Balcony, 18th floor apartment
at the rail watching
eight lane intersection below
Foshan, Guangdong, P.R.C.
The traffic light turns red and vehicles start to move. A van comes from one way and runs the red light as a motorbike is going through the intersection. The van nails the motorbike. Luckily, neither one is going too fast, but the motorbike driver gets knocked off his bike, slides.
The motorcyclist picks himself up, brushes off the dust and steps toward the van as the driver is getting out to check to see if the motorcyclist is all right. The motorcyclist lays into the van driver employing all nine tones of Cantonese. The van driver instantly forgets he is at fault and starts a face-saving yelling match with the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist takes this as his cue and throws a punch at the van driver. The van driver fades back and delivers a kick to the motorcyclist. The motorcyclist blocks the kick and then a full on kung fu brawl erupts.
A crowd gathers around the fight in the middle of the intersection. Traffic in both directions is blocked. The crowd grows, the motorbike lies in the street, and the van sits in the intersection with the driver’s door open. While they are busily trying to maim one another, I notice that a new player in the crowd is making his way around the back of the van toward the driver’s side door, and quicker than shit he reaches into the van and pulls a bag off the seat. He thrusts the bag under his arm and runs off in the opposite direction from the fight. The fight continues until the police arrive.
By this time I’m finished. I figure that after witnessing an accident, a fight, and a theft anything else is going to be boring in comparison. So I go back inside and chuckle myself quietly to sleep.
Sometimes it pays to have insomnia and be awake at two o’clock in the morning. Even when you have to get up at 6!
Alive in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and the layout is totally nonsensical until you realize how many hills and valleys are randomly dotted across the landscape. Sections of the city only have freeway access in and out. Once you are in a neighborhood, the local roads just make loops or dead end. Try to go for a walk outside the center, and you get the attention of the local police, not because you are doing anything wrong but because you are walking. “Nobody walks, no air conditioning when you walk,” they say.
Wander around the plaza and try to find unsecured Wi-Fi. Employees are giving me “the eye” because I am camped outside the café with a computer and vibe me that “you must purchase from our overpriced selection of burnt bitter corporate coffee beans” glare. Better make it quick, now, before they come after me with a battery powered portable coffee grinder!
Roam the street market that fully emits the most wonderful smells. Vendors of ingredients, as well as prepared dishes, dot and dashed under tarps and tin. Spices unsmelt before. “Makan asam laksa,” a taste you wish you had discovered years ago. Add to that the scent of cloves, and you got a double nostril full of spice!
“As you probably know, Malaysia is safe, no militants … at least for now,” in conversation at kedai makan, “Malaysia is far less extreme.” Only a couple women in Niqab, with only eyes showing, they are not Malaysian though. The style here is a headscarf that covers the top of the head, ears and neck, with skintight jeans and stiletto heels.
Malaysia is a widely diverse crossroads from way back in the beginning of things, an aware and open culture with various flavors of style and ways of life.
K.L.is definitely not dull!
Lots of spice everywhere, not just in the soup!
Kuala Lumpur is a spicy dish.
Stay real from whatever part of the globe
you happen to be trotting around.
Take it easy ya’ll.
KLMY Nov 5, 2007
It’s the last kick `
Maybe kick it all
From smokes to lethargy.
Maybe, just maybe,
Paw your way
Through all wires,
Extra high to low
Gamma rays and
Waves of all kind.
Maybe, just maybe
Paw your way
Through all rules,
Habits, bias and change,
Never finding origin.
Is the name.
Add up all the points,
And what you get
Is right now.
No real direction
Or challenge to pose,
Just rage for rage.
Deep in these shadow streets runs a way set away from sun. A bridge, then a waterway, we wander along the banks. Along the edge of midnight into a city lost, unknown to now. We walk swift and quiet, take it in, in one stride we are out through the other side. Now well past one, the 13th hour.
You gotta wonder as we wander, and let the thoughts free themselves loose on a limb balanced over a notion of where the night air flows. The streets not known, the city fresh, and you never really know what is around that next corner.
We push on until quadrants and angles and buildings and land marks and the way the sidewalk runs over there become a bit more familiar.
Then you know where you are, in the general sense of the notion, until the notion gets lost. We always know the general way back, if back is something you even want to bother to do. It just might take an hour or eight to completely back track depending on the size of the unknown we are wandering.