and proper 85% Lindt chocolate. Oh, and beer! That was just the ground floor. On upper floors we found stationery, plugs, picture hooks and even a foam mattress that I’d been looking for. This was an Aladdin’s cave albeit a busy, hot, tumble of a place, but nevertheless they sold everything I might want.
We even found a place for a very good curry that had a door on it and airconditioning. So, sitting down with my freshly cooked tandoori-baked chapatti and bright green chicken tikka haryali and a Kingfisher beer (overpriced) we realised we had found our local at last. The photo’s blurry but that was probably due to my excitement.
Of course, we walked home ‘Ian’s way’ and it shaved a good five minutes off the other route. There was a short section of pretty narrow pavement but at least it was two human feet wide this time. Even carrying large foam mattress, I was happy to walk.
Not sure I’ll be doing so on my own mind you. Not that it matters. If I run out any supplies during the day or need another mattress, he can simply pop across the road and pick it up on his way home!