Friday, September 27, 2013

June 23, 2013 - Whooa, Made it to Malaysia - Week 1 in Kuching

So basically the computers here are super slow. No pictures this time. Pictures soon I promise.

Singapore was awesome!

Well first off flying pretty much sucked. Secondly when I went to grab my big suitcase there was a glop of yellow sticky stuff on the corner. Disgusting! Anyway I had to drag it into the bathroom to clean it. But the rest was cool. As soon as we came out of customs we met President and Sister Mains. They are cool. The airport has this leviathan, colossus, ginormous expo room. Anyway then we took the "subway" (it’s not all underground) called the MRT, to the stake center. We had a short devotional, personal interviews and then we went to a mission home and slept.

The next day we had some training and some other stuff.  Then we were told our assignments and who are trainers would be. As you know I was assigned to Kuching in Sarawok on the island of Borneo. My trainer is Elder Berger. He came on his mission straight out of high school and is actually 1 month younger than me. 

After we learned where we were going and such, we had like 6 hours before our plane left at 8 that evening. We took the MRT to go eat at this underground mall. I kid you not, a mall 5 stories underground. Anyway I’m so big compared to most of these people that I felt like I was either in peoples way or running into them 90% of the time. We didn’t have enough time to go see any other landmarks at that time though. Besides, people are burning jungle to make land for farming in Indonesia. Singapore and most of west Malaysia is covered in a thick, THICK haze of smoke right now. Apparently it’s the worst in like 40 years.

The plane flight was my worst ever. I swear, when the plane was descending the pilot was just reducing engine thrust then stalling the plane. We basically didn't fly in a straight line at any point of the decent. Up and down, up and down, over and over and over again. Then the landing, we bounced. I kid you not, we crow hopped.

Anyway, Kuching is awesome. Have you found it on the map yet? Aside from the bike situation everything is going well. I guess were going to take a bus into downtown Kuching and see the sights. Our washing machine is broken so I’m not really sure how we will be able to wash our clothes today.

We are whitewashing our area, basically our area (the Matang branch) was split into 2 areas when we showed up. The area we have has no investigators so we will be starting from scratch. Later today we will go looking for people for the first time.

Cleaning up with a hose after the bathroom is taking some getting used to.  The food so far has been a mixed bag. On Saturday we bought a durian fruit. It’s sort of awful. It has these big seeds inside covered in this stuff comparable to peanut butter with edible strings in it. It smells distinctly durian and you can smell it like 50 feet away. Its flavor is durian, and it stays with you for the rest of the day.

Yesterday we ate mi sedaap. It’s basically the top ramen of Malaysia. It’s not a soup it’s basically a bowl of spicy ramen noodles.

Interesting things:
  • So I can actually understand 50% of the things people say. It just takes me a few minutes to figure out what it means and answer.
  • One of the coolest things is that although Kuching is a huge city, any block that's not occupied by buildings is occupied by legit jungle.
  • You can buy the equivalent of an 8 dollar meal here for like 6 ringgit (2 dollars).
  • You can also buy an entire meals worth of boms (a curry roll with like meat and sauce inside) and curry puffs (small fried version {sort of} of a bom) for like 2 ringgit (60 cents).
  •  Geckos live in the houses like in Hawaii.
  • While the food is generally cheap, everything else is not.
  • The water here (we have huge in house filters) is disgustingly warm, the only way to survive is to put it into 11/2 liter soda bottles and stick it in the fridge.
  • 100 Plus and Revive (basically the Gatorade of Malaysia) are absolute deliciousness after the water.
Elder Halpin

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