Cartography of Wanderlust

Sketches of Travel in the East

Rapid KL Ramadan: Hari Raya Blessings on the LRT – Ampang Line - More end-of-Ramadan decorations and snippets of Malaysian culture as I visit each station on the Ampang Light Rail Transit line in Kuala Lumpur. I’m back in Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, where I spent six months in 2012, and I arrived during the fasting month of Ramadan.  To re-map the city in my mind, while … Continue reading Rapid KL Ramadan: Hari Raya Blessings on the LRT – Ampang Line
Rapid KL Ramadan: Hari Raya Blessings on the LRT – Part Two - I continue my romp along the Kelana Jaya Light Rail Transit line in Kuala Lumpur, renewing my acquaintance with the city, viewing station displays for Hari Raya, exploring forgiveness and Malaysian traditions of Ramadan. For the motivation for my project, and Stations 1 to 11 (Gombak to Kampung Baru), see Part One.  Click on any photos … Continue reading Rapid KL Ramadan: Hari Raya Blessings on the LRT – Part Two
Rapid KL Ramadan: Hari Raya Blessings on the LRT - Trains and tunnels, ketupats and kampungs, fasting and food and forgiveness.  I take the Kelana Jaya line across Kuala Lumpur, rediscover the city, and learn how Malaysians celebrate the end of Ramadan. Light Rail Transit and the Ketupat Challenge Three years ago in Malaysia I was charmed by the Muslim fasting month.  The array of … Continue reading Rapid KL Ramadan: Hari Raya Blessings on the LRT
Schoolboy Souvenirs: Poster Children of India - I go back to school, learn how diverse India is and how to keep it neat and clean; I swot up biology, geography, history, and find 17 reasons to return. A few hours before my flight to Malaysia, I crouched at the entrance of Sagar Gift and Fancy Stationery.  I was sorting through a stack … Continue reading Schoolboy Souvenirs: Poster Children of India
Batting, Baking and King Chilli Pork - I’m inducted into the creed of cricket and cringe as bandits attack; I’m thanked with pink icing and farewelled with pork. As well as power cuts and oppressive heat, summer brought the 76-match IPL cricket series.  The Indian Premiere League is apparently the second-highest paid sporting association after the NBA.  Players earn on average US$4 … Continue reading Batting, Baking and King Chilli Pork
Biblical Power Plagues: Sweating in Suburban Bangalore - I find churches of every persuasion, marvel at Bangalore’s IT boom and measure its electrical bust; I’m as hot as James Bond but wet as a frog when it comes to catching snakes. The surrounding suburb seems like the Bible Belt of Bangalore.  I’ve found no mosques, though heard a distant prayer call at night … Continue reading Biblical Power Plagues: Sweating in Suburban Bangalore
Matrimonial Marvels: Part Two - I investigate more matrimonial mysteries like fasting and cleanliness, divorce and detectives, north and south, the minute of birth and the height of Mars. After getting over the codes of caste and colour and class (see my first matrimonials post here), I was drawn into higher mysteries of the ads in my New Delhi Hindustan … Continue reading Matrimonial Marvels: Part Two
Wedding Socks and Matrimonial Codes - I attend an Indian wedding and account for a marrying vendor of socks; I crack the code of matrimonial ads to reveal the eligibility of Ph.D.’s, pigments, and beards. Weddings are big in India.  I’ve heard several processions with banging crackers, pounding drums, tubas and trumpets and loud raucous horns.  I’ve stumbled across two in … Continue reading Wedding Socks and Matrimonial Codes
Prophet’s Tooth and Sarasvati’s Lute: Chasing Calendar Icons - I visit mosques of the world and unearth relics of Mohammed; I collect a pantheon of cartoon gods and choose a winning goddess. In between my encounters with fruits, flowers, and primal colours that make even Disney look tame (see previous post here), I found a vendor of Muslim devotional items.  When I asked if … Continue reading Prophet’s Tooth and Sarasvati’s Lute: Chasing Calendar Icons
Olfactory Overload and Market Mélange - I breakfast on spicy crêpe, follow my nose to market, and cook up Indian aromas; I practice Hindi and bypass heatstroke, dodge dentists and float through floral fantasies. I began my penultimate Saturday in Bangalore at the Mavalli Tiffin Rooms, where steam from metre-wide vats of sambar clouded my camera lens as I entered.  It’s … Continue reading Olfactory Overload and Market Mélange

Sketches of Travel in the East