Counting down in Malaysia

When I cycled into Malaysia, I knew that it would be different. The country is a mixture from cultures and the most Malaysian people are Muslims. But nobody told me that it is a totally different world from Thailand. It surprised me all the time. Am I in Malaysia, China, or India? It seemed to change wherever I was going.

It is just a totally different world out here.

In Penang, when I stepped for the first time into an Indian restaurant, I got the feelig that the people didn’t like me. They just walk up the table and look me straight in the eyes. No smile, no words, no nothing. If I asked for the menu card, they would walk away and come back with the menu. Keep standing there and wait for me to order. And when I ordered they would just walk away and bring the food and a small note with some numbers on it. I thought they probably didn’t like a white looking person.

It turns out that it’s just the way they serve in a restaurant.

A couple of days later, I walked around in a incredible huge shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. At one point I was hearing strange voices. I just finished writing about my meeting with Mark, a Malaysian tiger expert. I decided to take a walk around in this impressive building. When I approached the noise I looked at it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was a huge rollercoaster in this shopping mall. Literally in the top of it. Yesterday I was cycling between old buildings with crappy billboards saying: “Winjayam Enterprise.”

Buildings in towns I crossed south from Ipoh

And now I was in the biggest shopping mall I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And there was a a roller coaster in it!? There was such a big difference between the developed cities and the local towns.

Above one of the many automatic stairs there was a quote saying: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” I just didn’t know what to think of the place.

I was leaving Kuala Lumpur for the four remaining days to Singapore. I cycled on the provincial road when at one point I just shocked. I was focusing on the road in front of me when something started to growl at me. It was already really close. I looked straight in the eyes of an aggressive wild monkey which was a few seconds away from attacking me.

Wild monkey get angry at me

I swung my bike to the right to get away from the monkey. Almost hit a car and stopped 50 meter after.

My mind went crazy, what just happened?

It’s really that time. My days in this journey are almost coming to an end. Yes, it sounds a bit sad. I’m already in Melaka which is around 250 kilometers from the end station, Singapore. But, I think I’m happy in different ways now. Exciting about the last days. Excited about seeing my family and girlfriend again.

Excited about the fact that in a few days I’ve probably cycled within a year from Rotterdam to Singapore!

  • Jan Makker

    hey Henk, vanuit Kaatsheuvel van harte proficiat met ‘t volbrengen van je trip naar Singapore. Ik vond ‘t enorm leuk (vraag maar aan m’n vriendin 😉 ) om je te volgen, je verhalen te lezen, je foto’s te zien. Nu ‘n “vliegensvlugge” terugreis. Alvast welkom terug in ons kikkerlandje.

    • Henk van Dillen

      Dank je wel Jan! Ik ben vereerd een volger als jij te hebben! Bedankt! Ik ga nog even een paar dagen genieten!