malaysia, as we found out, is a young and beautiful country, well versed in the arts of receiving people. it’s one of those countries that is filled with curious details, that you could probably explore in countless days.
we toured a bit of the countryside in terenggannu, on the bus to and from the airport. wooden colorful houses on stills filled with and exquisitely detailed architecture. colorful dressed women working around. lots of food stands, with all sorts of dried food (and also some smelly fish sausages). men flocking to mosques with their sons on the backseat of their old bikes. people drive on the left side of the road. “all meats are halal” said the sign on the sandwich shop. and then of course, the sea and the sky. an insanely green and blue country.
malaysia is mainly muslim, and you can see the influences everywhere, from the mosques to the veils covering the heads of women. and yet, describing malaysia as muslim is a poor simplification. it’s more of an intense asian melting pot. chinese and indian people are also well represented and it seemed to me that besides malay, everybody could speak either chinese or english, which was brilliant.
there were lots of details which we could not explain (orange nail polish on girls and boys?) and others that our “asian background” made a bit more clear, such as the empty beaches and the snorkeling fully clothed (veil included). asian people don’t fancy getting tanned – the whiter the better around here.
in the end, the friendliness sticks out and i feel like we could definitely end up living in kuala lumpur in the next few years. who knows?