Sunday, August 22, 2010

First Day in Malaysia

Today started out with breakfast out. We went to this restaurant and had Thosai. It is like a sourdough rice crepe with three different dipping sauces. They were fish curry, dahl, coconut chutney. It was very good. It is not something I would typically think about for breakfast but I really liked it. It is something that people eat with their hands. There is no napkins either, but at the end of the meal they do have a sink off to the side where one goes and washes their hands. Our next stop was the bungalow where there is a room for me to rent. It is a very large house with several rooms. All the houses have gates at the end of their driveway, over the front of their doors, and bars on their windows. That is to help prevent thieves from breaking in, but then they go through the roof. When we first arrived at this bungalow we had to let ourselves in the gate. Then when we got to the door when had to remove our shoes and the maid opened the gate on the door. There is a huge foyer with a room on each side that is mostly glassed in. I am not sure what they are for. To the right side of the foyer is a group of chairs and like a futon couch. That is where we met the Chinese brother that is in charge. We also met his Mother. The stairs go up the middle and then split with a set going up to the right and left. We went up to the left. The room I was shown was a corner room. It has a super single bed (slightly larger than a normal single), a wardrobe, vanity, and small table. I would have to buy myself a desk and probably another wardrobe. It has a bathroom attached to it. They have wet bathrooms here. It was what I pictured in my head after my Uncle described it. It is room completely tiled with no separation for the shower. So when one takes a shower the toilet, sink, everything gets wet. (My Aunt and Uncle have the same thing at their house. The toilet paper is put up high. There is no mirror. There is a towel rack on the far side of the room, and that is where I have put my clothes while showering. So far they have not gotten wet.) They do not have hot water like we have hot water. One can have it installed. It is a little box they put on the wall, but it is extra. It would also stay there after I left, and they ( at Bungalow not A&U) would get it for free, since I would have to pay to have it installed. (My Aunt and Uncle do not have one in their guest shower, so my last two showers have been cold water. Supposedly I will get used to it and will like having cold water when it is hot outside.) They do not have hot water in the sink. Outside of my potential room is a open area with again futon like couches and a table. I can use it as long as I share with others and pick up after myself. There is also a patio off of that but it does not have any furniture. I can buy a chair if I would like to sit out there. Downstairs is the kitchen. Just outside the kitchen is a wall where I could put a fridge for my food. It would be labeled so no one else would use my food. In the kitchen I could have microwave that would also be labeled for just my use. I could possibly have a small corner for my non-refrigerated food. I am allowed to use the sink for washing dishes. They have a filter for the drinking water and then one boils the water and then it sits in a metal pot like a teapot to cool before going into a plastic bottle in the fridge. (My Aunt and Uncle do the same thing.) I can use that water to drink. After checking out the room my Aunt and I went shopping. First, we went to a store called Giant (a hyper market) that has everything and is huge: clothing, bedding, clothes, toiletry items, baby stuff, rugs, towels, microwaves, fridges, DVD players, T.V., jewelry, etc. Then we were to the mall. I bought a cell phone that works over here and is a local number,. They have tons of cell phone shops, and they basically carry the same phone but for different prices. There are some phones that are original and others called AP where a person can only have them serviced at the shop where one buys the phone. It was a long process and hard to know who was telling the truth, but I eventually found one I liked for a price I like that is original that I can have serviced at any Nokia store in Malaysia or Singapore. The mall has lots of stores that carry just about anything. They also have food places. They even have American places like KFC, McDonalds, and Kenny Rogers. We went to chicken and rice place. I had chicken in this bolognaise sauce that is like spaghetti sauce. Then there was also rice. I did not put the soup on it, but I did try some of chili sauce that was really hot. They also have a bowling alley and all these karaoke boxes where people go inside and sing karaoke. So, they do not sing in front of people here. For public toilets people have to bring their own toilet paper. They have Western toilets like found in our homes and squat toilets which are set down in the floor. I have not tried the squat toilet. I don’t know about that. I am afraid I will make a mess or get dirty by falling down. After that we went to an appliance store to look at more fridges. Then, we went to Pantai Selamat grocery store which does carry some western items, but not as much as I thought.
People drive crazy here. They do not really obey any rules. They drive on the opposite side from us.
I wore compression socks on the plane since I had to sit for so long. Today my feet and ankles really swelled up. My left more than my right. I bought new sandals because I discovered when I put mine on this morning that on the right one the leather strap broke and the elastic under it was about ready to go. My upper legs have lots of bruises. I wonder if it has to do with the compression socks.

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