Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Getting into the swing of things and the Islamic Arts Museum

The domed ceiling in the Islamic Arts Museum

An example of Rescht embroidery
The Quran
Ann Marie looking very professional for her first presentation about Alaska to local Rotary clubs
I'm getting more and more comfortable everyday getting around KL - figuring out where the light rail and monorail stations are, where good walking routes exist (and where they don't), and where to catch a cab. Ann Marie and I are also getting better at bargaining with the cab drivers. Even though the cabs are metered, there are certain places where they can get away with setting a price because there are no public transportation or walking options. One of those places is Lake Gardens where the National Museum and Islamic Arts Museum are located. At first, Ann Marie and I were too timid to bargain or afraid of being stuck without a ride home. Now, we're getting the hang of it and even walked the 15 min home last night from the monorail station when the cab drivers insisted the trip would cost 10 ringgit (it cost 3 ringgit on the way there). Even though 10 ringgit is barely more than $3, we knew enough to know that was three times what the trip should cost!

Yesterday while Ann Marie was in class I visited the Islamic Arts Museum. There were so many beautiful pieces of art, from tapestries, to clothing, jewelry, copies of the Quran, and ceramics. My memory was also refreshed about the spread of Islam into this part of the world. I think the last time I actually learned about the spread of Islam was in ninth grad social studies. Maybe it's time to do some brushing up on one of the world's major religions!

We've had a busy few days exploring KL and I am now ready for some relaxing on the beach. Ann Marie, her roommate Tomoko, and I are heading to the airport this morning to fly to Langkawi. Ryan and his co-worker Rich are meeting us there. They are taking a ferry from southern Thailand and are probably already on their way. We might be too busy laying on the beach to update for the next few days!

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