Malaysia, first days in Kuala Lumpur

Tired as I could be, with unslept hangover and huge hunger, I rolled out of the plane. Didn’t manage to sleep there, it was too cold again. Have to remember to pack fur next time I go travelling to tropical countries.

Made it to the immigration, and a though crossed my mind while waiting in the line. Altough I checked, it was slightly probable that there is no such a thing as visa on arrival for polish citizens. All went smooth and 10 minutes later I got my 90 days visa.

2013-02-09-1383My bag was already taken out of the belt, so grabbed it and looked for some food, since hadn’t eat anything since last dinner. At the airport things are normally more expensive than in other places, so small soup cost me US$4 and didn’t quite fill me.

While looking for the bus, I had my first experience with malayisian automotive culture. The Protons (local brand), looked really nice, and one of them (Perdana) looked like a car from my wet dreams when I was a teenager. It was a sport sedan with the V6 equipped with fantasy emblems of the type of engine all around (including embroidered seats). I wanted a V6 ever since, but never had it. Only later I read that this particular model was very unreliable..

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Got into the bus, the journey to city (despite of being Saturday, and the beginning of looong weekend – due to the chinese new year) took over an hour. Went to KL Sentral, where I was supposed to meet my host. Since had over 2 hours left, grabbed something to eat and sat in waiting.

Outside it looked like the kingdom of Protons. Majority of cars were from this brand, and I spotted quite a few Satria’s GTI (an evolution of Mitsubishi Colt GTI) which I almost bought as my first car 10 years ago.

Ste (my hosts cousin) came to pick me up (really nice from him!) and we went to the house. On the way we talked about culture and business making. It turned out that he has his TV programme, and right now is working on the having the CD with pop music published and figuring out the marketing plan for that move. I’m always interested in listening to business ideas, so the rest of the road we spent talking about it. On the way we grabbed a big pack of beers. When we arrived, my host, Cal, was already waiting for me. We spoke a little, grabbed some food, and straight away went to visit Batu Caves, on of the few things every tourist should see in KL. It was kind of monumental, and with its 272 steps it was a kind of cardio exercise to climb all the way up. But before we did it, I noticed that some people were giving away food and water.

dsc01732Seriously, everyone could just come and take the plate of rice with chicken and veggies. I took mine, it was delicious! Cal told me that it was their mission, and they were doing it completely for free. Even his sister participated in such a thing a few times. Malaysia looked like a very welcoming country straight after my arrival!

After the meal we climbed all the way up, I had a pleasure of listening to some stories about the place from my host, most of what delivered in very humoristic way.

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(notice the lady on the right having those days 😉 )

Since I was still pretty tired after last night party and travel, after coming back had a brief chat, and went to sleep early. To prepare for next 2 days of insight into malaysian customs and culture.

Next day woke up early, and took the ride into the natural reserve, located almost in the city centre. In spite of costing 30 Ringit for entrance, there was nothing spectacular. Just a very chilled place to take a slow cruise.

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In the meantime we spoke about how the Indian community has fallen in the social hierarchy during last 50 years in Malaysia. One of the sms I read was “thanking” the malaysian prime minister for lowering the status of indian community from highly educated class of doctors lawyers, teachers, replaced by dustmen, taxi drivers, maids.

Later we went to the Orang Asli region, habitated by aborigens, just to get a classic malay massage. On the way we spotted the wedding, that was taking part in the house just next to the main road. Cal asked if I wanted to participate. I would never expect the things that happened next. Me and Ste left the car, and I though I would just take a few pictures and that would be it.

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Instead, I was invited by groom, and taken by hand to sit on the couch where groom and bride were sitting, and some pictures of 3 of us were taken.

2013-02-10-1392I congratulated them on getting married, and they invited me to have a seat, and serve myself with all the food that was there.

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It was delicious and I was eating with my bare hands (which I find natural, and making the food taste even better).

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I served myself a little bit of each dish, including the tastiest beef I had in a long time. In the end, when I was leaving the party, was given a bag of gifts, as each invited guest.

Cal told me that it was normal and natural for Malays, every pass-by’er would be treated like me. Amazing hospitality!

We drove back through the supermarket to buy products for the evening fest that was taking place in Cals’ house. It was due to Chinese new year when the family was gathering together, enjoying the time, eating, singing karaoke and playing charades.

Whole family gathered together, around 8 pm. The table was getting full, and I also prepared a meal. Chicken with vegetables.

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I was the only person outside the family, not to mention being a foreigner. And I felt very warmly welcomed there, expressed by nice conversations, the rating of my food (supposedly it was rated 8,5/10, verdict I was very pleased with).

There was also a delicious barbeque

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and then karaoke and charades. For Karaoke I sang my ever favorite artists Daddy Yankee evergreen hit – Llamado de emergencia. But have to admit that after not speaking spanish, and not listening to music in that language it wasn’t as easy as say year ago, I still managed.

Indians tended to love to sing, cook, and play charade.

Charade thing was about giving the opponents team the title, name or so, and his/her team had to guess based on non-verbal communication within a time limit. In the meantime our team could disturb, mostly by directing the guessing into wrong direction, or simply making lots of noise. I was especially impressed how well they managed to guess the title of the famous 70’s european movie “The flew over the koko nest” (directed by czech by the way). The whole fest finished around 2 am, and even after we managed to watch the last few minutes of the match of Manchester United team.

After such a wounderful and full of cultural experience day, I couldn’t wait for the next one to come!

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