Now that I’ve left Malaysia I see how much more westernized it is comparing to the other SE Asia countries.
I’ve spent around 40 days in the land where number 4 is forbidden (4 and death have the same sound in Chinese), where English is phonetic (teksi, polis, julai… Etc) and the currency has the name of a cartoon character (Ringgit).
I was not meant to spend all that time there but I decided to extend my stay and take a massage course. Kuala Lumpur is very cheap comparing to every other big cities I’ve been. Food is extremely cheap and being multicultural by nature you can find every type of food. I got stuck with Indian, and with roti canai in particular (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roti_canai).
The population is composed by Malay, Chinese and Indian for the majority. Only a small percentage is made of foreigners (and there are many). In Malaysia is difficult to meet people (as explained in my previous post) but I still managed to meet a few very cool characters. In particular my CS hosts. The islands are beautiful places and in general pretty well preserved. Tourism has not corrupted all yet.
Every nationality is well integrated in Malaysian lifestyle but each of them keep their own specifics. Chinese feel Chinese, Indian feel Indian (as opposed to Malay) but neither of them would like to live in their original country. It’s funny how they insist on the fact that they are this or that although their passport is Malay.
I volunteered for 2 weeks in Oriental Heritage House and even if nothing went wrong I didn’t enjoy the experience (but the house is amazing!!! https://m.facebook.com/orientalheritagehouse/). I didn’t really learn anything and the communication with the management is very poor. Also it is in a very quiet area but this means that you’re far from the city center and the public transport is very bad – as in Kuala Lumpur in general. So, since I was busy only in the mornings I decided to fulfill a dream that I had for long time and take massage classes in the afternoon.
After a research in internet I decided to go to Wellness art training centre (https://m.facebook.com/well.ness.3158) in the very center of the city, a few steps away from the famous towers. It all started on a bit bumpy way. I had discovered that my CC had been cloned so my bank blocked it. Therefore I could not pay the entire price in one go and the management insisted that I had to pay before starting the class. I told them I could not and if it was a problem I would just cancel the course. They told me it was OK but the didn’t stop to send me WA messages asking me how I was and when I could pay. So at one moment I told them that their attitude was very annoying because I felt they didn’t trust me. And I understood that they don’t know me so why should they trust me but also told them that in Europe you can pay in two or three times and it was not an issue. And the management replied that in Malaysia things are different. And so I realized that even in the small things we have to be careful. We all think in different ways and we should understand that something that is absolutely common for us it might not be for some other culture.
If I had to choose one Asian country to live in Malaysia would be one of the candidates but honestly I felt a bit lonely there. People told me that Malaysia is cool, fold is amazing and places are beautiful. And it is true. But still. There’s something missing that I cannot quite spot. I still enjoyed my stay in KL and I loved my massage classes.