The white lights scream at me as the escalator carried me into The Pavillion. The curvuos shiny names like Lavender, Breadtalk, Bunsho Sushi glamoured at me. I squint my eyes and held my head up high anyway. I flip-flop across the squicky clean surface that reflected everything and everything reflected back. I am hungry. The longest line I see is in front of a donut restaurant, it is a restaurant with tables and chairs and a waiting line. What happen to donut stalls? What does that mean, then, in this entire floor food capitalism that everyone seems to only want to buy sugar coated bread with a hole. I should’ve known the signs. With the borrowed 21 ringgit in pocket, I look around for food I can afford. Already 3 ringgit is gone for the parking, and I only have an hour to spare. Quickly I know what I’m worth, the food court. I mean, sure I can just buy some bread, but hey, it’s dinner and this is Asia, in this part of the world, we eat rice. And I’m hungry, so only rice will do. I got myself an RM 8.50 set meal of sweet and sour fish with rice in a wok, don’t know why they can’t just serve food in plates but I guess it’s one way to save on dishwasher, that comes with a bowl of soup and fried egg. The soup was the best part of the entire meal. I could have gotten a much better sweet and sour fish at the kopitiam near my office at half the price. They even taxed me for that horrible meal, cost me almost Rm 9.
I couldn’t stand it anymore, I wanted to puke. All I wanted to do in Kl was to watch some good Spanish film at this god forsaken place. You’d know that the place is god-forsaken when it can’t be reached by anything else but car. And there was no ( affordable) food sold in walking distance. So I left after a film, drove off, seeking food at 7pm in the (frigid) heart of KL, got myself stuck in jam for half an hour and the closest refuge, if not the Westin Hotel, was the new shopping mall opposite it.
The film was good, called Innocent Voices, based on the true account from the point of view of a boy that in the conflict area of El Salvador in the 1980s, and almost got recruited as child soldier. It showed a world brutal and cruel. Nothing crushes innocence faster than guns, bullets and hate.
Replace the guns with glass doors, the bullets with credit card, the hate with apathy and we have right here where I’m having my dinner, the new world order- consumerism, woohoo. I avoid all eye contacts here, afraid that they might be able to see me counting if it will cost me more than rm 21; more than than, I am sure they will see my contempt burning through my glasses, contempt for this temple of religion they have meticulously build to cave themselves – intruder, betrayer, they’ll stone me and hang me to a cross. Innocence can’t be bought here either.
I’m done with my meal, I’d better run. And I ran for my life, like bullets after me. I didn’t bother to explore the place, while away my time till the jam lessen as I planned, see if they got good bookstores. I just can’t imagine spending another second of my life in a place where brandname are bigger than prices, the environment looks better than the food taste and people cold as cash; no, this is not my life, this is not how I want to spend living moments, this is not what we were born for. I couldn’t breath. I hurried to my car for refuge with tracy chapman. We battled the traffic together. We could do with much less shopping malls and much more rainforests, then we would all have much more innocence and less migraine. My head throbs.