Sooo, I wasn’t planning on blogging about this trip at all since it was to visit some sick family members. But since it’s the motherland, I wanted to share some things :). Disclaimer: I didn’t take my DSLR with me.
My mother’s family is from Ipoh, where you will find some of the most amazing food ever. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Most restaurants are open air (pretty much street food). For example, the door to the restaurant will be fashioned as those warehouse-roll-down-door things. Also, Malaysia is blistering hot.
Most of the food I had was made by my aunt, though. She is an amazing cook.
I hadn’t been back to Malaysia in over 10 years before this, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was a stick skinny teenager then and obviously had gained a good amount of weight (and muscle!) since. And if you don’t know, it’s an Asian thing for family to bluntly comment on weight gain xD. I wasn’t Christian back then either, so I’d be seeing Malaysia in a whole other light too.
Fun fact: the soy sauce there tastes so much better than the soy sauce in the US.
The above street food place was a big area with different stalls. The food in general is super cheap, so at places like this, you could just go “sample” different dishes (in converted currency, each dish is about $1-$3). The portions are properly sized, i.e. they’re smaller than what we’d get in the US xD.
Malaysia has this thing called kacang puteh (ka-chang poo-tay). It’s like chips: one name for a ton of different types. But these don’t have their own name; they’re all just called kacang puteh.
And I mean, a toooon of different types. So yummy.
We visited a couple of Buddhist temples because they’re all (or most of them are) inside caves and the art is rather impressive.
The idols are also gigantic.
So, I am now what you call a “third culture kid”. Someone who grew up somewhere that isn’t of their culture and lives somewhere that’s neither of those places. My family is Chinese-Malaysian, I grew up in Aruba, and now I live in the US. So, I’ve never really felt this sense of belonging anywhere (any other third culture kid out there? Comment below :D). I’ve thought about moving to Asia often and I actually had a conversation with my cousin about that. After a pause, knowing my situation, he asked if I would actually really enjoy living here.
I actually probably wouldn’t ha.
I don’t speak Cantonese or Malay and I’m like twice as big as most of the girls in Asia (e.g. in the US, my T-shirt size is small. In Malaysia, I’m a large or extra large. I’m not even going to get into the crossfit-induced thighs or butt). If I spoke some Asian language fluently, I’d probably be fine. Yes, I know, anything is possible if you work hard for it, but eh lol.
I didn’t quite fit in in Aruba either. Moving to the US (for college) was a whole other level of culture shock. I couldn’t join the Chinese student association because everyone there was from the motherland and I don’t speak Mandarin. At the same time, I couldn’t join the Caribbean student association either because I’m not black.
Maybe this is why I love traveling…
I am a wanderer and a lover of culture.