When I left off at my last post, I haven’t yet talked about the last two members of our team, Mehak and Soraya. They arrived from Pakistan together on Sunday. We were intending to pick them up from the train station, but due to some miscommunication, we ended up meeting them at the apartment instead. It was very exciting to finally have everyone in the house. Upon their arrival, we asked them a lot of questions about life in Pakistan. For me, it was very surprising to hear how similar some aspects of their lives were to my own: we listen to the same musicians, wear the same type of clothing, and have similar aspirations for education. So far, I haven’t experienced any drastically shocking cultural differences between the interns. I don’t doubt this is because we have received similar levels of education and come from similar socioeconomic classes. It does feel like I’m living inside a little AIESEC bubble at times.
After Mehak and Soraya’s arrival, we went to Sunway Pyramids, a large mall close to Taylor’s University. It was very commercialized and westernized, with a lot of chain stores (The Body Shop, Aldo Shoes, La Senza, TGI Friday’s). The design of the mall is quite unique and elaborate, with a sphinx on the outside and an elaborate pyramid forming the ceiling of one of the wings.
It is apparently common to have entertainment and recreational facilities inside shopping malls here. In addition to a bowling alley, movie theatre, ferris wheel, my personal favourite was the indoor ice rink (!). On the two occasions I went to the mall, there were figure skating lessons and a late night hockey match.
I’ve gotten to know the neighbourhood a bit better. About a 5 minute walk away from our apartment is a morning market with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, cakes, breakfast items, and religious goods. I love this little market, some of the vendors speak Chinese and they’re usually very friendly.
One of the famous dishes in Malaysia is Nasi Lemak. Traditionally eaten for breakfast, it’s sold by hawkers in food stalls everywhere, including at the morning market near my place. Mine consisted of rice garnished with sambal (a sweet chili sauce), peanuts, cucumbers, and topped with a fried egg. Everything is wrapped in wax paper and secured with an elastic band. The sambal sauce is sweet, salty, and spicy at the same time, with the crunchiness of the peanuts, coolness of the cucumber, and the soft rice, it’s a mouthwatering combination. The best part? It’s only 2 ringgits (approx. $0.70 CND)!
In the area surrounding our apartment, we also have a few convenience stores and family run restaurants. We visited Cafe Sukimye, one such restaurant selling Chinese food. The food definitely had a very homely feel to it and we saw lots of neighbours stopping by for dinner.
I’ll leave this post with this view of a Malaysian suburb.
Until next time!