history life travel

Malaysia – Day 31

The suspicious man from a few days ago approached me again today. This time he was alone, but again he asked me what time it was. I told him I thought it was weird that he kept asking me for the time and that he should stop asking, especially since he has a watch. I knew his watch worked, but it’s not polite to just accuse someone of outright lying, so I tried to catch a glimpse of what time he actually had.

He told me that he “forgot…” (was he implying he forgot how to read it? I’m not sure) which really isn’t the case because when I tried to look at his watch to see if he really had the wrong time he covered the watch’s face with his thumb and then finally he moved it enough for me to read his watch. He asked if it was quarter to nine. It was. I looked at him incredulously and then walked away.

The whole sequence of events struck me as very odd and so I thought about this guy and what he could possibly want. I ran the scenario through my head, “What time is it?” and then it struck me. 4:20. Answering 4:20 is code signifying that I want to buy weed.

That’s the only logical scenario I can come up with, but could it be? The penalty for selling drugs in Malaysia is death. Why would anyone put themselves at such risk?

I read about a girl from Australia the other day that got caught with four kilograms of pot in Indonesia (that’s 8.8 pounds). She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. She’s going to appeal but it doesn’t look promising. Why anyone would take that big of a risk is beyond me.

Sometimes things just don’t go the way you’d like them. This morning for breakfast I apparently failed at getting my order across. I wanted to get a plain roti with butter (just like a scone) some scrambled eggs, and a nice glass of cold water. Instead I got some half boiled eggs still in their brown shells and liquid inside, and some toast with some marmalade like jam. The toast was good anyway but there was no way I could possibly even crack the runny eggs. I thought it was funny that even the ice water that I ordered was hot and particularly sans ice. Apparently if you order water and they don’t hear the “ice” part, they think you want to use it to make tea.

This evening I finished reading my book, “Canadian History for Dummies“. Don’t worry I’m well aware of the irony in coming to Malaysia to learn about Canada. But wow, what a great look into Canada’s astounding past. Some of the things I remember hearing about in school, but most were new facts that I either wasn’t interested in, in school, or that the curriculum didn’t cover.

I found the roles Canada played in the first and second world wars very interesting, and particularly eye opening was the sequence of events involving the French and their huge part in Canadian history and their consequential feelings of being jilted by the rest of Canada. It made a lot more sense when you have the whole story and not just what I remember from the news during the Lyin’ Brian Mulroney years. The true story is a lot more complicated than this idea I got growing up in the west that “French Canadians are just hard to get along with” and “they refuse to be bilingual just on the principle of the matter.” I’d get into it more, but it’s a long story that involves broken promises, back stabbing, political maneuvering, and an attempt by the British to eliminate the French culture from Canada.

I highly recommend this book for anyone with a remote interest in the history of not only Canada but the whole continent of North America. There is a lot of shared history between Canada and the United States. It’s full of things that will make you laugh not to mention a lot of darker history that makes you want to cry. It’s all in there.

One reply on “Malaysia – Day 31”

French people are very protective of their language. I've heard that in France they don't allow any new words into their language. Canadian French are also jealous of their language and so are the American French that moved to Louisianna, from Canada. My belief is that it is a cultural thing unrelated to any mistreatment they got from the English.

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