Turning Business into Adventure in Malaysia
It was only a few years after the 1999 movie Entrapment featured the majesty of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur (“KL” for short), and I was traveling to nearby Singapore. My work might have sounded boring to some – to train my company’s Asia Pacific office on new order entry software. I, however, enjoyed implementing best practices and insuring our customers around the world received the best information about their products. I can’t say though that I wasn’t looking forward to Chinese New Year in Asia, and the free travel and adventure that came with working abroad.
Singpoare was simply amazing. My hosts were conscientious of my needs, putting me up in the Fullterton Hotel. This renovated post-office harkened back to Singapore’s colonial days. It combines grand architecture with a chic modern style. We ate delicious seafood. I learned to make sure the eyes of fish I was served were clear. When the weekend approached I expressed my desire to see the Petronas Twin Towers. My kind work associates helped me schedule the adventure. I took an overnight bus and met a friend of a co-worker on the other side. I don’t even remember how we were supposed to recognize each other, but some things simply work out.
I have always been grateful to her for my adventure in Malaysia– she showed me KL in a way only a local could have. Whenever possible I try to repay the favor and give visitors to my town the best hospitality I can!
This new contact met me at the bus station and first took me shopping in the local Malay batik shops. I most enjoyed the silk garments. Like many natural fabrics, raw silk drapes so well it looks good on everyone! One of the biggest surprises of the day was the delicious food I tasted. One might think I tasted some local, exotic-to-me fare. No. It was cream of spinach soup enjoyed by the water that stole my taste buds!
The towers themselves were spectacular and it wasn’t long before we boarded the quick lifts to explore the Skybridge. Standing aloft between the dual buildings is not for the acrophobic! The Petronas Twin Towers, as they are sometimes known, are marvels of modern architecture. They merge Islamic geometric designs and aseismic technology. They are the world’s tallest dual towers, at 452 meters. A double-decker Skybridge connects the 41st and 42nd floors. This bridge in the sky is a main tourist attraction. The Skybridge is designed so it doesn’t put an adverse load on the connecting towers. The statistics are interesting, but the culture housed in the Towers is even more enriching, and you can find information about the art, culture, education, and shopping associated with these structures on the website.
Traveling for work or for free sounds great in theory, and I’ve written on the topic before. However, the luck of a free trip pales in comparison to the Malaysian woman who took a day off around Chinese New Year to shepherd me through the bustling streets of KL. I don’t remember this kind hostess’s name, nor even the name of our mutual acquaintance. Yet, I have always been grateful to her – she showed me KL in a way only a local could have. Whenever possible I try to repay the favor and give visitors to my town the best hospitality I can!