If you follow me on twitter, Facebook, or my other group blog, you’ll know that my time in Malaysia started out on the wrong foot. We landed safely in Kuala Lumpur, but my suitcase didn’t make the flight. Luckily, I had a backpack with one change of clothes for our presentation that night, but that was about it.
We all piled into the van for the 2 hour ride after keeping our driver waiting while I spoke the the lost luggage people. Its not easy to fill out paperwork in a country you’ve just landed in, when you are then heading to a stranger’s home in a town 2 hours away, without a phone number of your own to give out. But that’s what we did. We then arrived at our meeting place to meet up with our hosts and have lunch, but my host wasn’t there. I later found out he was in a meeting, and others knew this, but it hadn’t been communicated to me. I was starting to feel a little self pity. Anyway, my host came, drove me to his house, room me upstairs to my room and shut the door and said he’d be back to get me in 2 hours. He had another meeting to go to. This is when the pity party set in. I had no clothes, and was all by myself in a country I didn’t know, and felt stressed.
A few minutes later, things changed. My host called his eldest daughter who was at the house, and told her to take care of me. She knocked on my bedroom door and gave me all the stuff I needed to shower and clean up, showed me around my bathroom and set me up on the internet. (The bathrooms vary over here, some are like home and some are different – with showers that have separate heaters, etc…) She was so nice. I then felt silly for having such a pity party earlier.
I had a few more pity party moments that day when my host was at a meeting and someone else had to drive me home when is hadn’t met anyone else at the house and was stressed to go in alone, and when I tried to buy water and soap at the 7/11 but had no cash and they only take cash… But, in both instances, nice people, saved the day. The person driving me home bought my stuff for me at the store, and my host’s son was there to let me in that night. He was also very nice.
Malacca was my first real struggle with not being able to control my surroundings. And in every challenging instance, I was lucky to have nice people step in to help me out. After the first day, all was good, and I was comfortable in my surroundings. I had my suitcase back and was getting to understand the dynamics of the house I was straying in. The first night, I was thankful for being put in a tougher situation because it reminded me of how nice people are in general. While the family was much more distant than what I am used to in Canada, they were just as willing to help, once I learned to ask for help. I enjoyed getting to know them, and was a little sad to leave.
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