Malaysia Part 1
We got to go to two different places in Malaysia!
The first place we got to go was the capital of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur). The really great thing about this stop was that a friend of ours that we haven't seen in several years lives there! She was able to take the whole day off of work, borrow a van and drive us around the city. It was so special to get to spend the day with her!
We tried to take things pretty slowly, so we just walked around some famous old areas and ate a few popular things. I really did not know anything about Malaysia before this! What really struck me was the combination of different cultures. In America, we have different cultures, but we all blend together as "American," you know it's the melting pot idea. But in Malaysia, the different cultures really keep their separate identities. I mean, talking more in depth with Malaysians, I think both systems have their benefits and costs. But at any rate, I was very struck with how different it was! Also, in the US, all those different cultures have only been together for two or three hundred years. But in Malaysia, we're talking about nearly 1,000! That changes things too.
My favorite part about Kuala Lumpur was definitely seeing our friend. But also I am completely obsessed with this coconut rice dish and I just want to eat it all the time. So I really enjoyed having that at lunch! I think everyone else's highlight was that as soon as our friend realized that M liked durian so much, she took us to a durian shop. (Which by the way, if you're unfamiliar with durian, here's Wikipedia, read especially the third paragraph.) Wow, what a shop! It's outdoors (to compensate for the smell) and you choose which variety of durian you want to eat, and they cut it up for you and serve it like you're in a restaurant! It was quite the experience. But it was so fun! And I have to admit that after the first durian, we went back and bought another. Also, I begrudgingly acknowledge that it was the best durian I'd ever had. I've tried it before, you know, to be polite. But I actually liked it here! So I guess all those people who said it matters where you buy it and how fresh it is were right! I think it was a very memorable experience for everyone! It was hard to say good-bye to our friend at the end of the day, but it was such a sweet time to get to spend with her.