When Martha Stewart came to Malaysia last year, she wrote a daily blog about her trip. One of the things she mentioned several times was the constant building being done. "There is a lot of construction being done all around Kuala Lumpur", she notes and "many cranes punctuate the landscape". That's the understatement of the century. Leave it to Martha to say it tastefully.

This is looking down from our balcony. I chose a bad time to take this picture because I don't see any workers or heavy-lifting equipment. But they're there. ALL the time. Well, 8-6 Monday through Saturday, at least. This was one 'con' that we considered when looking for an apartment. This construction here, a massive double highrise, started being built about 3 years ago. Luckily, they finished the building nearest us (probably less than 100m away) and are working on tower #2, which is blocked because of the completed building. But there's still lots of noise. There are still sirens, controlled explosions, water pumps, cranes, lots of dump trucks and cement trucks coming through, and lots of jack-hammering. Let me say it again: lots of jack-hammering. This comes from both our balcony as they work on the street below us and also from the other side, where someone, somewhere in this building, is renovating. There's always someone renovating. And it always requires lots of jackhammering, to get through the concrete and tile which is the primary building material here. I estimate (from my trips up and down the elevator, from where I perceive the noise to be the greatest) that it's about 10 floors down from us. The first time I heard it, about a week ago, though, I thought it was literally next door. Sound carries well here!

We took all this into consideration when choosing to stay here, but we knew that it would not likely be better elsewhere. You can't get away from it here. Someone, somewhere within your earshot, will have jackhammer in hand. This is Malaysia.

The only silence I ever hear is in the morning, before daybreak. Such a wonderful time!

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