Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Most Handicap-friendly and Unfriendly Malls in Kuala Lumpur

*updated* more malls into the list

Well, I ended year 2012 with a bang.

Kinda missing winter in Europe.  #ootd #lookoftheday #winter #austria #vienna #wien #snow

A bang down the stairs in Vienna, Austria, onto the ambulance and into the hospital.

Which landed me in five different hospitals, both in Austria and Malaysia, got flown back Business Class via KLM thanks to my awesome insurance company. I'm definitely making my travel insurance money's worth. A year before that I was evacuated from the snow mountain in Nepal via a chopper. On both occasions, the rides cost 100 times than what I paid for (the insurance).

Not that I wanted to be evacuated out for altitude sickness or suffer insufferable pain tumbling down the steps and forfeit the rest of the trip on both accounts; but one has to look on the bright side, right?

Remind me never to say 'it can't get any worse' to a horrible year. Apparently, life has its way to play pranks on you.

My 12.12.12 at 12pm admission to the hospital. At least I will never forget this day. #injury #travel #hospital

So I've been in a wheelchair for a month now, and I have to say, being a handicap is a pain in the ass.
I could never phantom how difficult it was being a handicap till I became one, you would think with all the advanced facilities built for handicap, it has somewhat made their lives easier, I can assure you, it might have compare to in a looooooong distant past when being a handicap is almost equivalent to survival of the fittest, it is not easier.


The more I stay in Austria, the more I find Austrian rude, indifferent, arrogant and appalled by their lack of hospitality and services. #austria #vienna #wien #internationalairport #airport #fly #businessclass #travel
waiting in a wheelchair for special assistance in the airport in Vienna, Austria.


Every whim and desire of mine have to depend on people, daily basic needs like getting water or going to bathroom require assistance, going out shopping with family is such a hassle, I see something I like in the window, I have to ask someone to push me there, when I see a lot of things I like, not every request will be made and I end up being frustrated with myself wishing I could just stand up and walk over, but I couldn't.

Good morning from my hospital bed. It's a good day to head home to rest for 6 more weeks. Le sigh... Immobility sucks #injury #travel #europe


Still, I'm thankful to the people who cared and helped during my oh-so-good-grievingly-bored days.

Best friend and mom playing  with my crutches. The identical pose was purely coincidental.  #funnysight #injury #hospital
Best friend and mom playing with my crutches. Hilarious, you two. Sure, make a joke of the handicap. -.-
I love your two


Obviously attending parties and going out for meetings, or even going downstairs to grab food seems a world away. Yes I could push myself in a wheelchair, but then when you're living in a country where handicap facilities isn't as friendly as it looks (believe me, it's not friendly at all), you could wheel yourself along and come to a 2 inch bump and then you're stuck, for good.


Most handicap-friendly malls: (in following order)

So far, the most handicap friendly mall I have been to is One Mont Kiara, though it is small size itself, fairly easy to move around and equally easy to finish the mall in one swift 15-min; but the handicap carparks are close to the entrance with slopes and lifts were easily accessible.

Ikano, Ikea and The Curve outdid themselves for such a complicated complex all fit into one. You can wheel  around fairly easy with lifts abundance all over the places; however it might be a bit tricky for the weak to move from Ikano to the Curve as the connecting sky bridge is a major slope, one slip of hand and you will end up on a ride of your life.

If you fancy a bigger mall, then it has to be KLCC, the lifts in the centre takes forever to reach your floor but at least it gets the job done, the added bonus is that you can take a stroll in their park (provided you have a strong pusher because the small hilly paths can be challengning), the only thing I have to complain is their handicap carkparks are really far from the entrance from the carpark. I can imagine Gardens being friendly as well with easy access to 9 lifts on three sections of the mall with spiral slopes from the carparks at two ends of the building.

Landed in the middle of a Comic Fiesta while out on a wheelchair stroll. #hatsunemiku #klcc #convention #cosplay #anime #japan #manga #idol #comic
Landed in Comic Fiesta while taking a stroll in KLCC park one day.

Sunway Pyramid New Wing is surprisingly very friendly, the lifts are only located near the ice skating rink and Orange Atrium but they function well and on floors where there're steps there're also slopes; can't say so much for its old wing, I wish they change something about that.

