'Ntah ape-ape lah.. Muslim tapi tandas takde paip!" squawked the lady in her 50's. That was not the last time I heard someone complaint about how things are different from the way it is back home. Another country is labeled 'Tak best!' or the least would be 'Biase je..' because one failed to appreciate the difference of culture or even ignorant to why are things done differently in another country.
Well, personally I was also, sometimes, surprised by the difference but the things I encountered didn't really annoy me. Instead, I found it pretty interesting and some are even amusing and very pleasant to remember. here are some of my favourite
1. Everybody wants to sit on the 'Throne'
During our safari, we opted to camp instead of staying in a luxurious lodge to save budget. To me, the campsite is very decent; equipped with a dining hall and a clean shower facility and toilet. The queue for morning shower was not very long because it seem like most of the people there only take shower in the evening while Ray and I stick to our twice daily shower routine. But the toilet queue was snaking long!
That morning, I went to the toilet before starting our Game. There were still people queuing for their turn to use the toilet. I saw the squatting toilet was vacant and walked myself there. Then I heard one of the Londoner that we chatted with the night before exclaimed, "Oh my God! I don't wanna die with this full bladder!!!" That's when I stopped and asked, "Would you like to use this one first?" pointing to the squatting toilet. "It's okay. I want to enjoy my throne" and we laughed.
We spent 3 nights there. And throughout that, I noticed only me, Ray and another Singaporean girl used the squatting toilet. The rest, who were westerners, sanggup queue panjaaaaaaanggg to enjoy the throne...
2. Preciousssssssss bog roll
My staffs sometimes asked me how did we cope with toilet that has no water outlet in oversea. Well, we always have this 'botol hikmat' with us and get some water from the sink before we enter the toilet. And the toilets abroad never seem to run out of toilet papers. So, everything was sufficient for istinjaaaakkk~
I just find it funny that when traveling in SEA, I'll be relieved to see the toilet but it's the opposite for the westerners. I was once offered a toilet roll by this European guy when I said, "I need to go to the washroom"
When I told him I don't need it because I have some tissues with me, he breathed a sigh of relief and said, "Pheeeww. This is actually my last~"
3. Spoon please~
When we were in Croatia, we went to a popular halal food restaurant at the
center of the city. It was a fancy restaurant that was dimly lit but the price was
actually reasonable. I ordered a local delicacy which I don't remember its
name. But it was rice plus chicken with gravy that made it taste like butter
chicken. When my food arrived, I tried to eat them with fork and knife (which
were the only ones prepared on the table) and my attempt was to no avail
I called up the waiter and asked for a spoon. for a moment, his eyes scrutinized our food and asked
back with a puzzled look on his face, "May I know for what?"
"For my rice.." I answered in confusion.
His curiosity didn't stop there. When we entered the restaurant, he and 3
other waiters were standing near the entrance where there was a small bar. But
after I requested for a spoon, these waiters stood at a far corner that could be easily seen from our table and we actually noticed their furtive glance.
"Aku je ke rase dorang tengah tengok macam mana aku makan nasi pakai
"Kite pon rase.. Obvious sangat kot.."
And I still can't figure out how they can eat rice with fork...
4. "WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO IF YOU DON'T READ!!!!?"
I think it was a wise decision for us to hire a car transfer instead of
using the normal public bus to cross between Montenegro to Bosnia. Although our
bags were searched because the border officers were not familiar with Malaysian
passports, we get to see the bay of Kotor from a hilltop and passed many
beautiful villages along the way. We chatted with our friendly driver and even
stopped to buy some Bosnian cherries.
Our driver was 3 years younger than us and at that time he worked 5
different jobs! Most of them were free lance and being a driver for the hostel
was only to fill his pass time. Me and him had a lot in common in terms of
hobbies; both of us scuba dive and enjoy outdoor activities very much.
"So, what else do you do? Do you read?"
"Yeah.. I read.. The three of us read.. Among the few Malaysians who
"Why do you say that...??"
"Well, there was a study saying that Malaysian read an average of 2 books
per year.. I read an average of 6 books per year at least.. That's good
"I read at least 12!"
Our driver went silent for a moment and startled us when he cried,
"WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO IF YOU DON'T READ!!!!?"
" Amboi.. die tak boleh terima kenyataan ade orang tak membaca kat
dalam dunia ni hahaha"
5. This is halal~~
I really love meeting Muslims all over the world. It amaze me how we look different, speak different language but is united by one faith. But, there are times that our differences are a little hard to brain or digest... That you can't help to make face; a 'whateva~' face..
Like when we were in this halal restaurant in Amsterdam. We ate quite a lot there, since we still have a lot of spare money towards the end of our Eurotrip. I went to the toilet before we leave, while the rest of my friends went to the counter to pay their food. And when I went to the counter after that, after I paid, suddenly the cashier who I presumed the owner of the restaurant suddenly raised a glass of beer and said, "THIS IS HALAAALLL~"
I was of course surprised because I wouldn't noticed the beer if he didn't do that. Rupanya, before that my friends stared at his beer and made faces hahaha