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The Time Out Kuala Lumpur blog

Your guide to city life, news, culture, openings and more

The people of KL

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The six species of bookstore wildlife in KL

1. The Famous Five Along with the change of the seasons, The Famous Five shows up when the government issues free book vouchers. Like magic, this species will start appearing by the flocks when signs proclaiming the acceptance of BR1M vouchers mushroom at all major bookstores. The Famous Five then flaunts the stacks of vouchers to buy notebooks and miscellany. Meanwhile, the rest of us eye the vouchers hungrily. 2. Gaston On its first outing to the bookstore since its kindergarten days, Gaston only appears at the bookstore on the hunt for a gift for its bookworm friend, or when it suddenly gets the urge to reread a book it last encountered 20 years ago. It hangs out at the nearest customer service counter, displaying its ignorance and terrorising the staff with helpful descriptions like ‘the cover is green’ or ‘I think it’s about an orange clock’. 3. Mr Penumbra The longsuffering mainstay of every bookstore, the Mr Penumbra only took on the job due to its love of being surrounded by books all day long. It’s always rubbing its hands together in glee at the idea of introducing new reads to you. Identify it through muscular book-bearing forelimbs, elephantine book location memories, creative book-themed nests as well as remarkable patience for ignorant customers. Most Penumbras also harbour a secret desire to work for Flourish and Blotts. 4. Gandalf Also known as the You Shall Not Pass, the Gandalf is a sad by-product of an age where comfortable couches no longer belong i

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The eight types of café-goers in KL

1. The Triple Shot A close member of the raccoon family, the Triple Shot sports distinctive dark and puffy under eye facial markings, bloodshot eyes and small shaky paws (probably caused by overdosing on caffeine). With deadlines looming, it obsessively stakes plug-point territory with multiple cups of espressos, laptops and stacks of books. Find it at round-the-clock coffee establishments. 2. The Venti A subspecies of the Triple Shot includes the Venti, a freelancing creature that buys one giant cup of coffee and proceeds to hog a table for the rest of the day. Guide them towards the nearest co-working establishments. 3. The Flat White Like mosquitoes, the Flat White usually turns up around sunrise or sunset (for the best lighting). It buzzes around styling gorgeous shots of its café meals; perfectly pulled steamed milk in espresso is a must, as are artistically crumbed slices of cake, croissants and photogenic breakfast platters. Behavioural tics include perching on chairs and rearranging café furniture. Certain subspecies may start taking multiple selfies or potential album cover shots. 4. The Board Gamer Instead of going to actual board game cafés, the Board Gamer prefers to terrorise other café-goers by congregating wherever there are tables large enough to accommodate their games. A group of six to eight players may buy one single cup of coffee, bring their own board games (or card games), and spend the afternoon going on a rampage over ‘Settlers of Catan’ or wha

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The seven species of cinema-goers

1. The Hermione The Hermione has either spent months anticipating the movie or has used a quick hour to read up on it just so it can squawk the plot or toss out bits of distracting trivia at completely unnecessary moments. If you’re allergic to spoilers, we suggest that you sit far away from them. We don’t want to know anything in advance, thank you. 2. The Snorlax The Snorlax is a species whose body automatically enters hibernation mode whenever they’re in the proximity of plush chairs and in a dark room. Desperately in need of a good night’s sleep, the Snorlax heads right into the cinema, lowers itself onto its seat, and then promptly falls asleep (regardless of what’s going on onscreen). Our sympathies if you’re in the general vicinity of one that snores. 3. The White Rabbit Suffering from a chronic case of bad timekeeping, the White Rabbit is usually identified by its hunched form shuffling along cinema seats, uttering mortified apologies for blocking the screen and injuring the paws of fellow cinema-goers. It’s our understanding that they prefer to miss the first half of the movie so as to spend the rest of the time figuring out what’s going on. 4. The Godzilla The Godzilla gets hungry easily. In preparation, they store food for the movie using extra large bags. Spot them by their oversized bags which serve the important purpose of sneaking food into the cinema. We have spotted some munching on whole large pizzas, sushi platters and even chicken rice during the mo

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The six species of Valentiners

1. The OverachieverRaising the bar during Valentine’s Day (and every other day of the year, really) is the Overachiever, a species noted for its unusual and complex displays of courtship behaviour. From gifts and gestures such as a thousand banknote origami hearts in a mason jar to filling the room with helium balloons and bushes of roses, the Overachiever has tried them all. If your partner used to date one of them, good luck. 2. The PeacockThe Peacock is a fine example of evolution in this age of technology. Making a fine show of this special day on social media, this species makes sure you know everything: pictures of supremely detailed #throwback posts, giant bouquets at the office, constant selfies (and lots of #ootd) at the restaurant, images of bank-breaking presents, and more #couplegoals than you need will fill your feed. Give them the likes they want and hope they’ll strut far away from your life. 3. The UnpreparedUsually found muttering to itself, groaning at random intervals and pacing nervously at the card aisles at Hallmark and MPH, the Unprepared has forgotten that it’s one of the most important celebrations of the year and is now trying to salvage the situation with cheesy cards, stuffed toys and a box of chocolates. 4. The Guy Who Asks All The Girls OutThe Guy Who Asks All The Girls Out fully trusts in the power of maximising his odds. Short of gyrating with a puffed up chest at every available potential mate that passes his way, this species tries everyth

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The eight species of gym rats

