I arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Kolkata, India at 11:30 p.m. local time. By the time I arrived at my hostel via bus from the budget airline terminal, it was nearly 1 a.m. It was my first trip to Asia: a solo backpacking experience I designed for myself as a brash, strong-headed kid, who recently graduated with her bachelor of journalism and wanted to taste adventure. Having tasted life in Kolkata, I was ready to call it quits, but I kept it going somehow and decided when facing defeat, I would eat.
The next morning, I set out at 9 a.m. humidity in search of food. I wasn't sure what I wanted to eat but I stuck to the rule that if the place is busy with locals, it should be good. By the end of this southeast Asia tour, I found it was the best rule I could arm myself with when it came to experiencing the authentic daily meals of every city.
Somehow I lucked out with a hostel that was located just down the street from one of the most popular food stall strips in KL. I stumbled upon a couple of fellows frying up bacon, which completely blew my mind. I thought this was supposed to be an Islamic country...
As much as bacon tempted me, the place was more of a market than a sit-down place. If they were layering those delicious pieces of fat on bread with some eggs, I would've been all over it. Instead I opted for the guy who called me over to his stand with the plastic chairs and tables set up right off the sidewalk.
I opted for what everyone else was eating -- or at least looked like they were eating: chicken noodle soup, Asian-style, of course.
It was simple, hot and dirt cheap. It was the first time I ate noodle soup for breakfast, though it's virtually common practice throughout Asia.
I felt ready for exploration.