Puteri Wangsa

I’m off to a slow start here on the Rambler, due a distinct lack of Internet that has kept me unplugged. So, I’m drafting this now and will post it as soon as I’m able. Although I feel I don’t have too much to report yet…

A little introduction to where I’ve been for the past week: Alex’s house is located in Puteri Wangsa, a town about twenty minutes outside of Johor Bahru (colloquially known as ‘JB’). Here, we are a ten-minute walk to some convenience stores, a small market, and a handful of restaurants. Our neighbors are mostly Chinese people. I’ve seen exactly two other white people here (at the mall, about a ten-minute drive from here), but otherwise, it’s just me and Alex. We definitely stick out here more than we did in Korea, but people generally have been friendly so far. I get the sense that people are very community-oriented here, or at least where we live.

A frequent question I’ve been getting: how’s the weather? Well, in a word: hot. I’m can already hear the snowed-in New Yorkers just daring me to complain about my new climate- so I won’t! I will say, though, that going from freezing temperatures at home to 90-degrees-every-single-day here is quite bizarre. I made the silly mistake of going for a mid-afternoon stroll yesterday, stayed out a bit too long, and was reminded that I should be easing myself into this new environment (and drinking more water). Air conditioning is quite expensive and rather uncommon here, and we only have fans in the house. You do get used to it, though I’ve had to abandon my habit of only washing my hair every other day.

I’ve been getting intimately acquainted with the wildlife of Malaysia, without even having to leave the house. Alex was looking for a blanket in the other room last night, and returned instead with reports of a spider that was five inches in diameter. Incidentally, this is the same room where I was storing my suitcases, purses, shoes and other spidey-hidey-holes. We returned to the room to attempt to capture it. Unfortunately for us, our eight-legged housemate, in addition to being quite hefty, was also very speedy. He managed to scale the length of the wall and escape out into the kitchen in a matter of seconds, where Alex was able finally to trap him under the top of our water filter. Although I didn’t really want to kill him, it was also midnight and I wanted to be able to fall asleep at some point. Long story short, Spawn of Charlotte took repeated blows with our mop before finally giving in to the sweet release of death.

This has been my life in Malaysia so far- nothing too exciting (aside from the arachnid encounter, which definitely got my adrenaline pumping), and due to the lack of Internet, nothing too productive on the job front yet. It’s interesting, though, because it feels reflective of the lifestyle here. Time moves slower and things are more relaxed, which is a sharp departure from life in Korea. I am anxious to get my job search underway, but for now, I’m enjoying the easy pace of Puteri Wangsa.


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