Week 12: Three Months In!

Three months already! Looking back, the time has flown by, but it also feels like I’ve lived here for ages. I’m homesick far less frequently now, and I don’t cry very often anymore. I don’t really crave America as much. (But I do sometimes, of course)

I’m usually able to understand conversations in Bahasa Malaysia (but I don’t speak try to speak very often, even though I could/should.) I can read most signs and can usually understand the main ideas of stories or brochures. Tamil is still quite a challenge, but I’m beginning to understand the general idea of what is being talked about. (To people in the US, look up a sample of the Tamil language. It’s insanely hard. The first month Tamil sounded completely indecipherable to me, like ipilbilolalagubedalaiiueiabclnimalingivikelekalakilingi, and it still does sometimes, but sometimes I can pick out words. I’m not even trying to learn written Tamil [at least not yet])

I’m a lot more comfortable with my lifestyle here now, and I love my host family. Sometimes I struggle, but that’s to be expected. I have more freedom and can wander around Tapah town and can usually go to the gym or go to sinamrobik class twice each week. 

My phone doesn’t receive cell service anymore for some unexplained reason, but I’m actually happy about it. I felt like I was on my phone too much before, and I sort of wanted it to break so that I couldn’t use it so much, but at the same time I needed it for the camera and for talking to people at home. Now it only works in wifi, so I can’t use it when I’m out experiencing things (except for taking pictures) and I’m more focused on the experience! 

So, week 12: 

Monday after school I took the bus into Tapah by myself! I walked around buying finishing touches for my USA friend’s birthday package and then went to senamrobik class. Later, Amma and I visited a Form 5 girl from school who was in the hospital. I’ve noticed that people go visit each other more often here in Malaysia— either that, or Amma just has a gazillion friends and there’s always one or two that need visiting. 

Tuseday, we four AFSers from Tapah went to Ipoh for a talk about Women’s Capacity Building at the World Conference on Islamic Thought. 

With the first Malaysian/ first Asian woman/ first Muslim to go to the North Pole, South Pole, and Greenland, a national celebrity!

Afterwards, we went to a mall while Amma went to a class. 

Thai steamboat meal… almost like fondue, but you put these individually chosen add-ins into soup, cook for a while, and eat as soup. (At least, we think so… we didn’t really understand how this was supposed to work)

We visited a Chinese temple right near Ibe’s house. We went back later that night for a very interesting festival and spent the night at Ibe’s. The celebration involved burning a large wooden/ paper boat along with paper gold to symbolize wealth. 

On Saturday, I went to a 60th anniversary dinner for the Perak State Tamil Bell Club, where I saw some other AFSers!

Sunday, we went to a clothing store in Tapah to buy new clothes for Indian students for Deepavali, the major Indian festival coming up, the Festival of Light. Part of the holiday, symbolic of new beginnings, requires Indians to buy new clothes. I walked around with an aunty to pick out clothes for her young mentally challenged son. 

That evening, I went to our Indian Bahasa Malaysia teacher’s home to make murukku, a Deepavali food required for each family to have at home. Unfortunately, they had already finished making murukku, so instead I played badminton with Marike from Germany,  the young son of our teacher, and some neighbor boys. It was so much fun! 

An unfortunately common sight in Malaysia; there’s a lot of litter along roads right next to the gorgeous jungle and palm tree plantations. For one of the most biologically diverse places in the world, the environment has a lot of pollution.

Later, we went to deliver a food packet to the family we had visited in our first month here. 

The end for now!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kendall says:

    I love reading your posts so much!!! They’re always so interesting and have each have their own story and the pictures are fantastic! I’m in Spanish class right now and I was so into reading your blog that I have no idea what’s going on hahahhahahah. Also I know this isn’t for this part but your art is so amazing!!! I love your style. I also find it really interesting because your handwriting is so font-like and precise (your bamboo handwriting hahahah) and your art is more sketch-like and I love how the watercolors bleed into each other. I forgot how good at art you are and its so cool that you’re able to do that again (tbt to Ms. Tandon’s class). Anyways, I miss you so much and I just wanted to let you know that I’m really enjoying your posts!!!
    Shawn ❤ ❤ ❤


    1. Awwww thank you so much!!!!!! I’m so glad you enjoy them! I love and miss you so much! 💗💗💗💗💗💗
      But I’ll see you again sooner than it seems 😘
      Lots of love,


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