The second week of October, two days after my return from Laos, I lifted off from Duang Maeng Airport in Bangkok in route to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My roommate, David, and I planned on staying at his buddies place just outside of the city in Cyberjaya. I had few expectations, but ultimately knew nothing about Malaysia. I knew Kuala Lumpur had the two large towers and that Malaysia has some of the most gorgeous beaches and islands in the entire world. I was excited to stay with David’s friends place because I figured living with a local would be an amazing experience. I figured he would know of the best clubs, best beaches, and greatest places to eat.
We arrived at the airport an entire hour early. We reached our gate and I became incredibly thirsty all of the sudden. I looked at the duty free shop for some water. To my surprise, the shelves were packed with everything but water. I saw the prices, knew I was getting a great deal and bought a liter of Malibu rum. I hadn’t drank Malibu rum since high school. I thought this would be a great house warming gift and a token of appreciation to David’s friend. I bought it thinking David and I would save it for that night. Here is the kicker, when I bought the bottle, I asked the lady if we could drink this on the plane. It was more of a hypothetical question and curiosity took over. She said “absolutely”. I surprised David with a bottle of Malibu and we enjoyed a good amount of that bottle in flight. When life gives you lemons, squeeze the shit out of them. You can’t bring your own bottle onto a plane in the states so I made sure to take this opportunity.
We arrived around 11pm at Cyberjaya where I met Virgil for the first time. He is a good buddy of David’s and they go back to the high school days in Costa Rica. We left Virgil’s, bottle in hand, and headed to his friends house. This was just like college all over again, very refreshing. The last 4 months have been nothing but hotels, bungalows, and the occasional floor. Don’t get me wrong, no complaints here, but it was nice to be back in the college atmosphere. We arrived to his friends place and I was introduced to a whole new world. The diversity of the group was incredible. There was a person represented from across the world. Egypt, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, and the lone American. We hung out, relaxed, and polished the bottle of Malibu. Went back to Virgil’s, fell asleep, and woke up around 2pm the next day.
Day2: Woke up late but it felt great to finally sleep in. Never slept past 9 in Laos and had to wake up early for the last 3 days for school. This was a refreshing break. We left Virgil’s and went to Matteo’s place. Matteo is from Brazil and lived with Eva, from Sudan, and Rebecca????????, from Brazil. The loud and hilarious Lucky from Sri Lanka came over with a bottle of vodka and we started playing poker. We all put 50 ringgits in the pot, which is around 10 US dollars. Malaysia is much more expensive than Thailand. 3 ringgits is 1 US dollar. David, the lucky bastard, won the final pot and I was out first. Poker can really suck sometimes. It was still very fun playing poker with people from around the world. Everyone had different rules, different playing styles, and different ways to argue or try and cheat their way into winning. Arguments broke out and it was hilarious listening to different accents argue amongst each other.
After poker, we were feeling pretty good. We went back to Virgil’s, got dressed, and went into Kuala Lumpur to hit up the nightclubs. We met up with Maya from Pakistan who had the most gorgeous eyes you will ever see. We drank a couple drinks at a couple bars and suddenly boredom set in. What to do when boredom sets in and the bars begin to close? Eva, the girl from Sudan, knew of a after hours club that she highly recommends. In addition, it was an all black club. I was real excited for this and pretty pumped to check this place out. We arrived around 3am to a club that was crammed into a parking garage. The bar was called the Long Table. This was the first time I had really felt culture shock because I was the only white person there and I knew I was the only American. I said, screw it, this is going to be fun.
We ordered a tower, put it at a table, and observed. Eva had connections here and knew the owner of the bar very well. All the students I was with were ambassadors for their country. Eva told me that I should tell the bar owner that I was the ambassador for the United States. I gladly stepped up to that challenge and pretty much showed our true colors. He brought us a free bottle of vodka with free sprites and cokes. It was awesome, I shook the man’s hand, looked him straight in the eye, told him I was the ambassador for the United States of America, and continued onto the dance floor. To my left was an overweight women, hands on the floor, ass up, with her pants half way down her ass. Her crack was easily visible, it was gross. To my right were some big dudes staring right at white boy. So, as I stood there feeling awkward, with the Malaysian group looking at me like what is he about to do, I did what anyone would do. I challenged the chick who was bending over with the ass crack open for everyone to see to a dance off. I clearly won, my table was going crazy, the big dudes to the right and the djs behind me were all cracking up, the fat girl was upset, and the table of women in front of me were clapping. I walked off that dance floor, beating my chest with both hands, shouting “white boy! White boy just did it!”. We continued to enjoy our night with plans of leaving towards the beach the next day. It was a solid plan until we got back to Cyberjaya at 7am.
We woke up at 6pm. What to do? Might as well go to David Guetta who is performing at the Sepang Raceway. Not a big deal, I geuss we can ditch the beach for David Guetta. Crazy to think that a huge concert was an after thought. I am not really a huge fan of David Guetta but I figured, if I am going to see him, why not see him in Kuala Lumpur.
It was awesome. Alesso opened for Guetta. I don’t know who he is but I enjoyed him. My favorite line of the night was “Oppa Guetta Style”. I thought it was funny and I repeated it probably 100 times the entire night. I could tell people were getting annoyed but I am the funniest guy I know. The concert was packed, probably around 10-20 thousand people there. Some of the most beautiful women you have ever seen. My taste in women has, well, expanded I guess you could say. There were gorgeous girls from India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and all were super fit and gorgeous eyes.
Geutta was great, he loved Malaysia, and we left around 5am. Came back and continued to party in Cyberjaya. Again, the room was incredibly diverse. People were from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Pakistan, Tehran, Malaysia, and again, the lone American.
The rest of the weekend was pretty much rinse and repeat. Go to bed in the morning, wake up in the evening, eat, play poker, go out to Kuala Lumpur…rinse and repeat.
What I learned from Malaysia surprised me. I had no clue that Malaysia was a Muslim country. I had no clue that Kuala Lumpur is possibly the greatest melting pot in the world. Everyone says New York is the greatest melting pot but Kuala Lumpur puts that statement to the test. Food ranged from Arabian to Malaysian to Kazakhstani to American. I met people from Kazakhstan, Brazil, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Tehran, Mexico, Sudan, and all over the world.
The coolest and most rewarding aspect of Malaysia was that I finally realized the importance of education. Not in a knowledge sense but in a cultural sense. I have always known that school is important in understanding how business and the world works, even though I believe experience trumps lectures any day, but how education affects people’s perceptions. All we hear about in the states is how the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world hates Americans. I expected minor hostility from those students I met from Iraq and Iran. I did, I just have always been told to be careful. Which is so dumb and now I feel very ignorant. I never once felt any anti-American vibe from anyone. The people from Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan showed me the greatest hospitality and I learned a lot about how ignorant I was. This is why I hate the news, always bad news, always a one-sided perception, and our news more than any other news displayed across the world is so egocentric.
Overall, I enjoyed my stay in Malaysia. It may have been the most eye opening experience I Have had abroad. Kuala Lumpur is incredibly westernized and developed. The highways are nicer than the highways in the states. The roads are clean, the buildings are nice, and the layout for the city is incredibly organized. The nightlife is not nearly on Bangkok’s level. The food is incredible, much more variety and better quality than Bangkok. I lived with men and women from around the globe and realized that people are all the same. We all yearn for a connection and we all want to get along. It may take escaping home to come to Malaysia but those kids didn’t care. Americans are not perceived as bad around the world. I truly believe that all cultures can get along peacefully. I am a full supporter of education because I think it is the only tool that can fully obliterate all past perceptions and spur new beginnings.
P.s. Love you mom and dad