Malaysia – Day 5

My throat has really been killing me, especially during the night. This morning I tried looking at it in the mirror and couldn’t tell if there were the little white bumps indicative of strep throat, but decided I’d better go to the Dr. and find out for sure.

Well, as luck would have it I have a case of the common cold. I’m guessing it’s all the weird sleeping hours and strange diet that is throwing my system off so much.

Other than that, the hospital was actually quite nice. It was clean, fast, and inexpensive. Maybe private health care isn’t so bad after all…

I made a quick phone call to Anna-Maria and invited her to join me here in Malaysia. She insisted that it was out of the question, but at the same time I know she was tempted. I am tempted to buy it for her anyway but I guess she wants me to “try” to make sure we don’t get back together. It’s a weird situation—nevertheless I’m really sad at her decision not to come.

I caught the train and a cab to my work and got there (here) basically in time to go for lunch. Which is where I’m about to go now.


Sunway Lagoon – Day 3 part II

Yesterday was my best day in Malaysia so far. In the morning some of the other U of L students decided they wanted to go to the water park. I really wanted to go and find out exactly where I work so that I would be able to find it the next morning. As luck would have it the water park is right next door to where I’m working.

It's high, and it's far, but it's worth it.

We had a fantastic time. Sunway Lagoon is no Disneyland by far, but at the same time the rollercoaster was still a nice treat and the hot but not too sunny weather made for one of the best watersliding days of my life.

My whole perspective of Malaysia has changed a lot in the last 24 hours. For one thing, the neighbourhood we live in is right next to Chinatown. I discovered that that strange smell I hate is actually coming from a kind of fruit they sell there. Truth be told, you sort of get used to the smell and it’s not that bad. Also they burn a lot of incense and cook chestnuts around that area which once you get used to isn’t that bad either. The people here are tremendously kind and helpful. Yesterday someone I met on the street gave me a mango because his friend didn’t want it and I was there. It was delicious. Not as delicious as the Mango I had the day before, but that’s not a fair comparison because that mango was the most amazing piece of fruit ever to be grown on this planet. It really was that good. Almost worth the trip for that experience alone.

I did eventually find my workplace though it was quite the ordeal. Then it was home on the bus and to a meeting with a successful international business man from Malaysia. Most of the students from the U of L are in management so the speakers (one every Wednesday night at 7:30) are business folks. I was surprised at the lack of questions the other students had for this guy. I was drilling him with (what I thought) were lots of great questions. Which because I am bored will not be repeated here. Ok, I’ll try to remember and update this later – I know you’re dying to know what I asked.

Then he took us all out for drinks and I stayed out too late and I will probably never get the rest I need to recover from this cold. At least I’m having a great time!

Update: Ok this is what I asked him. What are the steps to exporting something from Malaysia into Canada? He said that first once you have the manufacturer of the product you are interested in, you need to check if there are any quotas or special taxes on that particular product. I asked him how he went about getting loans from the bank. He said it all goes into doing research and presenting your plan to the bank manager. He also mentioned that if one banks says no, then don’t give up. Rewrite the proposal or try another bank. He explains, if it’s a good plan they will give you the money. He got something like a $3 million loan when he was only 28. Most of his money is made from importing and exporting, but I asked what he thought about real estate. He said that it was a great investment. He went on to say that he got several $10,000 loans from the bank and used to money to out down on 4 or 5 properties. Then he just waited a few years and made an easy couple hundred thousand when he sold them all. I asked how he got the bank to give him the loans and he said, they just looked at all the other money that he had been making with his importing and exporting and that was it. At present he has 18 different companies going. Oh, and one last thing—he loves his alcohol. When asked how he chooses his staff, he says if they like to drink than he knows he will get along with them. Don’t you just wish it was that easy? He makes it sound like that. But I guess I need to remember the biggest thing he pointed out is that he works 10 – 12 hours a day, seven days a week.


