Not to dismiss anything I have written up to this point as it is all vital to getting me to where I am right now, but I am hitting the reset button and starting again. Why you might ask. Well, I think because I am not the same person that I was when I first started this blog and while tomorrrow I won’t be the same person as I am today, I am definitely on a different journey now. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go and get all philosophical in these posts. I am still going to be keeping it real.
So my new journey currently sees me sitting in Kuala Lumpur airport, on my own, ready to fly to Vietnam and a whole month in Hoi An. How I got here is thanks to ascension meditation. Not in the literal sense of course but the practice of which gave me access to creating this adventure with my family in such a way that they feel completely taken care of and loved (even though I have left them at home). I will share more about that as I go.
So I have spent the past 3 days in KL and have not really enjoyed it that much until my taxi ride to the airport today. KL is a big city and a lot like Melbourne except for the fact that in most places I went I was the only white person. A bit confronting for someone like me who does not like to stand out or be different. It wasn’t like anything bad happened, it was just a little lonely and not the start I had planned for my month away. The taxi ride however left me with a sense of having real gotten to know a bit about the culture, the government and the people of Malaysia. My taxi driver was a lovely man, father of 10 children, ranging from 29 years to 3 years and grandfather of 3. He shared freely about his passion for his country, his religious beliefs and his respect of their current government, a party which has been in parliament for 55 years without a change. The government ensures that every child in Malaysia has access to free education and all people have access to health and welfare. While there are people in poverty, it is minimal and those living on the streets are mostly as a result of alcohol abuse. Their stand against drugs is fierce and if caught, you are hanged. He doesn’t apologise for this at all as he feels that it is in the best interest of their country and its people. He did however comment on Australia’s inability to accept this and talked about a situation with 3 aussie tourists a few years ago which caused some conflict with Australia as Howard tried to get them out.
When he talked about his family and his beliefs in how they should be raised, it was like I was looking in a mirror. He believes in giving his children the chance to live their own lives with the most important things being – they are safe and they are happy. He and his wife are friends with their children but are still the parents. The other word that resonated throughout our conversation no matter what subject we were talking about was RESPECT! Respect for other cultures, for all religions, for one another. He noted, we are all human beings, when cut, our blood is always red. He doesn’t accept (like me) that culture provides an excuse to treat people inhumanely.
It was a wonderful ending to 3 days here and for the first time I feel like I am getting what I really wanted from this trip. I am not that interested in seeing buildings, temples, gardens or other tourist attractions. And I mean no disrespect to the people or countries I am visiting by saying this. But what I am here for is the people, I want to get to know them, I was to understand about who they are, what they believe it. So a very big thank you to my lovely taxi driver Tarmiz, who generously shared himself and his love of family and country with me. I only wish the trip to the airport had taken a bit longer.
I am now ready and very excited for the next part of journey. I look forward to sharing with you the unexpected conversations and experiences that come out of the next few weeks. Ahhhh, I just thought of a title for my book – Conversations with strangers. Will ponder that as I board the plane now. Goodbye KL, hello Vietnam!