Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Float like a butterfly, Sting like the Malaysian Sun
Alright, finally the blog is now about it's intended purpose: to track my misadventures in Malaysia. First I just want to thank the Fulbright foundation and U.S. Dept. of State for trusting me enough to fund my adventures abroad with a nifty scholarship. I will also give this disclaimer for the posts devoted to my time in Borneo or referring to my time there:
This is not an official Department of State website, and the views and information presented are my own and do not represent the Fulbright Program or the Department of State.
So after not reading my plane ticket and going to the wrong terminal (my mom secretly hoped I wouldn't make it), I barely made it on the plane. Mom was crying and Becky was trying to crawl through the legs of the security guard, not to follow me, just for kicks. Anyways, the flight was excellent, Cathay Pacific really impressed me. I made a new friend, who was amazed I could read through my camera's manual in one sitting. Watching Star trek and HotTub Time Machine was amazing, though in very different ways. Also 16hrs is so long to fly, by the end i was beating my foot against the arm rest to get feeling back.
Kuala Lampur is such a great place, but it really surprised me (though admittedly, I had done no research on what it would be like) in it's modernity and big city feel. it is thanks to all the free wifi spots in western coffeeshops that I can even update this blog. My first full day here, I checked out the Petronas Towers, and sort of just wandered around the city, which is definitely the best way to get a feel for most any place. I wound up on the other side of the city, near a place called the Lake Garden. There I got to the National Mosque, which was gorgeous, but unfortunately closed to non-Muslim people at the time (it is Ramadan here, so that was probably the reason). Finally I made it to the butterfly garden, from which this post derives its title. I befriended these two dutch women, way too old for my taste (especially after The Incident....just kidding, there has not been an incident yet), but it so happened that they were staying in the same hotel as I was. We ended up going out for some great Malay food and many many Carlsbergs, as they shared with me their most treasured life lessons. Incidentally one of them is the project coordinator for the revamping of Amsterdam's Central Station, so I spoke of how much I enjoyed that city, from biking to ... Van Gogh. By the end of the day, I found that the sun here is as unforgiving as the smell a durian gives off (stinky foot smell).