Malaysia – Day 4

More of the Fountain

What a great day. I started work today and I really like it. Before I left, I was told that it would take at least an hour and 15 minutes to commute to Sunway. As it turns out the bus ride this morning took exactly 45 minutes. Needless to say I’m pretty happy about the extra 60 minutes that adds to my day.

I did however get to work a little early which gave me a chance to grab some french toast for breakfast and take a couple of pictures around the area.


Photos from Malaysia

Jeff by the Towers

Here I am by Malaysia’s own twin towers. Here is another photo of the towers by themselves.

Twin Towers


Malaysia – Day 3

It’s the start of my third day in Malaysia. I’ve been sick with a cold, and that coupled with my jet-lag has made sleeping an arduous task. Actually falling asleep is not the problem. The problem is staying up past 6:00pm and sleeping past 2:00am.

My plan for the day is to check out my workplace. I start there tomorrow and want to have some experience getting there before the actual day I need to show up for work. The deal is, I have to take the train for about an hour to the end of the line. From there I need to take either the bus or a taxi. Apparently the taxi takes about 15 minutes and the bus is anyone’s guess because public transportation doesn’t seem to be the most reliable here, not to mention buses are not as good at manoeuvring through heavy traffic.

I’m still not used to the food, though most of it is quite tasty, it’s very greasy and I can feel my arteries clogging as I chomp through the deep-fried everything.

There is some kind of small bug climbing down the chair beside me. I guess that that will pretty much bring this post to an end.


Malaysia Day 2

After a long night of not really sleeping, I decided at 5:30 to go and explore. The humid scent of incense and garbage was still very much the atmosphere even in the early hours of the day. I met a couple of backpackers from the States and chatted with them for a few hours until the restaurant opened.

I was looking for a “western style” breakfast, but with all the travelling I’ve done you’d have think that I would already know that finding something I’d like would be difficult.

I ordered the “big dragon breakfast”: fried eggs, hash browns, sausage, orange juice, and tea. What I got was half cooked sunny side up eggs, a tiny hash brown pattie (like you would expect to get from McDonald’s) and some chopped up hot dogs lathered in grease and fried with onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. Well I’m being fairly critical I guess my biggest complaint was all the grease.

I met up with some of the other University of Lethbridge students and together we’re all geeking out at an Internet Cafe. I think I’m the winner for the biggest geek… checking out,, and Gmail vs. everyone else and their Hotmail accounts. :) Well that’s it for me for now. I think the plan for today is to scout out the worlds biggest mall, and you all thought that was either the West Ed, or Mall of America. There are a lot of enormous malls here.


Space and Time Are No Match

After skipping a day (Sunday’s are usually so boring anyway) and travelling half way around the world I’ve found myself an Internet cafe here in Malaysia. It’s just down the block from where we are staying. It’s pretty strange here and I’m feeling the culture shock. I’m also very tired and stuffed up with a cold. I haven’t eaten supper yet but to be honest I’m a little leary of the places to eat around here. I better get over that soon or I’ll end up starving! :)

I’m walking around with a guy from Edmonton named Dave Woods. He tells me I’m somewhat lucky to be stuffed up because the smells here are really something else.

I’ll spare you too many of the details, but needless to say it’s been a long trip. I’ve been ping-ponging in the zone somewhere between sleeping and consciousness for like the last 36 hours and though we arrived at our hotel almost five hours ago, I’ve been sleeping and just barely got up and started exploring these crazy markets.

I saw a rat scurry across the street and into a sewer grate, as well about 10 or so cockroaches running around on the sidewalk. It made me glad that I didn’t wear my sandals.

There are many street side restaurants / food vendors with aggressive hosts in the streets calling out and showing you their menus. There are CD’s, DVD’s, and VCD’s a plenty, not to mention the assortment of watches, shoes, and colognes for sale along this street. This Internet cafe is a nice sanctuary from the bustle outside.

Being so tired and sick it’s hard to give a true impression of the place but I’ll let you know (if you can keep a secret) seven weeks seems like it’s going to be an awful long time.