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. 🙂
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!
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.
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!)
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.
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!