Malaysia – Day 15

Today I went to the Cathay Pacific Airline office to see about changing my flights around. That in itself was kind of a tricky operation because I got some conflicting help on the street by a couple of different people that thought they were being helpful. Anyway one of the people that I met on the street wanted to know where I was from and a little bit about me. Normally I would have been very open and chatted it up with the guy but I have heard that it’s a common scam for people to tell you that their daughter is coincidentally returning to the same place that you live, and then they want to take you somewhere to ask questions about what it’s like where you live. Except then when they take you, they may be out to use you in some way. I have no idea if this was a scam or not &#8212 the guy seemed friendly enough and there are lots of friendly people here, but I just had a bad feeling about it.

Anyway I rearranged some of my flights and will see if everything goes through tomorrow.

I decided to take a break from the usual foods and go back to something western. I was so hungry I had an entire large Hawaiian Chicken pizza to myself. Yummy.

life travel

Malaysia – Day 14

Today was so amazingly fun I might have to break into ALL CAPS TO DESCRIBE HOW AWESOME IT WAS! Jon picked me up and we had lunch at this Indian food place. The food is served on banana leaves and the idea is, you don’t use any eating utensils. YOU GET TO USE YOUR HANDS!

You Eat it With Your Hands

You Eat it With Your Hands

We had coconut milk with our meal which is a nice treat. It started to rain and ironically that was one of the most fun parts of the meal. We got out of the rain under some nearby canvas but some other tables were half covered and half exposed. The water started to pour down on the tables and the employees there were scrambling to help the people. One guy brought this huge umbrella up to the place where water was coming down and instead of stopping the stream he just spread it out over everyone. Everyone was in a pretty good mood though and we all just laughed about the gong-show that was happening around us.

Foggy Temple
Foggy Temple

We were going to visit Malacca but then the rain changed our minds. Instead we went to the Ganting Highlands. It was great.

We stopped at a Buddhist temple and climbed up the nine floors — representative of the nine levels of heaven. The clouds were coming in and although it made it hard to see very far, the mist brought with it a nice cool breeze.

There are many rides both indoor and out at the Ganting Highlands but rain kept us inside. They even have a water park there. The best part — at least in my mind — was an attraction they called “Free Flying”. They have a vertical wind tunnel that has a continuous stream of air zooming by at least 193 km/h. The force of the air is enough to lift you off the ground at which point you are literally flying. WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE HOW AMAZING IT FEELS TO FLY! Controlling yourself is not to hard either, once you start to get the hang of it.

Flying in 193 km/h Wind

Moving your hands left and right and up and down can control your side-to-side motion; bending and straightening your legs will send you backwards and forwards respectively. The best part was having the instructor grab onto me and go into a wild spin up and down the wind tunnel. I was worried it wouldn’t be worth the money but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! I had a VCD made of the entire flight and I’m hoping to find some software that will let me convert it to a *.mov and then I’ll post a clip from it here.


Malaysia – Day 13

I was hoping to take in some scuba diving lessons today, but with the presentations due at work it just wasn’t possible. There is a chance I could do it during the week, but with my busy schedule I’m not holding my breath…

This evening I just read a little from my “Canadian History For Dummies” book and chatted with the other U of L students. Tomorrow I’m going to go with Jon to either Malacca or the Ganting Highlands.


Malaysia – Day 12

Fun Times at The Loft

Today I was majorly stressed out thinking about “relationships”, and so I headed to work an hour earlier than usual. It was nice to just sit on the bus and think. It was also nice to beat the morning rush and get to work in less than half an hour. Luckily Jon was there to let me in early.

In the evening I went out for some fun on the town.

First we went to a nice open market style restaurant. The idea is you get to pick one or a few dishes from any vendor you want. They bring those dishes to your table and you get a variety of styles of food all at the same place. I had the shark fin soup.

Shark Fin Soup

I understand that the way it works is, there is one owner that sells drinks and all of the vendors rent their space from him.