1 Utama is a pleasant stroll for a huge mall but because of the vast parking lot, it's hard to track down the handicap carkpark. Drove around few entrances to no avail so I had to get down via the wheelchair first and wait as the car parked before being wheeled through some handicap-unfriendly doors. Well, at least they didn't slam into me. Fortunately, that was as much complain as I have for the massive mall. Lifts are not abundance but they're easily found and accessible, once you get in the mall, it's a breeze the move around. I didn't need to visit the toilet when I was there so I can't justify much of it but based on my past experience, it can't be that pleasant.

Most handicap-UNfriendly mall: 

But most surprising, the MOST handicap-UNfriendly shopping complex I have been to, is Publika, Solaris Dutamas. Despite it being a hip and trendy new mall, there isn't even a handicap slope for wheelchairs coming in from the carpark area (I'm not sure if the lower level carpark where entrance to the B.I.G supermarket has a slope into it but I'm not going back there to find out, not while I'm in a wheelchair anyway), unless of course you pay RM10 for jockey outside (probably the only parking space fit for handicap). Handicap carparks are hard to locate, if not nonexistent, not even the guard knows about it. Then there's the ridiculously hard to locate lifts which you never seem to see around the mall unless you actually go and hunt for it. The doors exiting the lifts from the mall are exceptionally heavy with no soft-closing doors, making it difficult for wheelchair-pushers to get through them without the doors slamming into either the pusher or the handicap on the way out/in. On the occasion I was there, TWO of the handicap toilets were unavailable! One was closed for renovation and the other was just locked, and the cleaners have no access nor any idea of the access to the keys. Appalling.

The only lifts access Sunway Pyramid Old Wing have to certain floors like the cinema floor is through the service lift hidden beyond the toilet where they usually use it to transport garbage. So after passing the heavy ammonia stench, you have to endure a heavy stench of garbage during your ride in the lift; and the two doors accessing the lift, again, are without soft-closing feature but at least they're not heavy like the ones in Publika, which could crush you like peanuts. You can also find two lifts next to the ice skating rink but I would suggest the newer lifts on the other end of the ice rink which is more spacious and more efficient.


However, moving about on a wheelchair by one self in this country is really really really really difficult, even in the most handicap-friendly mall.

Anyway, I still have a month before my ankle will be recovered enough for me to walk properly, right now I can walk but after 5 minutes of constant walking it will swell up again, so in order to heal fast, I better stay in bed or on the sofa.

At the hospital for follow-up check up. Should be able to walk in an aircast starting today. #travel #injury #cast #hospital #sjmc #ligament
I have changed from my hard cast to an aircast that's detachable, no more showerless leg. It also acts as a walking boot.

I spent my days playing Final Fantasy 13 (I don't normally play games, but I need something to pass the time with, so thank you PS3), reading many novels I had the liberty of buying upon my return from Europe, watching Big Bang Theory and drinking tea.

Bought these adorable teas to try. I wonder how would lavender and dandelion teas taste like? #marksandspencer #detox #lavender #camomile #foodporn #dandelion #tea #infusion
Got these two variants in Marks and Spencer. I love the calming infusion.

I also spent an unhealthy amount of time doing online shopping, from UK, from USA and in Malaysia.
Well, I have to make the best out of my year end shopping. To sooth of pain of missing boxing day in London.

Christmas presents came late, so it's New Year presents for myself. #juicycouture #usa #asos #uk #shopping
Asos and Juicy Couture, oh heaven. It's like a late Christmas present.


Speaking of Christmas present, thanks brother for the lovely pair of John Galliano sunglasses! Love it!

My early Christmas present from my brother. Pair of John Galliano sunglasses.  Thanks bro! #christmas #present #johngalliano #sunglasses #fashion

Happy New Year 2013 everyone!

6 comments:

  1. You have highlighted a good point about handicap services. We tend not to notice it until we become injured or know someone who is handicapped. My brother had an ankle injury as well and was in a wheelchair. He also experienced that thing where you wheel up a ramp only to discover that you can't get into the shop because it has a step.

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    1. i can't agree more. it's really enlightening from that perspective. I mean, it's such a small step but such a big challenge.

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  2. Hey Nicole, XOXO, Happy new year. I hope you to regain your health again and blog more. actually I mised your articles.

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  3. Hi,

    Can you share about getting insurance when go travelling.

    Thanks.

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  4. Good that it doesn't put you off traveling, get well soon =)

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  5. Happy Happy New Year and get well soon Nicole :)

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