Illustration: Sio Yean   1. The Pumbaa After a nice, strenuous session at the gym, the Pumbaa is most commonly seen trotting happily towards the nearest source of Mega Macs and teh tariks. Scientists have hypothesised that this species is only motivated to work out so that it’s allowed to eat more. Find it chanting food-related terms while lifting weights. 2. The Olaf One of the rarest phenomenal wonders of the animal world, the overly optimistic Olaf only turns up at the gym at certain fleeting moments in the year, only to gradually melt away into a no-show. Usually seen in January, the appearance of an Olaf is believed to be caused by an excess of Christmas puddings. It may also show up at the gym randomly due to impending high school reunions. Its only form of exercise: writing a list of New Year resolutions. 3. The Coach Cinderella’s pumpkin is more qualified to be a coach than the Coach at the gym. You don’t need to hunt for this particular species. The Coach will hunt you down. Not a certified coach, The Coach is basically a regular gym goer who just has to air its views on what it is you’re doing wrong. How to deal: Bring ear plugs, or get a personal trainer. 4. The Pepé Le Pew The Pepé Le Pew drinks gallons of water and sweats gallons of it too. After bench presses, chest presses, leg curls and quad extensions, cue the Pepé Le Pew marking its territory by leaving sweat marks and a musky scent all over the machines. Worse still, it refuses to wipe down the e

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The six species of buffet wildlife

1. The Rudolph The Rudolph is always taking food ‘for everyone else’. It likes to keep an eye on the rarer food items, retrieve entire trays of elusive grilled chicken wings, and then lug the feast back to its table. The Rudolph is also pretty adept when it comes to hiding unfinished food. 2. The Father Christmas Every buffet restaurant lives in fear of the Father Christmas which can (and will) eat them straight out of 12 days of Christmas. Owing to its mega metabolism and seemingly unlimited stomach space, it can be identified by its signature nest of empty plates and giant pile of prawn shells. It produces satisfied burps as well. 3. The Ghost of Christmas Past The Ghost of Christmas Past has repented of its gluttonous ways. Scientists are intrigued; the way it lets others have the last chicken wing, strolls calmly among food displays without grabbing everything impulsively, and its general temperament of notable self-control. Bravo. 4. The Scrooge The Scrooge has spent the last week fasting so that it may have extra stomach space at the buffet. A true professional, it’s only found at the most expensive sections of the buffet line (oyster bar, sashimi and steak sections) so as to make the most of the buffet price. If all else fails, the Scrooge eschews carbs and lifts salmon slices off the sushi. 5. The Kevin McCallister Much like its namesake, the Kevin McCallister is always experimenting with weird combinations (wasabi and Christmas puddings, hot chocolate oyster

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The six species of mamak critters

1. The Clubber Pre-Clubbers throng here for greasy sustenance before hitting the clubs. Post-Clubbers crawl here for greasy sustenance before hitting the bed. Either way, this breed is the easiest to spot as it’s usually overdressed for the mamak. Stumbling in high heels to the washroom? Check. Jabbering drunkenly? Check. Sitting there clutching head in hands? Score. 2. The Cub This extremely helpless young member of the pack has no say in this matter. When the moon is full and high in the sky, hungry adults will tow the helpless Cub along with them to hunt for some cheese naan and Maggi goreng. While some younglings are able to doze off during loud football matches, most can be appeased with ‘Angry Birds’. 3. The Dragon Follow (or rather, avoid) their scent. We already have sufficient mosquito fogging services from the local authorities. We don’t need strawberry-peach-mint scented fog from the Dragons enshrouding our roti tisu tower. These dragons breathe no fire, but depend on smoking hoses, pipes and vaporisers to create smoke. Also, they’ve yet to learn how to read wind directions. 4. The Boss The highly competent Boss is one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of late. This remarkable species is able to memorise all 35 convoluted (‘Milo ais, tak mau ais, tambah Milo, kurang susu, boss!’) orders without an iPad, and better yet, delivers them like a pro. Standing ovations all around. 5. The Sports Fan Usually clad in bright glossy coats of red, wh

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The seven species of plane wildlife

1. The Nomad The Nomad is a species normally spotted on budget flights. This species sports a shaggy coat of dreadlocks, a musky scent (as a result of limited shower opportunities on the road), giant backpacks, a surfboard or two, touristy singlets from Bali, and as the finishing touch, a pair of beat up old flip-flops. 2. The Recliner The Recliner needs its sleep, and needs it now. Specialising in the element of surprise, the Recliner catches you unawares by reclining its seat at full speed without any prior warning. We hope your kneecaps are insured. 3. The Inspector Gadget The Inspector Gadget is a man of the future. Once the plane is safely airborne and the seatbelt lights are off, this particular species squawks into action. It eschews all in-flight entertainment and instead meticulously sets up a personal work zone with a collection of shiny tablets, complicated spreadsheets and gleaming bits of technology. And you’re not allowed to go to the washroom because its laptop is all set up. A subspecies is the rather weak-of-hearing VIP, a species that insists on posting one last status update for its adoring fans or replying another urgent email, while the poor air stewardess politely reminds it to turn off all electronic devices for the tenth time. The entire plane sighs in unison. 4. The Child The Child will always be there, on its very first plane ride, completely terrified by roaring engines and bad plane food, and yowling till touchdown (worse still, playing game

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Comments

1 comments
Kamalika R
Kamalika R

Since you will be travelling with your family, make sure you choose the safest mode of transport i.e. buses, Check RED bus well in advance.