Since the evening plans were somewhat impromptu I didn’t have a shirt with a collar and had to borrow from one of Jon’s friends because of the dress code. It worked out nicely and we had a good time at “The Loft”.


Malaysia – Day 11


This morning I took some random photos down in Chinatown on my way to the bus. There are a lot of people riding motorbikes or what in Canada would be called scooters. They are everywhere. Most people seem to agree that they are extremely dangerous, nevertheless you see so many weaving in and out of traffic. A friend of mine warned me when crossing the street that the cars may stop but the bikes probably won’t.

In the evening I mostly hung out with the other students from Canada. I went down to the market for awhile but they were pretty much closing everything by the time I got down there. That’s another thing that seems weird. Even though they call it the night market, everything closes at 11:00pm. We met this Kiwi there who told us that earlier he had seen some police walking down the streets and all the CD and DVD vendors throwing everything into a box and getting out of there. We couldn’t really understand why they would be worried about the police since the pirating is everywhere but apparently it has more to do with where they are selling than what they are selling. I guess if you’re in a booth on sidewalk or in a permanent store you’re ok but selling pirated movies on a card table in the middle of the street is not allowed.


Malaysia – Day 10

I never had supper last night. I had agreed to wait for a couple of the other students to get home from work and then we’d go out to eat. Well I should have just gone on my own because they thought they’d be home by 8 but I think it was around 9:30 when they finally came knocking on my door. I had already fallen asleep and was too tired to go. So this morning I was extremely hungry and ordered 3 of my favourite, the banana roti.

Making the Banana Roti

Here the cook has already stretched and folded the bread and is now adding the banana inside it. Next he cooks it on a small griddle to the side. It’s served with a “gravy” of curry or dahl sauce.

It’s really good stuff, but if I had my choice I’d probably drown it in maple syrup, honey butter, or icing sugar. They are very much like scones and so that’s my natural desire.

The rest of the work day I spent improving my storyboard for Kick-Ray. It’s coming along nicely.

This evening we had some guest speakers come to our residence. Their names are Kesh Singh and Jamison Masse. They talked to our group about life in Malaysia and about their work at a company called Profitera.

The best part of the evening was when we went out with Jamie for a great cold treat. The conversation was light and fun and the treat was absolutely wonderful. I can’t remember what it’s called, but the one we all ordered has fresh mango, shaved ice, some kind of sugar based syrup, topped with tapioca pudding. It’s so good my mouth is watering just thinking about it. WOW.

Jamie is also a Canadian — about my age — and has been living in Asia for the last 4 or 5 years. He’s a programmer / manager at his company and it sounds like he really loves his job.

I asked him about tax laws with regard to importing and exporting software from Malaysia to Canada. He figures that the laws are having a hard time keeping up with technology and that a lot of laws don’t treat software development the same way they would a tangible object. I supposed Canadian customs would have the answers and he agreed. I was curious about this because it seems very closely related to importing and exporting New Media content.


Malaysia – Day 9

I checked out the cost to go to Iran from here, but when I checked the dates I realized that I made a gross miscalculation with regard to how long it is until I leave Malaysia. It looks like I won’t have time to do any extra travelling after all unless I finish up the work-study early or have my flight plans changed. I’ll have to look into these respective possibilities.

I shaved off my beard today. I was holding onto the hope that Anna-Maria might come and visit me here and well… though she’s a big fan of my facial hair, she’s not going to see me here.

On my commute to work I’ve been listening to the audio version of the book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. It’s by Malcolm Gladwell, and it’s about how we make decisions — both good and bad — and why some people so much better at making decisions than others. My friend Jason recommended it to me along with another of his books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, which is about change and more specifically it shares a new way of understanding why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does.

So far Blink has been an eye opening experience; when I’m done I will certainly pick up The Tipping Point. In almost every chapter—if not every chapter—I find myself at the edge of my seat hanging on every word. I particularly liked the insight on improvisational acting (he believes in Keith Johnstone’s techniques), the story behind a massive war games held by the United States in 2002 (which in reality was a failure), and the decision for the Coco-cola Bottling Company to switch to New Coke in the 80’s (read about New Coke at Snopes). I’m only on Chapter 6 of Blink but I love everything about this book.


