Week 3 Week-Late Update

I’ve been trying to do a weekly update of my time in Malaysia, but I haven’t been finishing the updates on time, so I figure a better name would be the Week-Late Update (not to be confused with Weekend Update or some other copyrighted comedy skit), so that will be the new title of my posts. 🙂

Delicious meal prepared by Appa

At almost 11 pm last Sunday, Amma remembered that there was a Hindu chariot procession traveling through Tapah to bless houses, so I threw on a dress and we raced to see it. 


After school on Monday, the German AFS volunteer and I went to the outdoor aerobics class and had our first boleh-lah! experience when we arrived 40 minutes late but, thanks to the laid-back Malaysian lifestyle, the class had barely started and we didn’t miss much.

It’s nice to experience the change of pace in Malaysia; everyone seems more relaxed and far less irritable than we excessively busy people of the U.S. tend to be. We’ve been late to school, fitness classes, meetings, and doctors’ appointments, but none of it is as big of a deal as it would be in the U.S.

Later, I ordered my first meal in Bahasa Malaysia: “Dua capati, terima kasih!”

The next day, we travelled to Ipoh, and while Amma was attending a course, Marike and I experienced our first Malaysian mall! We met up with two other German AFS volunteers and went to a nice nearby cafe. Ipoh was so beautiful and made me really glad to be here!

Seen along the highway on the way to Ipoh
First Malaysian mall!

This mall had a bowling alley, archery range, and two arcades, as well as a bunch of pleasantly familiar stores: Starbucks, Nike, Adidas, Birkenstock, Tutti Frutti, and Subway.

Cart from which we had delicious mee kari and mee sup

Wednesday I got to work out in the small Tapah Fitness Gym which felt incredible, since I’ve been getting quite antsy missing swimming and exercise in general.

My week was spent with lots of Olympics watching, with Malaysia winning a record four medals in one year! This gives Malaysia a total of 10 Olympic medals since 1964 (no golds yet… though we were very close with badminton!)

Zumba class! (I’m on the left)
Nearby restoran with aerobics class friends

On Friday, the two other AFSers at school and I had our first Malay tutoring session! Over the past few weeks I’ve learned a lot of individual words by writing down words I hear or read on street signs and finding their meanings later, and this class helped with learning to use useful phrases and actual sentences.

Friday after school picking rambutan at a classmate’s house
Learning to cook with Appa!
Meal that Appa and I made

This week I’ve still had phases of homesickness, but I’ve also had a lot of moments where I’ve realized how happy I am to be here. I received my first homework in the form of a chemistry lab report (that I am allowed to write in English!) and I’m getting closer with my classmates. I’ve had some good bonding experiences with my host family, and I love them already!


To everyone: please let me know if you have any questions in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Adams says:

    Thank you for sharing all the pictures so we can enjoy your trip along with you. You are getting fabulous pictures and I would LOVE to try that food. Seems like you are adjusting really well. We are still in an intense heat wave here of 90+ degrees humid and no rain (severe drought).
    Glad the homesickness is calming down. You will blink you eyes and the year will be over. You are amazing for doing this trip.
    let me know if there is anything I can do to help you.
    Aunt Mary


    1. Thank you! I really appreciate all your insight and support, and I hope you are doing well! ❤️


  2. Carol Greene says:

    I really like that concept about relaxing-time-management. Maybe you will stop getting mad when i am late for everything?
    The photos are beautiful! Thank you for sharing them and explaining what we are seeing. Lots of love.


  3. Deb Tiberio says:

    It’s so incredible that you are taking this year to immerse yourself in such a different culture. Thank you for sharing your experience. I love all the pictures. I look forward to seeing how the year unfolds for you. So proud of you for taking such a leap!




    1. Thank you so much! I’ll keep you updated!
      Lots of love,


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