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March 12, 2004

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Looking at Kuala Lumpur, it's hard to believe that Malaysia began as a fishing society of small villages along muddy river deltas. Then Arabs, Chinese, and Europeans bumped into each other and decided to build a country. The Arabs came first with their religion. The Chinese and Europeans brought the trade. Money flowed in from the East-West trade, continued to flow with oil, and converted the little fishing communities into metropolises. The Malaysian face looks like a meeting of Indian/Chinese/Arab/European ethnicity, people living in mega modern cities that envelop their mosques; Islam framed by technology. The Malays use a Latin alphabet and have adopted some English words, dropping "T's" whenever possible, so post is pos and cent is sen.
Petronas Towers stand as the world's tallest twins, 452 meters compared to the Empire State's 382 m, the Sears Tower's 443 m, and Jin Mao's 421 m.