Mental reconstruction of the Perdana Lake Garden

It has been years since I last really explored the lake garden right besides the Tugu Negara. I was small then and the place seemed like a huge jungle in the middle of the city. My visit to the lake garden yesterday changed my childhood perception, downgrading the lake garden from a place of high adventure with great likelihood of Tarzan swinging through the tree canopy to what it really is at the moment, a park in a concrete jungle.

The park looked smaller than what I had in mind. Back in the 1990s, especially the early 1990s, to me, the park stretched from the Tugu Negara and the Parliament, passed through the railways station and the national mosque and then went endlessly with no boundary. This was probably because the park had no extensive concrete pathways. And its lakes was so huge to me that it seemed like a huge sea inland, possibly something close to Lake Michigan.

Exaggeration? Yes but that what the lake garden was to me when I was small.

At some point, I stopped paying homage to the lake garden while other things started to occupy my time. “Modern” activities such as building a civilization on my computer crowded out my nascent love for nature. Despite that, the memory lingered in me. The perception of wild great jungle impressed so much on me that until yesterday’s visit, that was the very perception that I held.

As I grew up, that perception became increasingly illogical, upon knowing and seeing how Kuala Lumpur rapidly asserted itself through the roaring nineties, becoming from just another city to, perhaps, a metropolitan of impressive skyscrapers. That growth had converted and is still converting green jungle into gray jungle. News on it is everywhere for those that care. The struggle to preserve whatever left out there could be loudly heard at Kota Damansara or even closer to my home, Ampang.

Yesterday, I wandered around Damansara, visting the much hyped The Curve and other malls that packed the area. After bowling and “tonight, we dine in hell”, I was on my way to the lake garden and on the way, I passed through a tunnel of the Penchala Link. The area surrounding the tunnel looked like a real jungle. Curious, I looked it up on Google Maps. That little investigation somewhat confirms my suspicion that it is a large area covered by trees:

Copyrights by Google. Fair Use

Compare that to the lake garden, my perception of the lake garden mocked the area around the Penchala Link:

Copyrights by Google. Fair Use

Trivia: try to spot the Malaysian Nature Society’s HQ!

Still, yesterday’s excursion to the lake garden took my almost 2 hours; it started around 6PM and ended when the sun was setting near 8PM; from the Tugu Negara, I walked all the way to the Muzium Negara and then back again. Now I know where is the other end of the park.

By the time I got home, I could not feel my legs anymore. My feet gave way to my weight. And so too my childhood perception of the lake garden. For me, it is finally a true, overdue end of an era.

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