Life's alright right now. I'm writing this post sitting on a deck chair in front of the beach at a resort in Kuantan (which is on the east coast of Malaysia). It's 12:15pm and I have nothing to do.
Deep Thoughts (in no particular order):
We've only been here 6 days, but it feels longer.
I've met so many new family members and they've all been super awesome, amazing and hospitable. Way to go Family!
We've been getting lunch and dinner with family every day we've been here. It's all been super delicious but I've never been so full in my life. One time I was so full I thought I was going to explode, then THREE more dishes came to the table. It was sort of like that scene in the Simpsons halloween episode when that guy is like "So, you like donuts, eh? Have all the donuts in the world!!" only I couldn't eat them all...
There's so many trees and plants all over Kuala Lumpur. It's very nice. It feels like a whole different approach to city planning. Far nicer than the clear cut, concrete jungles that we're used to pretty much every where else.
On our first day, a lizard climbed up on my Aunt's leg so she kicked it off and grabbed this GIANT can of... something and sprayed it 'till it died.
They do the Terry Fox run here every year!!
There sure are a lot of Chinese restaurants in Malaysia.
My cousin Sazzy is a Malaysian film and television superstar. It's totally awesome
Driving in Malaysia:
Being in a car is a very different experience here. They drive on the left side of the road, everyone cuts everyone off (with surprisingly minimal honking), and the lines on the road that divide the lanes are only suggestions of where your car should go. It is common to see a car casually drift from one lane to another during turns. Lane changes are also performed in the same non-chalant way, with a blinker being used only 50% of the time. One time I watched a car drive right on the line, taking up two lanes for about 20 seconds, only to go back to the lane it came from. Also, Scooters are allowed to drive wherever they want. We were stopped in traffic the other day and these scooters kept driving right up the middle of two lanes of traffic. Everytime one drove past our car, the proximity sensors would beep for a few seconds. I just thought that was funny for some reason.
Also, nobody wears seatbelts in the back seat in Malaysia. When Laura and I got in the car the first time, we put our seat belts on and my cousin said "Oh my god that's so cute" and took a picture.
Like I was saying it's only been 6 days that we've been here, but it feels like longer. Our family out here is really awesome and has already provided us with so many awesome experiences. On the second day, we spent half an hour scheduling every last minute of our time here with different aunts, uncles and cousins, because they're all so eager to show us around. I feel like a VIP!
The first night we went for Chinese food and I got to meet my cousins Sazzy and Fiza and Sazzy's husband Nash for the first time. We went out for drinks after to a trendy bar/lounge that reminded me of the watering holes back home a little bit (except for the big awesome patio). They're cool. We talked about american pop culture for a while. Sazzy is a television and film super star over here, so we were pretty much living it up celebrity style.
The second day we got together with all my aunts and I met two more cousins (and a cousin's wife) that I hadn't met before. Also I got to meet Sazzy's twins! (WARNING: Baby pictures coming up)
That night we went for crabs at this crazy restaurant called Siu Siu that looked like it was in the middle of the jungle. It's actually in the middle of the city though, there's just a lot of plants and trees all over KL. The food was good, but there was too much and I thought I was going to explode (This is the place where I thought it was over and then three more dishes were brought to the table). And I thought my family could eat a lot!
Next day we went to Pulau Ketam with my aunt Theresa, my cousin Carol, her husband Alex and their kids (technically my nieces...sort of) Jeannette and Melissa. It was fun. Pulau Ketam is a small fishing village/island a few hours out of KL. It's very interesting... there is a LOT of garbage (see below). Good seafood though.
We also visited Jeannette's workplace that night on the way to dinner. She works at a climbing gym. It's the biggest one in all of Asia. It was HUGE.
After dinner we went to an awesome bar with Carol and Alex. There were a couple of live bands playing covers of American, Chinese and even Malaysian pop songs. The second band was really good. The guy on guitar/keyboards was amazing. Here's what they looked like:
Also, at all the bars here they have these big beer towers with ice in the middle. Any time your glass is less than 80% full, a guy in a vest will come along and fill it up for you again.
Day 3 we were on our own in the afternoon. We just went into downtown KL and walked around. There are a LOT of malls in KL. And they're HUGE. For anyone from Vancouver: there's at least 3 Metrotowns all within walking distance from each other, and many more smaller shopping centers.
That night we went to Petaling Street which right in the heart of China Town. This is where their night market is. Apparently nobody from KL ever actually goes there; it seems it's more of a tourist destination. In fact no one in my family ever wants to go there. We were lucky that my auntie Cat and uncle Loke were willing to take us! It was pretty fun. Auntie Cat did most of the bargaining (which you have to do or you'll get ripped off) but I managed to haggle for a cigar lighter pretty well. My aunt seemed impressed with my skillz.
Anyway, the next day we came to Kuantan and here I am (a day later) writing this post, sitting on the beach, still with nothing to do.