Monsoons, Indian dinner and a Muslim family

Trip Start Jan 22, 2010
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Trip End Mar 22, 2010


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Where I stayed
www.couchsurfing.org

Flag of Malaysia  , Wilayah Persekutuan,
Sunday, January 24, 2010

ENGLISH:

Occupation: Yoga Acharya/Master Cuban Salsa/Fitness Master Trainer
& Businessman

"I am simple living with high thinking and sharing of my knowledge is my
humble mission in life." - Lingam, 43, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, www.couchsurfing.org

After a few hours flight, I finally was in Malaysia. I got my visa straight at the airport, after I`d filled a visa form. Nice surprise – no visa fees. Last time I happened to be hit with such a wave of heat and humidity must have been 5 years back in New York. Now I was in South Eastern Asia and the monsoon season had just begun. It took me over an hour to get from the airport to the city centre. By the time my couchsurfing host Lingam showed up, I managed to get as sweaty as if I was hit by a tropical rain. One of the guys working on the luggage come up to me and asked me if I wanted something to drink. I must have looked truly miserable, because a few min later he brought me a small bottle of fanta, just like that. Lingam arrived to see me on his motorbike. Unfortunately, there was no chance that we`d fit there, altogether with my luggage. Therefore I while I took a cab, Lingam was driving his bike in front of us, showing the way to his home. After getting inside of his flat, I asked if I could take a shower. "That`s fine, but you need to do it quickly, we`re leaving soon for the dinner. By the way do you have something nice to wear?" In half an hour I managed to shower, change and do make-up. I only wish I`d had time to check out books on the bookshelf of my host – that is a Professor of Yogic& Vedic Science, a massage therapist, has a Law degree and is a teacher of Indian Classical dance. Yes, that Indian guy, no more than 1,6m tall, impressed me with the size of his… brain. It`s because his profile seemed to me a little eccentric, I requested him to be my host. When we were about to leave, it started raining really badly. And when I said raining, I meant a tropical monsoon, not a European drizzle. Lingam gave me his waterproof pants and jacket that I put on the top of my smart outfit. Just a helmet on my head and we driving through the roads of Kuala Lumpur. I had to take off my glasses, as it was raining so hard I barely could see anyway. Although the futuristic sky raiser, illuminated by neons, were making a certain impression. After about 40 min we got to the hotel where we were supposed to join a dinner, connected with a charity auction. Unfortunately, I cannot remember who the organizor was. I only know that in the huge hall there was probably the whole Indian community of Malaysia J.  Who`d have thought that my main memories from the first stay in Malaysia would smell of curry and have different colours of sari. The dinner was very tasty, I found it interesting to talk to Lingam, but at some point I felt really tired and jet lagged. I was dreaming of going to bed. When we finally got back to Lingam`s place, it was after 11pm and I had to facethe reality: no bed for me for another several hours. My flight`s departure was supposed to be about 6am and the last shuttle bus for the airport was leaving, according to the schedule, right after midnight. Theoretically I could take the first “morning” shuttle, at 3am, but I didn`t want to wake up my host in the middle of the night. Therefore Lingam called a cab for me that would take me to the coach station and he said goodbye to me. It was a short, but intense visit.

When a grumpy cab driver dropped me off at the coach station, a chain of weird actions took place. I already got annoyed by the taxi driver that asked me to pay more than Lingam had told him. At the station I realized that I had gotten a wrong schedule – the last shuttle had left about 15 min before. The next one was coming at 3am. I was mad. The humidity and exhaustion were not making it any easier. I leant my luggage against the wall, trying to think what to do next. I was extremely thirsty, but didn't have one drop of water with me. And then a guy was just about to turn on a hose-pipe with water and turned it… in my direction, without any warning! I realized what he was about to do in the very last moment and screamed. Then quickly grabbed my belongings and stepped aside. Apparently the guy was just trying to do his job - clean up the sidewalk or the wall, and he probably didn`t speak any English. However, even when you don`t know any foreign languages, you could still use a non-verbal communication. That situation was like too much for me. I walked about 100m further down and found some benches. I sat down on one of them and started crying. Two random men were passing by and asked me why I was crying. “I am a single white woman in a foreign country, that`s language I do not understand; I`m terribly thirsty, but I don`t even know where is the nearest opened shop; I haven`t slept in like 40 hours all mentally and physically exhausted, I have to wait for the shuttle bus for another 3h, because somebody gave me a wrong schedule. I`m just so, really shit scared!” – I cried out on one breath. The two men exchanged the looks and then the older one said: “I`d buy you something to drink, but firstly I need to pick up my wife that is waiting for me at the railway station. If you want to, you could come to y family`s house, take a nap and get some rest, and at 3am we`d bring you back here to the shuttle bus. I cannot explain it in words, but there was something in those people that told me to trust them. I wanted to jump on them, that`s how happy I was. From the smasm of crying and shock all I could do was nod my head. We got to the railway station and a woman (wearing bure) and maybe a 2-3-year-old girl got inside of the car. The woman didn`t ask any questions, she just smiled at me. On our way one of the two men got off and said goodbye. My, as it turned, muslim family, lived on the 12th floor of a socialism-looking building. As soon as I got off the shower, I was shown a room especially prepared for me, with a made bed. I didn`t think I`d be able to sleep after all those emotions, but luckily I was wrong. After an hour or so I heard a shy knocking on the door. It was time to go. Again, the whole family (including the little girl) drove me all the way to the coach station and made sure I got to the airport shuttle. I don`t know how come, but at the worst moments, in the most horrible situations, God sends to me good people, I`d say my Guardian Angels. If you are reading it now, from the bottom of my heart I would like to thank you for your help and warmth. My first, 12-hour stay in Malaysia, turned to have more impressions and actions than I could have ever imagined. I just could not wait to see Kiki in Indonesia!

