LETTERA few months ago I moved to Malaysia in Southeast Asia. Although it is not a large country with no abundant reserves of oil, it has been able to build a solid economy and achieved a large level of development and progress
During my stay in Malaysia, I noticed things that were not found in any other country I have been to and it is not difficult to get used to them. But they draw a smile on the face any foreigner visiting Malaysia because of their uniqueness Let us go through the ten things that are found only in Malaysia
(1) You should take a train to get your luggage: The first thing that surprised me at the airport in Malaysia that, despite its small airport compared to other airports , the passenger takes the subway for a few time to get to the luggage space and passport check point. I have never seen this somewhere else.
(2) Be aware of yellow lines: When you drive in Malaysia, you will notice a lot of yellow lines on the road indicating a bump and uneven ground that may heavily shake the car. What is ridiculous is that these lines indicate that the Government was aware of such defects in the streets but instead of carrying out some maintenance, they paint as a warning.
(3) A bottle of beer costs you as much as a slice of meat: This was the trap I fell in when I ordered a beer besides the meal , then turned out that I paid for two meals ! So why all these taxes on alcohol?
(4) "Halal" on the fridge: You can find old label on everything here and that you do not see in any other country . In a shop power tools ,I saw this sticker on a refrigerator !!.They over use the "halal" label be it on electric appliances or soft drinks
(5) Sepang, but for whom? : One of the beautiful things in Malaysia for me is the Formula racing tournament. It is very nice to live in a country hosting a round of the world F1 races . However, what distinguishes Malaysia is that when you talk to people about F1 racing , it is clear that no one watches or is interested in this sport. For the past several months, I have been trying to explain to the owner of an Indian restaurant what F1 is and I kept buying stuff to watch the race on his TV. Since generally nobody is interested in the F1 race, I wonder why they host the race ?
(6) Malaysians, I love them! It is the only country where people prefer foreign gas stations not because of the good services or quality of the gasoline sold, but just because some people do not support the government so they do not buy gas from governmental gas stations. This is what I have seen and told by some friends there. And I do not agree with this .
(7) Frequent rain but no clean water: Usually ,the main problem of any country is the lack of rain and low water levels, but Malaysia's problem is different; meaning that rainfall is abundant too, but you simply cannot drink water directly from the tap because the water treatment plant is Off " for a few years" and this is what forces the purchase of water despite the availability and abundance.
(8) Four languages and he is not a professor: the only country where I have seen a man who could speaks four languages fluently but works in a supermarket. The surprising part is that he is only a salesman and not a professor at one of the English, Malaysia, Indian or even Chinese universities which are the languages of more than half the world.
(9) Swimming in full dress: I have visited many of the beaches of Malaysia and the thing that struck me most about those beaches is that many of the men who swim are wearing full dress, why would a man swim wearing his T-shirt. This is something I have seen only in Malaysia.
(10) Celebrations of Muslims Buddhist, Hindu and Christians: This ethnic mix is wonderful and cannot be found elsewhere. I celebrated with Christians, and Muslims and Chinese. It is great to be able to celebrate all of these religions in one country. It is only found in Malaysia.
Alaa Soleiman hails from the Middle East and is temporarily based in Malaysia. He reads Malaysia Chronicle.