We had some appointments in Singapore and my colegues suggested to drive from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur – which is quite an experience. The landscape is really nice. Malayisa is a really green country. You can drive quite some time and only see palm trees.
Normally it takes 3 hours ( right Norman ?) but because of the rain it took quite some time. I actually do no understand why the rain has such an impact on the drivers.
…just a side story – when I usually arrive after a 16 – 17 hour trip from Switzerland to KL I just wanna go to bed and really hope that it is not raining because if it rains – it takes something like 50 mins more from the airport to the hotel – god knows why. The traffic in the city just breaks down
The boarder between these countries feels like Switzerland and France – you cross a bridge and you are in the next country.
I had the pleasure of driving a small bit of the tour because my colleagues got a bit tired – so I took over but I guess he was not tired after that because they were at the beginning VERY nervous if I can drive on that side of the road and I have to say: it is different and takes some mileage to get used to the dimensions on the street just different if you are sitting on the right. Here are the good news: both passengers survived – I guess Peinee has still some fear ;-)
Thanks for that experience Norm & Peinee – next time I drive the whole way ;-) and in the city as well ;-)
Asia was 2 years ago a real blind spot for me. I really did not work or travel in that part of the world, except some short trips to Singapore. Since the last 2 years, I now had the privilege to travel and live quite some bit in that region and I am still fascinated. Every trip to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur currently is a great learning experience.
I have traveled other parts of the world extensively and I thought quite some time why it is different this time. For me the main difference are the people. I have the honor of knowing some really great people there that share a lot of insights with me – business and private and this helps to understand a culture and their people. Thanks to Peinee, Faril and Daniel – just to mention 3 that I spent some time with. Good to know you guys.
We spend hours over lunch & dinner to talk about the differences – trying to understand each other and it is great fun.
For me any lunch and dinner is an adventure ( in my opinion ) – they would say I am not an adventures food person. Snakes, Frogs, Crabs are just something that I have challenges with (lol Chicken feet as well by the way)
The food is an unbelievable experience. Especially if you have locals that take you to restaurants and special places.
Red wine is a bit of a challenge the first 20 minutes because it is served cold – but no worries if you are sitting outside it will get the right temperature soon. Just order it a bit earlier and let the wine breathe for a couple of minutes.
I guess the main difference is that these people go to restaurants far more often then we would do it. I really fell in love with these street restaurants so called MAMAK. They serve local food, Indian whatever. There is one small restaurant where they bake the best bread in the world – every time I arrive I go straight to that restaurant in KL. As soon as I arrive the guy smiles and says: BREAD RIGHT? …and suddenly you feel home a bit.
I also learned a lot about shopping and about how to act when you are negotiating. You “cannot” start a negotiation and then say – no too expensive and just walk away – at least not with a Chinese sales person they do not like this at all. Their understanding is that you want something and that you will find a price that suits both ( so called win win situation ).
Some areas of Singapore and KL remind me actually of Italy or Greece where people tend to have smaller apartments because they anyway spend most of their time outside the house. I have never seen such crowds in the evening hanging around certain bars cafe's etc.
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