Around four the afternoon turns golden and the streets start teeming with people that previously were hiding from the merciless heat. The sun drops like a stone and it is completely dark before the fresh smell of a pre-dusk application of DEET has worn off. For many, homework, dinner, a chat with friends, takes place in the public space; air-con is not a standard, and electrical power not a given. At night, entire townships go dark, making stars visible in the sky above this city of five million.
Obtaining a visa for our ten day excursion to [unnamed country] required some sightseeing in one of Kuala Lumpur’s embassy neighborhoods. This ‘hood is not quite as quaint you would hope but after we stumbled into some friendly people at a batique art school we did eventually find the right location. The embassy grounds are rather humble compared to Nigeria a couple of doors down. Nevertheless we must salute a government that doesn’t waste its people’s money on pompous foreign consulary facilities. After three visits, two passport pictures, an express fee and a stern lecture that the express option may only be used at the discretion of the residing embassy staff, we got our stamps in time for the flight the next morning.