JM and I are back in Kuala Lumpur for three weeks. It’s weird to be back; first off, things are all a bit surreal since we’ve been up for 50 hours straight or something like that. It’s also weird to be back as more of a tourist than as someone who has lived here for some time and who actually understands the country. We’re doing all the old tourist things such as getting our bearings and figuring out the closest subway stop and buying breakfast foods. Nonetheless, everything has been successful so far, so that’s good news. We even managed to each have a nice big bowl of Malaysian curry noodles (I had a fishy kind, JM had a kind with shrimp and chicken), so the food is so far just the same. Phew.
Before we drift off to sleep, here is an interesting observation. In the six months that we lived here last year, we only saw one Malay woman with a fully covered face. Many Malay women cover their hair, but almost none take the next step to cover their nose and mouth. But in just the first twelve hours of being here, we’ve seen three. It strikes us as very unusual. We wonder if this is just random, or if this might signify some trend in Malaysian society towards ever stronger Islamic symbolism in things like dress. We’ll see how many more we see, and we’ll keep you posted.