Why do we feel so comfortable here? For starters, the racial mix in Malaysia is virtually on a par with London.
Secondly we happen to have found a spot in KL that is, pound for pound, a carbon copy of our existence in London. It’s not as though we ever conciously went looking for it, it’s just that the expat enclaves of Mont Kiara, TTDI and Sri Hartamas whilst I’m sure great if you are loaded and send your kids to international school, don’t do much for those of us transitioning to the idea of parent-hood.
We’ve traded in leafy N5; home to the BBC’s Nick Robinson (who I caught copping a cheeky glance at my wife’s bum at the Highbury Fields tennis courts once), Nigel Slater (who always looks a bit dishevelled, sorry Nig) and “Lyn Slater from Eastenders”, for Bangsar.
The similarities are uncanny. N5 – London’s smallest postcode – is an Upper Street satellite, wedged, barnacle-shaped, between champagne socialism (Stoke Newington, N16), gritty/grotty but up and coming (Finsbury Park, N4) and the-once-trendy-but-resting-on-laurels (Angel/Essex Road, N1).
Our apartment in KL is in a leafy area, but a walk away from Bangsar “village” (as I’m sure it would be marketed by Foxtons) – a sort of Upper Street but without the buggies and Gooners, and trading Turkish restaurants for hawker stalls. We have some great local eateries nearby, but there is more choice down the road. Bangsar village is buzzy but not uber-cool, good quality but not ridiculously expensive.
Much like Islington then. Judging by last week’s visit to Alexis Bistro, I think my search for a wine-friendly neighbourhood is nearly complete…. If Ministry of Waxing (aka Strip) can open a branch here to keep the Mrs on the straight and narrow, then maybe, just maybe, The Sampler could do similarly to keep me well and truly wonky.