The First Week

So I have lived in Malaysia one whole week, 7 days of my 365 have gone and I have had some interesting experiences to date.

My favourite expat (not sure I love this term) experience was getting the train one stop, to wait 45 minutes, to then go back through the originating station and travel one minute to my destination. Only to find I could have walked (but Malaysians are not fans of walking) or could have paid 5 ringgit more, about a £1, to get a cab. I have the luxury of time at the moment and it all just adds to the experience. Lah!

Setting the bidet off in the public toilets, covering the cubical and myself in water wasn’t my finest hour – you know what they say about curiosity! To cap it off I flashed my bra in the supermarket, ‘Miss your shirt is undone’ was the first I knew of this, not sure who was more embarrassed him or me – oh the shame. This is not somewhere walking around half naked is appreciated; it is a reserved, mainly Muslim country Claire.

The locals are lovely, friendly and chatty. During my 45 minute wait at the station one such friendly local introduced himself and spent the next 40 minutes trying to persuade me to teach him English and get me to be his friend. I realise this makes him sound creepy, but I genuinely think he was being friendly, even if also a little pushy. Malaysians are mainly happy people, they have no choice the radio gives them advice on positivity and there are signs on the roads saying how they have the choice to be happy or sad. It’s amazing, like little messages, everywhere to remind them to live their lives in a positive way. I have always believed that we have the power to change things we don’t like and that being positive and looking on the bright side of life (cue the song that reminds me of my Dad) will mean setbacks are easier to handle. It’s easy to be cynical when you first hear it but I like it.

Our first Saturday night in Malaysia meant a trip to the big city. We are currently living in Bangsar, described as a ‘happening urban area just outside KL’. It’s about a 10-minute train journey to KL and costs about £1 for two people, with frequent air-conditioned trains. Meeting Ben’s work colleges for drinks and dinner in KL involved a trip to Heli Lounge, a bar on an unused Heli-pad that has an amazing 360 view and Chinese food at the yellow tablecloth restaurant (the only restaurant with yellow table cloths is apparently a University of Nottingham favourite) on Jalan Alor. After good food we ventured to a craft beer bar, Taps Beer Bar that we saw en route to find excellent beer and an interesting live act signing only Dire Strates, only in Asia.

The shopping centres are the places to be, it’s so hot outside that being in air conditioning is a must. They are like UK shopping centres on speed, the size and vast amount of them is just incredible. They have all the old favourites, Topshop, Zara, Warehouse, M&S etc plus some new ones, the Japanese 5 ringgit 30 store, a pond store full of Japanese products – how could a Yorkshire girl not love such a discount store! Oh and there is a Jo Malone, but you might need a mortgage here to afford it – anything imported is at least 30% more expensive. Currently lusting over some Topshop sandals that are double the UK price tag (they leave the UK tags on?), now a Yorkshire girl cant justify double the price even if they are amazing.

Talking of the heat – wow it’s hot. Just 20 minutes in the sun meant my pale skin got a little scorched, bang goes any sun for me for the next few days, good job there is plenty of shopping centres to explore!

Lessons Learnt

  1. There are lots of shopping centres here
  2. It’s HOT – wear sun cream
  3. I need a job if I want to buy things
  4. Don’t play around with bidets
  5. Make sure you are clothed in public

See my other musing on life… here

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