30 Jul 2015 Kuala Lumpur
Taking a look at a local press this morning, all the headlines are about TPP talks in Hawaii. Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has stated that Malaysia will not sign any agreement during the current round of talks, which runs until July 31st and reassured critics that it will stand firm on issues of sovereignty, government procurement, state- owned enterprises and the bimiputra agenda.
TPP has been a big mistery to us all. Although the talks have been going for few years now, United States still didn’t give out an official full text of the agreement. Some portions of it have leaked to the public. This unofficial information assured us, that TPP is not as ideal as United States make it sound. Continue reading Why Malaysia doesn’t want to join Trans-Pacific Partnership?→
Malaysia is probably the only country in the world with racial discrimination explicitly written into its constitution.There is a certain ethnic group in Malaysia called Bumiputra. Bumiputra is a term to describe the indigenous people of Southeast Asia, and used mostly in Malaysia. The term comes from the Sanskrit word bhumiputra, which literally stands for “son of the land” or “son of the soil” (bhumi= earth or land, putra=son).
I noticed that Bumiputra is a sensitive subject in Malaysia. Everybody knows about it but nobody will tell you straight away. Malaysians do not seem very proud of it. The idea of one chosen race, being rewarded for their provenance sounds wrong, but it is still commonly accepted. Why is that? Continue reading What you didn’t know about Malaysian society→
Our hitch-hiking Malaysian adventure is about to Begin. We start our day with a laundry and Indian food. ‘Banana leaf’ is our favourite. We pay 2 dollars and we can eat as much as we want. This is definitely the best option for a cheap food in Malaysia. I buy a tarp in a local shop. It will be usefull later on, to protect myself from rain, when sleeping in a hammock. We take a ferry. Watch the Island disapear underneath the cloudy sky. Now, we need to get a bus to the place, where hitchhiking would be more possible. Here, we are below the labirinth of sky highways. There is no way to get on the road. We are waiting with Malaysians for an old, rusty (but always air-conditioned) bus. We pay 5 ringgit and get off in the midle of a road leading East. Little unsure, we stand by the side of a dusty road. It eradiates all its afternoon heat. We are prepared to wait for a while. We throw our bags on the sandy patch of grass, next to the hot asfalt street. It will get dark in 3 hours, so we better get started.
Today we had an amazing day, visiting this beautiful forest outside of KL!
The FRIM or Forest Research Institute of Malaysia is a great escape from the busy Kuala Lumur. It is approximately 13km north west of Kuala Lumpur City centre in Kepong. This 600 hectares of tropical forest contains a wealth of flora and fauna with ore than 15,000 species of plants. Howerver forest is not natural. It was planted to create a peaceful oasis for visitors and unable forest research.
The end of Ramadan in Malaysia is called Raya. When I think about Raya, I think about cookies. Markets are full of them. They are sold in plastic boxes, layered on top of each other, in different colours. Some are covered in fake chocolate. Green, pink, dark and yellow. They are tiny,the size of a small plum. One fits perfectly in the mouth, making it easy to empty the box in less than a minute. Continue reading How they celebrate Raya in Malaysia→
Today, my two friends and I went to an all-you-can-eat durian place. The guys were doing pretty good. Yoshi was even better in eating durian than most of Malaysian people visiting the restaurant. I tried only a few small pieces but it was fun anyway!
somewhere in between Penang and Perhentian Islands
lost in a travel
lost in time
thinking about writing to you every day, what is stopping me?
seeing your face in others, your reflection in every piece of this vast continent
Asia is incredible. It cannot be described, explained to someone who’s never been there. It needs to be touched, smelled and heard with all its noise, gorgeousness and uncanny modesty. All this together, the shapes and colours, reveal a picture. It appears there, right in front of your eyes. In that moment, you find yourself being so close to understand this secret law of the universe. Only for a few seconds later not being able to make any sense of it again. It’s beautiful, intense and addictive.It leaves you contemplating your life.
In Asia smoking feels right again. All I want is to watch a thin smudge going up and mixing with the dense tropical air pushed by a fan on the high ceiling. Inhaling toxic smoke, hearing soft sparkling of tobacco with its end lit up in hot sacred orange. I could relish my cigarette and think of you. Sink in the ocean of my thoughts, watch the waves calming down when they follow you. And I could stay there, in this vacuum forever. Lighting up one cigarette after another.