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  • The room was cold and bone dry from the air conditioner and I could feel an oncoming cold weighing on my chest.

    I felt like I was in some kind of incubator, keeping travellers sweat free.

    I cracked the window and sat where I could feel the hot, sticky Malaysian air seep into the room.
    It smelled like smoke and squashed dragon fruit.

    From the window I see Kuala Lumpur. More real than sterile tourist towers.

    Broken teeth, sticking out of the landscape. Crumbling apartment blocks, street markets and small clumps of vivid green jungle. Looking stubbornly wild in such a busy city.

    A canal beside an abandoned car-park glints in the disappearing sun. The car-park is covered in graffiti and crawling green creepers, inching over it's edges, softening it. Making it look, in the fading light, like some ancient and mysterious tomb.

    A group of small boys appears from between the pillars. Their little stick insect legs stick out from beneath brightly coloured shorts. They stand, hesitantly at first, knees stiff and small heads bobbing about in discussion. The bravest first.

    He jumps. I strain through the glass to hear a trace of his "whoooop".

    I watch as the group launch and throw themselves off the concrete platform. Shiny brown bodies slick with canal water, that any tourist would be warned not to touch.

    Maybe that is why this hotel doesn't have a 5 star rating? It hasn't got creeping vines and dirty, glorious canal water to dive into.
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