POLSKI:

Zawod: Jogin Acharya/Mistrz Kubanskiej Salsy/Mistrz i Trener Fitnessu & Biznesman "Jestem prostym bytem o wysokich progach myslenia, a dzielenie sie moja wiedza jest moja skromna misja zyciowa” - Lingam, 43, Kuala Lumpur, Malezja, www.couchsurfing.org

Po kilku godzinach lotu, nareszcie bylam w Malezji. Wize dostalam od reki na lotnisku, po wypelnieniu kwitka. Mila niespodzianka – brak oplat wizowych. Ostatni raz, kiedy uderzyla mnie taka fala upalu w polaczeniu z wilgocia, zdarzylo sie mi chyba 5 lat wczesniej w Nowym Jorku. Teraz bylam w Azji poludniowo-wchodniej i wlasnie rozpoczal sie sezon monsunow. Dojazd autokarem z lotniska do centrum miasta zajal mi ponad godzine. Czekajac na dworcu autobusowym na mojego couchsurfingowego gospodarza - Lingama - zdazylam sie spocic tak, jakby oblal mnie tropikalny deszcz. Ktorys z chlopakow obslugujacych bagaz autokarowy podszedl do mnie i zapytal, czy nie chce czegos do picia. Musialam naprawde marnie wygladac, bo po chwili przyniosl mi butelke zimnej fanty, tak po prostu. Lingam przyjechal po mnie na swoim motorze. Niestety, z moim bagazem nie bylo szans, zebysmy sie na nim zabrali. Ja zatem wsiadlam w taksowke, a Lingam pojechal przede mna na motorze, pokazujac taksowkarzowi droge do jego domu. Po przekroczeniu progow jego mieszkania spytalam, czy moge wziac prysznic. "Dobrze, ale musisz sie pospieszyc, bo za niedlugo wychodzimy na kolacje. Nawiasem mowiac, masz cos ladnego do ubrania?" W  pol godziny zdazylam wziac prysznic, przebrac sie i umalowac. Szkoda mi tylko bylo, ze nie mialam juz czasu na przejrzenie ksiazek na polce mojego hosta - profesora jogi i nauk wedycznych (cokolwiek to oznacza), masazysty, dyplomowanego prawnika i nauczyciela hinduskiego tanca klasycznego. Tak, ten Hindus o niepozornym wzroscie ok. 1,6m zaimponowal mi wielkoscia swojego... mozgu. To wlasnie ze wzgledu na nieco ekscentryczny charakter jego profilu poprosilam go o nocleg. Gdy mielismy wychodzic, rozpadalo sie na dobre. I mam tu na mysli tropikalny monsun azjatycki, a nie jakis tam europejski kapusniaczek. Lingam wreczyl mi ortalionowe spodnie i kurtke, ktore zalozylam na swoje eleganckie ubranie. Do tego kask na glowe - i juz mknelismy ulicami Kuala Lumpur. Musialam sciagnac okulary, bo deszcz tak zacinal, ze i tak malo co widzialam. Ale futurystyczne wiezowce jarzace sie neonami robily wrazenie. Po ok. 40 minutach dotarlismy do hotelu, w ktorym miala odbyc sie kolacja, polaczona z aukcja charytatywna. Niestety, nie pamietam kim byla organizatorka. Wiem tylko, ze w ogromnej sali przebywala chyba cala spolecznosc hinduska Malezji :) Kto by przypuszczal, ze z mojego pierwszego pobytu w Kuala Lumpur, moje wspomnienia beda pachniec curry i miec rozne odcienie sari. Kolacja byla przepyszna, z Lingamem dobrze mi sie rozmawialo, ale w pewnym momencie dotknelo mnie zmeczenie. Marzylam o tym, zeby polozyc sie spac. Gdy jednak wrocilismy po  23ciej do mieszkania Lingama, musialam pogodzic sie z faktem, ze nici z lozka. Moj lot mial sie odbyc o 6 rano, a ostatni autokar na lotnisko odjezdzal wg planu zaraz po polnocy. Teoretycznie moglabym jechac o pierwszym "porannym" o 3 nad ranem, ale nie chcialam budzic mojego hosta w srodku nocy. Lingam wezwal wiec dla mnie taksowke na dworzec i pozegnalam sie z nim. To byla krotka, lecz intensywna wizyta.