Malaysia – Day 8

Today pretty much consisted of me going to work, writing a few emails and then working on my storyboard. I went out for lunch with my boss to this sushi place which, believe it or not, I really liked. We had some California Rolls with green tea and something else which I never did find out what it was – which is maybe why I enjoyed it so much. Up until now I’ve never been a big sushi fan.

For supper, I went out with a three of the girls from the U of L to a Chinese food place. There was a hungry kitten that looked pregnant. We felt sorry for her and fed her a bit of our meal. We were really enjoying the quiet atmosphere, but then the band showed up and though I wouldn’t say they were bad—they were a little loud.


Malaysia – Day 7

Happy Mother’s Day. Today we went to the Batu Caves. We had to find a different place for breakfast since the usual place I get my Roti (think Scone) doesn’t open on Sunday. We cabbed it out to the caves and I had a great time photographing the monkeys and other scenery.

People Say We Monkey Around

The weather was beautiful and everyone had a great time. I met some people from Iran and asked them about the possibility of going to visit there. They got me pretty excited saying that the plane tickets are not that expensive and it’s easy for a Canadian to get a visa to go there. I’m seriously going to look into going there for the last week or two of my trip.

Afterwards we caught a cab back to KLCC (near the Petronas Towers) and from there I took the Monorail with Andrew to check out a bookstore at BB Centre – another shopping centre. Most of the books were on architecture but there were a bunch of new media books that I found interesting.

After that we headed for our residence walking past a Chinese Temple. It was nice to go inside and enjoy the quiet sanctuary for a few minutes. I burned some incense and tried to clear my mind.

Chinese Temple Panoramic

That evening I read a little from my Canadian History for Dummies book (which I absolutely love by the way) and learned about the War of 1812. I almost forgot that we had a dinner appointment with the Dean – luckily Jason reminded me. We headed out to his hotel and after some trouble finding a half honest taxi cab driver (one that wouldn’t try and charge us double) we arrived and had a pretty good buffet. By the end of the evening the topic of religion came up and I talked at length about my feeling about the Mormon Church and about its history. I told them that despite my negative feelings, I am still very defensive when I hear about others speaking poorly of it. One of the others there agreed that even though she is no longer a practicing Catholic she also hates it when people speak badly about the church. Sort of like, it’s okay to put down your own friends or family (occasionally) but don’t anybody else do it!

It was a good evening that ended at a hostel down the street from where we are staying and I shared my story from getting engaged to ending up here in Malaysia alone and distressed. It’s a pretty long story and in the end the advice they gave me was to not really do anything but heal for about 6 months and then decide what I want to do. It’s good advice.

P.S. I almost forgot. Today is my brother’s birthday. Happy birthday Gary.


Malaysia – Day 6

Sunway Mall

The photo here is of the entrance to the Sunway Pyramid. I didn’t get a photo of the actual pyramid because I was worried I would miss my bus.

After work I went to dinner at this Chinese food place. We had a good time just chatting and it felt good to get some food. I skipped lunch because I felt bad about missing the morning to go to the doctor — I realize that this is counter-productive but it’s too late now to go back and change it so please commenting about this is not necessary. Afterwards on the drive home, because I was coming from a different route, I had a chance to check out KL’s Times Square from the road. Just like the Times Square in New York, there is a lot of advertising here.

Today I had breakfast with a couple of the interns before we came inside to present our work. We have been coming up with a story line for a 3D animated cartoon. Now I need to rework my storyboard using the ideas from today to present again next Saturday.

Our Workforce

For lunch Jon took us over to the Sunway Tower Hotel for a buffet. Although much of the food was greasy I have to say I’m still impressed with how tasty everything is. Wow, what great food; it was also great to get so full.