|Red heron in|
Let's start with the bad: I came here to relax after a hard year of hiking. Unfortunately, this has not worked out.
First of all, I am sick all the time. Well, maybe not all the time, but I have the second bad cold in 5 weeks now. I never ever have any cold on a long hike despite the fact that I hike in rain, sleet and snow and freeze my ass off at night in my tent. But here, the hot climate in combination with the air-conditioning is killing me. I am either too hot and sweating like a pig or I am freezing to death. Apparently my body cannot deal with these constant drastic temperature changes. Now I have bad bronchitis and cough like a chain smoker of 30 years. I hope this is my last cold in Malaysia - I am leaving in 2 weeks!!!
Second, the climate makes it hard to relax, too. Basically, there is not much activities I can endure outdoors. It is so hot and humid that you start sweating the minute you step outdoors. The leeches make hiking a bloody adventure.... And on top of all that, it is rainy season almost everywhere in Malaysia. I have never seen rain like that before - maybe in Japan, but nowhere else. When it rains here, the rain is like a solid wall. Even with an umbrella you are soaking wet within seconds. I have given up any idea of camping here - I would just float away! Even walking around town is exhausting - and chafing is a real problem!
As you might read out of these lines - I am a bit fed up with Malaysia. In fact, I am already counting the days before I can fly back to Europe. Don't get me wrong: Malaysia is not a total disaster, but it will never be one of my favourite countries....
But not everything is bad here and I want to end this post with something positive:
Nobody has tried to cheat me here. I only have to pay what the pricelist/menu etc.says. No rip-offs. When I unknowingly hand over too much money, I always get it back!!!
There is not much hassling - hardly anybody tries to get my into their shop, taxi, hotel, etc. Of course, I am offered taxis and other services all the time, but if you say NO, people just leave you alone. Funny enough I am constantly being called "Sir", probably because of my height - or shabby clothes...
But I had the biggest surprise today in a small corner restaurant. The waitresses there were either Malay Muslim with headscarves - or DRAG QUEENS. I am not joking here and I could not believe my eyes either, but I have lived long enough in Berlin to spot a transvestite. And half of the 'girls' working there were definitely guys in drag - with 5 cm long eyelashes and heave make-up. I mean, this was not a night club or anything, but a normal restaurant during daytime - in a Muslim country.....