So long Malaysia

After three weeks in Malaysia, I grew totally tired of the country and in the last few days just wanted to get out of there. My camera could not be fixed after all the wait and as a matter of fact is still in the service center thanks to the havoc caused by Chinese New Year. The thought of spending several more days in Penang just to get the camera back was unbearable. Enough is enough. I stayed over the first day of Chinese New Year, which proved to be rather uneventful, just a lot of temple business, firecrackers and other noise. Rather disappointing in fact, but maybe I should have stayed longer. Anyways here are some assorted remarks on Malaysia I made during three weeks.

  • Malaysia is very Western and organized comparing to its northern neighbour. Thailand is just wild. On the other hand Malaysia is a bit boring. There is a handful of tourist destinations, but other than that it is palm plantations as far as the eye can see. I did not even bother to go to Kuala Lumpur this time, as three days spent there two years ago were enough.
  • The strongest point about Malaysia is its multiculturalism. Three different ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese and Indian) living peacefully together as a single nation is truly remarkable.
  • Alcohol is expensive in Malaysia, which might be a major reason why many backpackers do not like the country. E.g. prices on beer are comparable to Finland.
  • Almost everybody speaks English making Malaysia a very easy country to travel. On the other hand, I haven’t learned a single Malay word apart from “bomba”, which stands for a fireman. When I asked a local muslim couple about the meaning and made a remark that “bomba” means a bomb in Russian, they laughed and started making jokes about suicide bombers. How bizarre.
  • Malaysia must lead the world charts with a number of tasteless and/or stupid t-shirts. “My other t-shirt has a graphic on it”, “May I have your attention?”. “Origina-lity is dead”? Yes, at least in the case of this t-shirt designer.

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