Malaysia: the Arrival

What a trip! It took me a while to verify my time off and it took me a little bit longer to actually part with the ever increasing cost of the plane ticket. In the end, Malaysia was a trip of a lifetime for me.

We arrived in the darkness of early morning. Customs was like customs in most other places. I passed passport control and then went to wait for my luggage. After my luggage was secured, I passed out of the controlled area to find my friend waiting for me on the other side. My friend and I had been talking online for a couple of years but this was the first time that she and I had met in person. I recognized her easily and we were able to converse as though we had known each other in person for this time. Little did I know what fate would have in store for the two of us during the course of that fortnight.

Getting around was rather easy. There is an express train from the Airport to downtown Kuala Lumpur. From here, one can transfer to the other light rail options to get around town. The train left the airport and I caught my first glimpse of Malaysia from the windows. It was very green, which was a welcome change from whence I came. Indeed, I had left Fort Worth after an ice storm and I could not be more excited to be in warmer weather for a bit.

The goal at first was to get home, get showered and settled, and then to stay awake until it was a proper time to sleep at local time (+14 hours from Fort Worth). Later on we went to the KLCC, which is the mall between and below the two landmark Petronas Towers. Malls provide a wonderful escape from the heat and I ducked into the KLCC quite a few times while hanging out in Kuala Lumpur.

On one side of the towers is a fountain and park where my friend and I walked and talked a bit. When the azhan sounded for prayer, she led me to the mosque in the mall where I could pray. This was a feature of life that I really enjoyed in Malaysia: every mall and public space had a mosque which really facilitated me undertaking that obligation when I was out and about.

On the other side of the KLCC, we went to a really nice cafe called RAW. Here they roast their single sourced beans with a diedrich roaster, which means that the coffee is about as fresh as it gets. I had a regular coffee to boost my energy amidst jet lag, of course it is also my common reference point for cafes to begin with. My friend had a red latte, which. The red latte was a latte made of rooibos tea that seemed to be quite popular around there.

After a driving tour of downtown with my friend and her sister, we went home. With every intention to go to bed early, what started as a chat over ginger tea became a long conversation lasting until 2 A.M. Even though I had been awake for several days straight (over 50 hours at that point), I hardly noticed how late it had become. We parted ways and I collapsed on my bed, exhausted. Thus ended Day 1 in Malaysia.

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Arab Street, Singapore

 

Singapore: the furthest South that I have ever been. I had a lovely hostel on Arab Street, which was a nice quiet street with the Sultan Mosque at the end of it. Along this street were restaurants specializing in Arab foods and, on the other side of the Mosque were two rather popular restaurants: Zam Zam’s and The Victory House.

The Green Kiwi was a excellent hostel on Arab Street. It was within an easy walk to one of the bus terminals serving Kuala Lumpur and an LRT station. If I head to Singapore again, I would not think twice about reserving at the Green Kiwi.

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Having the mosque so close to the hostel was an additional benefit for me. Apparently, there are some hours that this mosque welcomes visitors during the day time.

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Chinese Medicine Shoppe

While in Melaka, Malaysia, I sought out a pharmacy. Two days prior in Singapore, I had acquired a certain stomach discomfort which shall not be elaborated here. I asked directions a few times, but could not seem to find this phantom pharmacy in Melaka’s historic downtown.

There were, however, several traditional Chinese Medicine Shoppes scattered about. Partially seeking a practical middle ground in obtaining a remedy and partially by curiosity, I ventured in. I commenced by asking for something that would obtain similar results to a particular medicine. I was almost embarrassed to describe my symptoms but then I remembered that I was speaking to a person in the medical trade and ceased my comparative solicitation.

The chemist recommended a specific medicine:

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I have no idea what was in it and have no idea what it is called, but it did correct the symptoms within a few hours.