Friday, October 11, 2013

Malaysian Star: Chance Encounters in Kuala Lumpur

No matter how massive the city you're visiting on any given holiday, or how far away from home it might be, it's a small world, after all.

I knew this for sure during my second trip to Kuala Lumpur two years ago. I'd gone out on a Friday night with a new friend from Malaysia who was living in the capital at the time and now lives in Singapore. We'd met the previous weekend at DJ Station in Bangkok while I was out with a friend from Barcelona, holding court with hunky representatives hailing from practically every country in Western Europe.

One week later, after spending several hours at Frangipani (Friday night's gay party in KL) chatting with hunky representatives from every continent but Antarctica, I ended the evening in the car of a guy from Singapore who lived in Kuala Lumpur and wanted to make sure that I got back to my hotel safely. The next day, he sent me a text message to check on me just before I kicked off round two with my friend, the one I'd met in Bangkok, who was moving to Singapore a couple of days later.

We were driven to Market Place (site of KL's Saturday night gay party) by his friend, who was leaving for a two-week-long trip to London on Sunday. Among the club's Benneton ad-worthy clientele was a French Etihad Airways flight attendant who lived in Abu Dhabi and was on a whirlwind weekend trip to Kuala Lumpur, where he used to live.

He was telling me his astrological sign and his birthday (which happened to be on the same day as mine) when the very first person I'd ever met in KL, a female stand-up comedian to whom I'd been introduced by a friend back in Melbourne, arrived, as promised earlier. She and I went way back -- two months, to be exact. On the very first night of my first trip to Kuala Lumpur, she'd introduced me to her city by taking me to a dinner party hosted by two expats, one an Asian-Australian from Sydney, the other an American from Texas. I'd been told that she knew everyone in KL, and at Market Place she proved it.

"I hear you had a good time last night," she said after greeting me with a hug.

"How did you know?"

"I have my spies."

"And which one told you about last night."

"The one whose car you ended up in! He's a good friend of mine."

How can you not appreciate a city that gives you a coincidence like that? I sang more of Kuala Lumpur's praises in the fourth of the six travel articles that I wrote for the Bangkok Post's the magazine. (Click here to read my KL testimony....)
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