Day one in Kuala Lumpur is officially completed! Woo!
Today has been a bit of a whirlwind! A lot of names and travelling to different areas, but it has also been quite fun. I am keen to know more about this city I will be calling home!
To start, I landed and was greeted by a lovely calligraphy teacher, whose name I unfortunately cannot recollect at the moment. Such a nice man though, actively showing me what he could of the area and answering all of my questions to the best of his abilities. Please note that it was also four in the morning.
The ride from the airport was visually interesting to me as well. In every country, there are different ways of managing traffic. The tolls in Malaysia for instance, are without lines, so you can just pull up to whichever window is available and drive through until you hit regulated road again. This is the only major difference I noticed but I am assuming there are other slight ones that I am intrigued to learn about. Plus I am incredibly curious about all the Malay on the signs! Something to pick up on over the next few months.
After a bit of confusion, we arrived at Evelyn’s house. Evelyn is an incredibly, kind woman who is allowing me to stay in her home for the duration of my trip. She quickly acquainted me with her home before leaving me to get my bearings. A brief unpacking season followed by responding to messages on Whatsapp and I was asleep.
I awoke in the afternoon, and was shortly picked up by a fellow Canadian Alex, Evelyn, and Shane; a Frappucino loving student from the school I will be teaching at. Fact: Alex and I were both Baristas at Starbucks in Toronto which is also how we met! She is the one who inspired and helped me come to Malaysia! I will be replacing her as of next week, while she relaxes in Bali. Lucky girl!
From there I met a plethora of wonderful and unique students, all of whom I am excited to get to know as we spend more time together. I learned that the school is sorted by age into four categories: Tinkerbell (ages 3 – 4/5), Rolly Polly (ages 5 – 7), the Rambunctious Boys (ages 7 – 13) and the Angels (ages 13 – 18). These children are full of creativity – most are musical geniuses – and have a genuine excitement towards learning, which is very motivational for me! I want these students to get the best learning experience that I can provide for them!
I was also introduced to a few of the teachers and Pyen. Pyen is the inspirational woman that runs the school. We had been in contact before I arrived so it was very nice to finally put a face to a name. She also kindly bought my first bagged meal in Malaysia!
If you haven’t heard, which I certainly had not until today, food can be served in plastic bags when you use the take away option. There is generally a bag for your dry foods, another for your sauce, and an additional one if you order a beverage. Although it was a little different presentation wise, it is incredibly delicious! I am looking forward to more baggy delights.
As the day winded down, the students gradually began to leave for home. This allowed for a few of the teachers to slip away and run some errands. My one item on the list was to find a towel, because as per tradition, I had forgotten something back home. Yes, I have a habit that no matter how much I prepare, I will, without fail forget an item I need. I suppose I should be thankful that it was just a towel!
Our trip for errands brought us to two of the largest malls I have ever entered. One is the largest in Asia actually and the other was an electronic junkies heaven. Alex and I branched away from our fellow teacher and ran into a beautiful couple who sold me a portable charger. They were so lovely, as we chatted for a bit about Malaysia and different places in the US we had all visited. During my stay, I will definitely visit them again!
We ended the night meeting up with another Sam and having free drinks on a patio. Free alcohol you may say? Yes! The all you can drink, free refills type of alcohol! This is a promotion called girl’s nights that bars and clubs seem to put on. Essentially, girls are offered unlimited free alcohol to draw men in to buy beer. Yup.
I can only imagine the mayhem this would cause in Toronto… I am unsure if production could keep up with the demand!
So tomorrow is Alex’s goodbye – booooo – but aside for the sad reason to gather, it should be a splendid evening. Now off to bed with me and my jet lagged mind. I hope the above wasn’t just one unfurling ramble.