lundi 6 juin 2016

A LOVE LETTER TO MALAYSIA

An adolescent love letter to Malaysia




Malaysia began appearing on the horizon on my travels since 2008... The year I met my best friend in Asia on a flight to Siem Reap from Kuala Lumpur. In fact I had determined not to return to KL after having dinner with some wannabee European Chinese and a disappointed midlife crisis German! They were so negative about Malaysia I began wondering why they continue to live in this country... Are these people representative of the opinion in general, painting such a negative picture of a picturesque country and an anthropologically interesting one?
MC, who was to become my closest friend in Asia was on that flight, like my dinner companions the night before she was Chinese and I was not warm at all to her. I asked her direct questions and she patiently explained to me, the dilemma of Malaysia.
Then followed a plethora of visits to KL and Malaysia, people began commenting that they were seeing me more often than their friends who lived in KL. Also I was introduced to some erudite people, intellectuals and artists and all in all a very cultural respite, after the long trips to get here. I met some intellectual Indian expatriates, the Cuban ambassador became a friend.
Ipoh, Penang, and Malacca multiple times, Kuala Terengganu, wonderful food at various restaurants in KL all followed. I also got to know the tempo of Malaysia.
Believe it or not, this is my second visit to KL and Malaysia this year, I have been averaging 4 to 5 visits per year. I became aware of the Iran-Malaysia connection and benefited from it. I miss that connection…
This time two Native Americans, Indians as they are called in USA, are with me and their enthusiasm for Malaysia has increased my affection for Malaysia. It was good to be with them, they look at everything with such innocence and get such pleasure, watching with glee the fountains in front of KLCC.
The night has fallen over KL. I am sitting at the 34th floor of Double Tree Hotel in Ampang Park. My loyalty to this hotel has earned me many friends who greet me with such warmth, making me forget that I come from more than 10 000 miles away.
My Indian friends would come back from their adventure at Taj Vivanta at Langkawi and after our brief ceremonial visits to KLCC and Nasi Kandar Mellita (they have taken a liking to Roti Canai), I will once again summon UBER to get us to KLIA where I would say a tearful goodbye to them, even though I will be with their tribe, in my capacity as their Physician Anthropologist in two weeks..
So much happens in the course of one day
Ramadan has begun in this predominantly Moslem but tolerant country.
The sun has long set, taking with it my longings
Life is an unplanned journey, treat each and every one you come across gently, pleasantly and nicely. Even if they are not nice to you, we do not know the thousands of reasons what makes them unhappy. We are happy and let us be grateful.
Grateful for Malaysia
I know that I would always be welcome here at the 34th floor of Double Tree Hotel….
Thank you Iera, watie, didath, shahril and hafiz and also Nina and sweetie
And at some simple Chinese restaurants in Seri Kembangan I can feast on chicken on paper wrap..
I am so glad I could bring two American Indians here to KL..
I fly to Singapour tomorrow to meet my good friend Joe from Bogor who is coming in for a chat and a good meal for sure...