For several days I have tried to write a blog post. I klicked on Add a New Post and then I have found myself sitting and staring at the blinking cursor.
My mind has been overloaded with …
- good food
- new people
- more kindness
- interesting conversations
- more kindness and generosity
- and …
And did I mention all these kind and generous people constantly pampering and feeding?
I will have to go back to Bali. Two women and a man, Chinese from Malaysia, staying in the same hotel, same floor as me in Padangbai. We start to talk, talk turns into hours of interesting conversation. Woman Alex suddenly says Next week me and a bunch of friends are going to Bukit Larut for two days one night, do you want to join. This is the beginning of a series of events that will stay in my heart forever.
From Bali I go to George Town, Penang. Alex arranges with an ex coworker, Ang, to pick me up and take me to Taiping. One night in Taiping and then we are off to Bukit Larut for two days one night. There I meet Alex’s three kids and Ying and her two kids. We are in total 10 people constantly preparing food, eating, going for walks, laughing, and joking. Back to Taiping for the night and next day off to Ipoh. Ivan, whom I met in Bali lives there. Alex’s mother in law lives there and Alex also every week visits her office there. Here I meet Tango, and old friend of Alex. Here I am constantly taken care of, driven to different places, restaurants, being helped to find someone to repair my iPhone, taken to breakfasts and brunches and dinners and ….
For a week and a half my world has been spinning so fast I don’t know what day it is.
During this time I have learned how to control the chopsticks, how to sound like a Chinese, how to order tea and coffee, the difference between black coffee and white coffee, how the Malaysian society works, about the Chinese inheritance, how to sound even more like a Chinese, how generous my hosts are, what a great humour they have, how devided this society is getting, how people here are not content with the school system, that bilingual means knowing at least three languages, how well educated they are, how hard working the Chinese are and much more.
My new friends, my new Malay family have learned that this Caucasian woman can beat her male opponents in pool big time, that chilli and especially pickled chilli is very much appreciated, that I would convert to being Chinese without hesitation if that meant spending more time with them and that I am more that grateful for every second I have spent with each and one of them.
So how did this happen, what made this possible.
In this world filled with headlines about war and killing and racism and unacceptance I have been lucky to meet so many kind, warmhearted and generous people. My Chinese family have been exceptional but still very much alike all the other kind people I have met.
One evening we were out for drinks and I went with one of the women I just briefly met a couple of days earlier. She was very curious of my traveling, asking questions about being on my own, what sort of accomodations I used to chose etc. Hostels, I said. She then expressed her concern over sleeping in a room with a bunch of strangers. And I said, But this situation is almost the same thing, I sit in your car, and I don’t know you. And you don’t know me. Yet, still we sit in the same car. When traveling, people are so busy traveling and exploring, we don’t travel halfway around the world to hurt other travelers.
I am not sure what made this possible. But one thing I know. People are in general good. One can feel it in the guts. Goodness. I trust my guts.
Grateful. And the journey continues.