Monday, May 10

KL at Sunrise

Everyone says Kuala Lumpur sucks the life out of you. It's too rushed, too hectic, too noisy, too expensive, too crowded. And the rush-hour traffic is horrendous!
Well, I can't deny it; Kuala Lumpur is indeed all that. But it is also more, so much more. Have you had the pleasure of driving around town at sunrise during weekends, when the world around you is crouched between sleep and wakefulness? It usually rains in the evening, so when morning comes, the air is fresh, and the vestige of warmth from the day before caresses you as you drive at 50km/h with the windows rolled down.
During weekends, the streets are usually clear, except for the few people going to work, or those going home after a night shift. I like driving fast, but during these times, I drive at a leisurely pace with the windows down, and Jason Mraz crooning live versions of his songs on my stereo. Sometimes the sunrises are brilliant: indigo gives way to a red flare, and the glass walls of skyscrapers reflect the sun before it is even visible to me. The shapes the clouds take -- if only I could stop by the roadside and snap pictures! Not one day is the same. Always, there will be a subtle difference that makes me catch my breath.
And the sounds. If you sit at Starbucks KLCC, you'll hear the gentle hum of ceiling fans, coffee brewing from behind the counter, and the lapping of the fountains as they touch the surface of the man-made lake. I roll the cup of Venti Caramel Signature Hot Chocolate (with cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon) in my hands, and take a sip while I close my eyes listening, just listening to the quiet sounds of Kuala Lumpur. Not many people appreciate this gentle purr, as they only hear roar of a bustling city.
Last week, as I drove toward the hospital in a drizzle, I beheld an unexpected sight: a rainbow. I know the picture isn't great; I took it using my iPhone. I don't really have my SLR ready at any time. It's dying, in fact, and I have to think about a replacement soon.
In my hectic schedule, I sometimes forget to stop and take a breath. And then these sights, these sounds, these unexpected gentleness in a hard environment come along, reminding me that life is beautiful.
I promise I'll try to get photographs of Kuala Lumpur at sunrise. The sunsets are equally dazzling, but I'm usually caught in traffic then, so I can't go snapping pictures at random.
So there. Just stop, stand still, and drink in your surroundings. Life is beautiful.