Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Malaysia (in Journal form)

Journal for Malaysia:
Jan 5
We’ve arrived. The heat envelops me like an overheated electric blanket as we walk outside in the airport bay towards the air conditioned building. It’s a welcome change to the icy grasp of the fridgid Korean winter. We’re nearly running.  Immigration lines are long, and I’m not known for my patience. I’m neither excited, nor apprehensive.  In fact, it seems that all of my emotions have gone on their own travels.  Somehow, standing in this line, with unfamiliar looking dress, and nationalities feels like an everyday activity. Maybe I’m just in shock that we’ve actually left. It all kind of feels like a dream rather than reality.

The smell of the city matched the piles of trash littered around.  Although my eyes were focused for our hostel the cars and motorbikes whizzing by with their black smoke exhausts sputtering out frighten me. I’m an adventurous person by some standards, but often when I’m first transported to a new place, especially one as dirty and poor as China town in Kuala Lumpur, I automatically find myself thinking, “What am I doing here?  I want to go home where everything is familiar.”  I’m having those thoughts now.  They will pass with time.

The Irish ( Dee and Lisa) met us at our hostel, and we tweeted like happy birds until we’d caught up on their travels through Singapore.  Some of my emotions are seeping back into my nervous system. Perhaps they tired of their travel already.

Jan. 6

Today is a travel day.  We arrive at the bus station to find that either the 10:30 bus doesn’t exist or we’ve missed it.  We have to get the 1:00 bus instead.

Malaysia has some impressive busses. I’m reminded of our Equadorian bus experiences and I’m thankful that this is not a dirt splattered school bus with cracked plastic chairs, but oversized plush and exceedingly comfortable chairs. This four hour ride might not be too bad.

The ride is pretty uneventful until the last hour when the bus begins to make it ascent up into the Cameron Highlands.  The view is gorgeous, but the constant twisting around the mountain is making me motion sick.

Jan 7
We’ve signed up for a tour starting at 8:30 am.  So far, I haven’t gotten to sleep in once on my vacation.  Although I’m grateful to be in this beautiful lush and green countryside, surrounded by jungles and the largest tea plantation in the entire world, I’m really looking forward to the beach, and chillaxing for a few days. 
The tour includes:
A muddy trek through the jungles, over the scariest bridge I’ve ever seen, let alone crossed.  It was made of bamboo, but half of it was inoperable as the other bamboos had fallen loose, and only one side still had a hand rail.
Rafflesia which looks like a giant flower, but is really just a giant form of fungi.
A milky tea colored waterfall.


A blow dart demonstration by the aborigines, and a caged monkey the village was keeping as a pet until he grew large enough to eat.
A strawberry farm
A massive tea plantation. Just amazing.
An insect exhibit of some of the most gianormous bugs I’ve ever seen/held.

girls from the village.  They said on average the families have 9-11 children in each tiny house.

Tea plantation, owned by a Scottish family

horned beatle

A leaf like praying mantis
Yes, we are holding GIANT scorpions. 
Jan 8
We wake up for our 7am pick up.  Langawi, the island we’re going to next is not close. We’ll be traveling a long time today. And not one of us is chipper. I think this beach fix will be much needed.  Lisa just asked if we can go on a banana boat. 

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