It was the first time that I had a clear view on what I loved and hated the most about a foreign country. I knew exactly what I had appreciated and what I was positively surprised by, but also what I disliked, despised, hated! In my mind, everything was so crystal clear that there were no grey areas. I guess I felt pretty strongly about Malaysia…
What I loved about Malaysia:
- Master Ho was one hell of a Kung-Fu master and Business Man.
- Learning/Acquiring new knowledge– Before arriving in Cameron Highlands and visiting honey, strawberry and tea factories, it had been a while since I hadn’t learned anything new, since my brain had been “switched/turned on” or at least a bit stimulated! LOL. And, it was also nice to feel almost like a student again…
- This incredible multicultural society where every culture/religion/ethnicity seemed to have its right place in the country. It looked like they had chosen to embrace other cultures and ethnicities, rather than to fight them!
- I personally experienced several times genuine random acts of kindness from Malays. My story, my encounter with Bahari, was only one example among others of Malays’ kindness.
What I really disliked about Malaysia:
- The DURIAN fruit, South East Asia’s most popular fruit, is the most disgusting thing I have EVER tried in my whole life. If the smell doesn’t kill you, the taste will for sure!! Ugh, so gross!!
- Being a woman in this world is hard! That’s not a question open to debate, it’s a simple fact 🙂 But being a woman in a muslim country was definitely tougher! I paid extra careful as to dress properly (pants, long sleeve T-shirts, sweater, and even a scarf) in order to not shock or offend anyone. But, I was still constantly stared at by men, from head to toes. It made me feel uncomfortable, uneasy, upset,… It was as if I was constantly being judged wrong and I hate that feeling!
- Progress, electricity, hot showers, highways,… It was my first country in Asia that resemble to European countries. And that was a bit disappointing for me because it wasn’t what I was looking for on this journey. There was zero cultural shock experience, zero unfamiliar way of living,…
- And, did I mention that my black old flip flops were stolen in Cameron Highlands!! In Malaysia, the custom is to leave your shoes outside of the house, and someone in my hostel chose to steal my flip flops!! I hated it!!