My flight to Kuala Lumpur was fairly short, about 2 hours, but figuring out how to get to my hotel from the airport without shelling out for a cab was more complicated and took the better part of 3 hours. But I’d arrived and waiting for my phone to charge a bit before I headed out to find some food; I was starving.
It’s funny, I remember a Simpsons episode in which Kent Brockman, the news anchor, is reviewing his script as he’s about to go on the air. He reads that there’s been terrible flooding and hundreds killed in . . . and can’t pronounce the name of the city, so just changed it to something like Paris or London, something easier. Before he can go on air, though, he learns that he has been fired and replaced by the Bumble Bee Man (the Spanish-speaking gentleman who hosts a skit show on the same network), who swoops in and, of course, pronounces the correct city name perfectly: Kuala Lumpur.
Since then, likely some time in the early 90s, Kuala Lumpur has stood in, for me, as a catchall for any exotic and far-flung place. Some might say, “All the way to Timbuktu” or whatever, but for me, the made-up-sounding-place was always Kuala Lumpur. I haven’t seen much of it yet, but I’ll see soon if it is as exotic and fascinating as it’s name has always seemed to me, thanks in large part to the Simpsons.