I’m writing this post in KLIA while waiting for my plane towards Sydney, Australia. I was not supposed to come to Malaysia. As a Colombian its very hard to get a visa for this country. I had already met 3 other Colombian travelers that couldn’t get this visa. Even the website of the Colombian Embassy tells you only to apply for a 14-day visa, since the chance of getting a one month is very unlikely to happen. Nonetheless, I gave it a try. I bought the flight tickets, applied for the visa while I was in Myanmar and after one day of waiting, I got a full one month visa for this country!
I flew from Yangon to Kuala Lumpur (KL) as soon as my Burmese visa expired. My first impression: “Its hot… really hot”. I mean, really hot. And just if I’m not making myself clear, its fucking hot. I was sweating 24/7 and my dorm did not have AC or a powerful fan, so my nights were not as pleasant either. The thing is that I arrived while El Niño took over the weather in Malaysia so it made the temperature rise to a crazy level. Nonetheless, it didn’t prevent me from enjoying such a beautiful country. There is a wide variety of food: Malay, Indian, Bangladeshi, Thai and Western in every corner. Roti with daal, taandori chicken, mie goreng telur, nasi lemak, etc.
But no more food because I’m getting hungry. Back to the “Kindness of Malaysia”. How did I truly experience the kindness here? Like in most of the countries: hitchhiking. The main difference here is that almost everyone that gives you a lift can speak English so its easy to communicate. Its nice to have a good conversation, get to know the local culture (especially in a country with such diversity as Malaysia), and probably make a new friendship. I spent 25 days in Malaysia and never took a public bus from city to city. People would stop, even if they could not take you at least they would ask if you were ‘ok’ and offer food or water.
I got a lift on my way to Cameron Highlands by a guy named Mala who worked on an ice cream truck (the coolest and spontaneous guy) and ended having some red-bean ice cream with him.
On my way to Kuala Besut, three Indian guys gave me a lift and we ended up drinking some Chivas and just having random conversations.
Exiting Machang, I got a ride from a group of university girls that were concerned by the fact that I was in the middle of nowhere, with 36°C of temperature and two backpacks to carry.
A salesman named Sean from KL gave me a lift as I was moving towards Penang and offered me to stay with him and his family when I went to KL after Penang (it was amazing, Sean thanks again amigo). And just like this, I had many other nice experiences while hitchhiking in Malaysia. People are amazing, just amazing. So, I encourage you to experience the kindness of Malaysia, whether hitchhiking or in some other way, the people here are just incredible. “Trimacasi” Malaysia.