Malaysia for us two is one of those countries, where we feel like at home. In last two and a half years we have spent here almost half a year. We like it here. And we feel, how in some ways we are becoming more like Malays. Slowly, but we see changes in our behavior. And sometimes it’s funny to see, how you adapt to your environment.
Here are 5 signs – all of whom can be attributed to us – that you’re becoming Malay.
You go everywhere on your scooter or motorbike
You don’t walk too much anymore. You walk only if it’s not possible to drive there. Other than that wherever you need to get you use your scooter. It was in Malaysia (Taiping and Putrajaya), where for the first time ever I saw a yard keeper picking up the garbage while driving around the city on his scooter.
Living about 800 meters from a restaurant, where I was going every or every second day for a lunch or dinner, I wasn’t walking there. I was driving there on my scooter.
You like to be in air-conditioned places
And almost never does it feel too cold for you there. You are used to it.
In Kuala Lumpur there is even an air conditioned pedestrian walkway from KLCC (Petronas Towers) to Bukit Bintang, popular shopping and entertainment district. If you are traveling around by metro or taxi, spend most of your day working in an air-conditioned office or in a shopping mall, eat in nice restaurants, then, I guess, it’s even possible to forget how hot it is in Malaysia for most of the time.
At the same time, when you spend so much time in air-conditioned environment, being outside, especially during the mid day, becomes less and less comfortable.
In 2013-2014, when we were cycling across India and later Malaysia only few times did we stay at air-conditioned rooms. And, you know what, we got used to this heat. +30 C and more felt like normal temperature for us. But now, when we have A/C almost every day, well, it has changed.
You buy takeaway food regularly
Takeaway rice and noodles. Takeaway soups. Takeaway drinks, both hot and cold.
Take away is possible everywhere in Malaysia and for everything. In a regular plastic bags, which they close with a rubber band, they can pack your soup, sauce and iced drink, too. If you want to drink on your way, just ask them to put a straw in. Rice, noodles, meat and vegetables are mostly packed in special containers.
You don’t really cook too much at home in Malaysia either.
You drink a lot of cold drinks
Malays love iced drinks. Not too surprising in a climate like this, though. Average yearly temperature in Malaysia is 25 C 77F. During the days it’s often well over 25 C 77F, but during the nights only rarely it’s colder than this.
Mostly Malays drink iced tea, coffee and juices. When you order a juice, it can be a fresh juice, juice mixed with a water or drink made from concentrated syrup. Remember, that in most of the situations there will be sugar added to your drink as well. If you don’t want any sugar, better say it, when ordering a drink.
If you are buying an iced drink as takeaway from a local restaurant it will be filled in a plastic bag. Ask for a straw if you want to drink right away!
It’s 11 PM and you… are going out for a dinner
Not to a bar or club for a drink. You are going out for a dinner with family.
Now when I think about it, I haven’t been out that late to see, that there are no more people dining in restaurants in Malaysia. At 11 PM restaurants are usually full. At 00:00 there are a lot of people eating. At 1 AM they are still eating. Is it the same later? I am not sure. What I know is that at 5 AM there are no Malays eating and most of the restaurants are closed.
So dinner time ends at some time between 1 AM and 5 AM.
I’m curious, what other changes we can expect if we will live in Malaysia longer?
Author: Kaspars Misins
Kaspars is a long term traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. He loves going on long walks, reading non fiction books and spending time outdoors. Together with his girlfriend Una they are traveling – volunteering – working abroad since 2013. On WeAreFromLatvia.com they share their experience and things learned along the way.