Expat Life: The Joy of Multi-Cultural People Watching in Kuala Lumpur

After spending 7 weeks back in California in a very ‘white’ residential suburb, one of the things I’m loving most about being back in a city – especially one like Kuala Lumpur, and my new village of Mont Kiara – is being able to walk out the door and have a very multi-cultural life buzzing all around me. There’s something about that initial burst of morning fabulousness that really starts the day off perfectly. And for me that all begins at my friendly, local coffee shop and bakery on the ground floor of my building that is perfect for people watching.

It’s called Watercolour and it has an owner with kind with smiling eyes, and from the first time I popped in for a coffee he has made me feel at home. There is a wonderful team of bakers, cooks, and barristas on hand and they sell amazing European-style breads and to-die-for banana chocolate chip muffins, and their iced lattes send me off to work buzzing. I mean…seriously buzzing!

But the best part of the morning in Kuala Lumpur is the 5 minutes I get to spend people-watching!

Outside almost everyday there is:

  • One table varies each day from between 5 to 10 westerners all decked out in workout gear who appear to meet for a morning run or powerwalk and then treat themselves after with a hearty ‘eggy’ breakfast and a lively chat
  • There is normally a table or two outside with just one person and their laptop … multitasking 😉
  • And there are always a couple of tables with ladies catching up with their children diving into hot cocoa and brekkie

Then inside it gets really interesting!

There are tables of people from a wonderfully diverse array of ethnic backgrounds.   I think the Malay Indians make me smile the most because they always have 2 bottles of different hot sauces on the table with their breakfast, eagerly eating with their hands (which of course makes all food taste better from my experience living in india). And that’s just not something I have seen any of us other ‘demographics’ doing as often.

There are groups of trendy young women in their 20s with sunglasses on. Friends catching up over their morning coffee. I heard a Spanish accent a couple of days ago and ended up meeting a really sweet Columbian woman and speaking a bit of Español, which was so much fun!

I’ve been moved into my new flat for just over three weeks now and I love that part of my morning so much. The girls behind the counter know my order by heart so I feel more like a local than a foreigner for just a few minutes each day, and you can’t put a price on that when you’re all alone in a new city!

{Do check out Watercolour in Mont Kiara on Facebook if you live in KL … and if you decide to stop in, don’t miss their banana chocolate chip muffins!}

XOXO Angela

© 2016, Angela Carson and Angela-Carson.com. All rights reserved. Do not copy and reproduce text or images without permission.

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Angela Carson

At 21 I left uni, jumped into my Jeep Wrangler, and drove from my native California to live an adventure in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I've explored 32 countries on 4 continents, residing in 7 of them (currently Kuala Lumpur is my home). By day I'm a digital nomad and by night I'm a passionate storyteller. I even have a private pilot's license and was shot at once by bandits!
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