Hello Malaysia, my name is Joie. It’s nice to meet you.
Last week, I uprooted my life and everything I knew to fly halfway across the world to start something new. Honestly, I was rather fearful about leaving, but it wasn’t long before I realized that this was exactly where I was supposed to be- on the road, belonging to no place in particular. So here I am, ready to start my 13 month contract with the NGO, SOLS 24/7 as a Community Development Officer in which I work on community development, english literacy, and empowerment for life success.
The past week was a smattering of eventful moments and an unexpected amount of leisure time where I did nothing in particular. It seems Malaysia is a very laid back country- if you plan to start something at a certain time, it’s no big deal if it happens a few hours later or even a few days later. It’ll get done eventually. A mixture of three main ethnicities- Malay, Chinese, and Indian- Malaysia boasts a very unique and diverse culture. Chinese food courts, Malaysian cafes, and Indian eateries all coexist in an aromatic and flavorful peace, however, the communities themselves still remain largely segregated. My week was peppered with encounters of the three cultures, sometimes separately, and sometimes in some sort of fusion.
Eventful moments: TedX Kuala Lumpur, Section 2 & 7 Art Streets, driving ATVs in the jungle, 12 hours of intensive Bahasa Malaysia in two days, almost getting run over by cars on the freeway while simultaneously being barked at by a pack of stray dogs, & meeting my co-workers.
Nothing in particular: Eating and getting lemon ice at mamaks, Chinese food courts, and random stores, tons of casual reading, cleaning the dirty (by Western standards) communal bathroom, and afternoon naps.
Although I’ve been here for a week, all this random free time makes me feel like I’ve been here for much longer. Nonetheless, that’s all I have to report for now. Sorry my post isn’t more insightful. Like my week, I told you some important things, but also about nothing in particular. But to anyone out there that’s afraid to leave, it’s okay. If you’re meant to be abroad, you’ll know it. Until next time!