Malaysia was a country that was full of surprises. I didn't have any real expectations which made my trip there so incredible. Here are 5 things I learned about Malaysia during my trip.
1. It's home to a melting-pot of cultures. One of my favorite things about traveling is connecting with locals and learning about their cultures. I enjoy seeing the similarities and differences between how we all live our lives. In the end, we are all human. While it was easy to do that in the Philippines, it was a little more difficult in Malaysia and that's because the people of Malaysia come from all over Asia. Chinese, Indian, Thai, you name it they are here. And they all have different cultures. But they all blend together, which is beautiful to see.
2. Fork Vs. Spoon. A few people pointed this out to me when I was eating. I tend to use a fork for everything. The only time I really use a spoon is for soup, ice cream, or applesauce. But in Malaysia, everyone uses a spoon all the time. The fork is used as a guiding tool to the spoon. To me, it seemed like more work, but maybe it's just the way I grew up?
3. Many learn English by watching American movies. This one made me crack up a little. I was in a GrabCar (which is like UBER) when the driver asked me about his English. It was really good, to be honest. He said he learned the language by watching American movies. In fact, he and someone else both told me that's how a lot of Malaysian's learn English. My driver went on to say he has a hard time understanding British and Australian accents because he's used to (us boring) American accents.
4. It has some of the most stunning architecture I've ever seen. There have only been a few times in my life where I am speechless at the architecture of a building. It's not something that always that jumps out at me. But there are several buildings in Malaysia that I marveled at. That includes the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur and the train station building in Ipoh. Both buildings are absolutely stunning.
5. Bring toilet paper to the bathroom with you. By now, you have likely read my blog post about the ultimate squatty potty. While that was quite the experience, I quickly learned I needed to bring toilet paper with me into the bathroom. It wasn't always there in the stall which led to some uncomfortable moments. Take my experience and learn from it if you visit Malaysia.
Like I said, I was completely surprised by Malaysia. While it's a young country, it's full of history, culture and tons of amazing things to see and do.