The Bad News Barber of Kuala Lumpur

Inside an Indian Barber in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This is a story about a haircut, some bad news, life in Kuala Lumpur, and crocodile poop.Before I set off for my first trip abroad to India many years ago, I harbored visions -- visions of mystical women in colorful saris who would place their hands upon the crown of my youthful head and say, “I see great things in your future.” Through osmosis, I would absorb … [Read more...]

Panorama of the Week: The Rhythm and Ritual of a Hindu Temple

hindu temple

Every morning and every evening, just down the block from our guest house in Kuala Lumpur, the local Hindu temple comes alive with the daily puja (prayer).  Worshippers line up to break coconuts, families gather to share blessed meals, Hindu priests prepare to dress Ganesh, and the sadhu attempts to sell 3-D calendars sporting likenesses of Hindu gods.Each time we … [Read more...]

Multicultural Snacking in Malaysia

You know, the Chinese are funny people: so long as their eyes are open, they are looking for food. –- an ethnic Chinese Malaysian man sizes up the Malaysian appetite for street foodTruth is, this quote applies to just about everyone in Malaysia. And why not? Like many of its neighbors in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is home to the holy trinity of street food … [Read more...]