Gdy opryskliwy taksowkarz wysadzil mnie na dworcu, uruchomil sie lancuch dziwnych wydarzen. Bylam juz poirytowana samym faktem, ze kierowca taksowki (Hindus) kazal sobie zaplacic wiecej, niz Lingam ustalil z nim przed moim odjazdem. Na dworcu zorientowalam sie, ze dostalam zly rozklad jazdy autokarow - ostatni odjechal jakies 15 minut wczesniej. Nastepny mialam po 3 nad ranem. Bylam wsciekla. Duchota i wyczerpanie dawaly mi sie we znaki. Oparlam bagaz o sciane i probowalam myslec, co dalej. Strasznie chcialo mi sie pic, a nie mialam nawet kropli wody. I wtedy jakis chlopak, bez uprzedzenia, probowal wlaczyc cos w stylu weza ogrodowego z mydlinami i skierowal go... prosta w moja strone. Nie ostrzegl mnie w zaden sposob, a ja zorientowalam sie w ostatniej chwili i wrzasnelam. Chwycilam swoje rzeczy i odeszlam na pewna odleglosc. Chlopak probowal wykonac swoja prace - oczyscic chodnik czy tam sciane i najwyrazniej nie znal angielskiego. Ale nawet nie znajac zadnych jezykow obcych, mozna przeciez uzywac komunikacji niewerbalnej. Ta sytuacja przelala moja czare. Odeszlam jakies 100m dalej i znalazlam lawki. Usiadlam i zaczelam plakac z niemocy. Jakis dwoch mezczyzn przechodzilo obok i spytali, co sie stalo. "Jestem samotna biala kobieta w obcym kraju, ktorego jezyka nie rozumiem; niemilosiernie chce mi sie pic, a nie wiem nawet gdzie tutaj jest otwarty sklep; nie spalam od jakis 40tu godzin  i przy calym tym wykonczeniu fizycznym i psychicznym musze czekac przez nastepne 3h na autokar, bo ktos podal mi zly rozklad jazdy. Tak bardzo, cholernie sie boje!" - wyrzucilam z siebie jednym tchem. Panowie wymienili spojrzenia, po czym starszy z nich przemowil. "Kupilbym ci cos do picia, ale musze najpierw podjechac autem po zone, ktora czeka na mnie przy dworcu kolejowym. Jezeli chcesz, to moglabys pojechac z nami do domu naszej rodziny, przespac sie i odpoczac, a na 3cia przywiezlibysmy cie z powrotem na autokar". Nie umiem tego opisac slowami, ale bylo cos w tych ludziach takiego, co powiedzialo mi, ze moge im zaufac. Mialam doslownie ochote rzucic im sie z wdziecznosci na szyje. Ze spazmow placzu i szoku jedyne, co bylam w stanie z siebie wydusic, to pokiwac glowa na znak zgody. Podjechalismy na dworzec i faktycznie do auta wsiadla pani (w burce na glowie) z moze 2-3-letnia dziewczynka. Pani nie zadala zadnych pytan, po prostu sie usmiechnela. Po drodze jeden z dwoch mezczyzn wysiadl i sie pozegnal. Moja, jak sie okazalo, muzulmanska rodzinka, mieszkala na 12tym pietrze postkomunistycznie wygladajacego bloku. Ledwo wyszlam spod prysznica, a juz zaprowadzili mnie do specjalnie przygotowanego dla mnie pokoju, z poscielonym lozkiem. Nie sadzilam, ze z tych wszystkich emocji zasne, na szczescie sie mylilam. Po godzinie uslyszalam niesmiale pukanie do drzwi. Czas bylo sie zbierac. Ponownie, cala rodzina (lacznie z dziewczynka), odwiezli mnie autem kawal drogi na dworzec i upewnili sie, ze wsiadlam do autokaru jadacego na lotnisko. Nie wiem jak to jest, ale w czasie moich najwiekszych opresji, sytuacji, ktore wydaja mi sie bez wyjscia, Bog zsyla mi dobrych ludzi, mozna powiedziec takich Aniolow Strozow. Jezeli teraz to czytacie, to chce Wam z calego serca podziekowac za cala pomoc i serdecznosc. Moj pierwszy, 12-godzinny pobyt w Malezji, okazal sie bardziej owocny we wrazenia i wydarzenia, niz  moglabym to sobie wyobrazic. Juz nie moglam sie doczekac, zeby zobaczyc sie z Kiki w Indonezji!



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