Obligatory Entry: Post-Malaysia Diary

My first morning of do-nothingness since coming back from a Malaysia / Singapore weekend, and I spent it (as usual), updating my social projections (i.e. the blog and Facebook), and generally fluffing up and primping what curious / excited friends must (or must not) see online. It took up a good three hours I now realize. But oddly enough it leaves me with no feeling of accomplishment. I think I should be writing more instead of editing pictures. I tell that to myself every other day…

Inside one of the 24 museums in Melaka’s heritage complex. For all the xx’s of pang-blog shots we took, we had a dearth of couple photos and had to resort to jeje renditions like this one.

I’ll go all frank here: having been to three countries at 23 is a matter of personal pride and deep happiness for me. When I was 12, writing down diary entries not unlike this one (and even when I was 18, in college), I never really imagined that I’d have the gumption, the resources, or the opportunities to travel. But now I know that we are rich if we put our faith in God, and just believe for the things we want. And so, despite my being third-world and the unorthodox learning / working conditions I am in now, I get to travel, and be with Ranie for a bit. I am so thankful. Travelling makes you see your existence and your place in the world in new eyes… the experience makes you believe in more possibilities and makes you more open-minded. Or passionate. It makes you grow and learn. It makes you witness to a bigger scope of the wonder of God’s creations. It liberates you. I hope to be able to keep doing this with a regularity until we’re too old to hop on planes! I am hopeful and excited and determined to follow God’s plans for me. And to keep being brave in dreaming.

I don’t know how to summarize the weekend. We did visit a lot of famous Malaysian and Singaporean landmarks. I was able to do a lot of shopping for pasalubong and shoes (an upgrade from our Indo trip last year). I wish I were able to sample more street food, but my gastronomic experience was pretty OK too. I’m impressed with how Malaysia is truly a microcosm of Asia – Indians, Chinese, Malay, Pinoys, and many more riding trains, driving taxis, serving you teh puti (white milk tea), and being friendly. No race “stands out” and it makes me realize how little I know of other cultures and how much more I should explore and interact. I saw how progressive a city can be yet retain its traditional flavor and customs and still keep away from being “Western” – and I wish that things could be the same back here. I know it’s possible.

The experience was a whirlwind for me – we did away from doing “tours” and instead walked the streets, took the predominant and cheapest public transportation modes available, looked up maps and venues ourselves, talked to everyone in English or limited Malay, and shot our own pictures. So it’s been fun. On more than one occasion, we’d take a supposed wrong turn and stumble upon a beautiful street or shop which we didn’t intend on going to but which enriches our experience so much more. I know that without our the limitations of our logistic abilities, we could enjoy more convenience and have more posterity-worthy moments, but I’m not complaining. I think that how we do our trips has been perfect. Travelling together and spending time 24/7 heightens our feeling of togetherness… and of course, the memory-making that these new experiences lead to really strengthens our bond. Along with discovering new streets, tastes, and sights, we also discover new things to love about and to promise to each other, even after four years. Being in a relationship with this man is another thing that keeps my days happy and surprising. Who would’ve known, right?

So yes, four thumbs up for that wonderful, memorable weekend. I took home quite a few souvenirs, my wallet is pretty empty right now, but I’m happy. And excited. I pray that this year, things will continue to work out well – that I can survive several more months of not having a 9-5 job so I can focus on school and still not be broke. Wonderful, wonderful start for 2012. Thank you, God, for all of this!

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