Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Being encourgaed by my mum to continua writing- here we go! 
3rd part:
Dostawszy pokoj z klimatyzacja, osobna czysta lazienka i tv, wzielam dluuuugi prysznic i ogladalam CSI do pozna w nocy- w koncu musialam sie umyc “na zapas” bo nie wiadomo jakie komforty na mnie czekaly dalej  Rano pelna pozytywnej energii wstalam przed 8 (alez z siebie bylam dumna!) i zdecydowałam ze pojde piechota na dworze autobusowy. Co prawda mogłam wziąć autobus, ale stwierdziłam ze poranny spacerek z plecakiem na ramieniu dobrze mi zrobi. Wiec po 30 minutach spacerku udalo się i kupiłam szybko bilecik do Tanah Rata i się okazalo ze musiałam czekac 1,5 godziny, wiec się rozsiadlam na laweczce i zaczelam czytac, zjadlam po drodze Pau z kaya (dzemem kokosowym) i nie zdążyłam otworzyc ksiazki to do mnie ktos się przysiadl i zaczęłam rozmawiac z Hindusem  w koncu minal ten czas i wsiadlam do lokalnego autobusu (tylko za 9 zl, wiec czego by się tu spodziewac), z troche obdartymi siedzeniami, ale wazne ze było siedzenie i wazne ze nie były tak zaplute okna, bo wiedziałam ze będą piekne widoki mnie czekaly (patrz: mój album)!
I got to Tanah Rata At around 2pm and i went directly to check in the guest house: “Father’s guest house”- 10RM (8zl) for a bed in a dorm- what would I need more? I was so happy! It reminded me a bit of Alaska, the place in Poland where I used to go for a few days in a year just to chill and find peace and mental balance (including getting completely drunk!) I was thinking how to plan my stay there, cause I kind of wanted to go hiking but since I was alone there (Kumar was supposed to join me but we couldn’t synchronise etc so he was about to join me one day later already in Kuala Lumpur) and probably it wouldn’t be wise at all to go to the mountains on my own, so I just stayed in this small village which was packed with tourists and was wandering around in the vicinity trying to capture some nice views. I hope you will enjoy them. Then I decide to check up on the scooters (yea, I want more!) but somehow I didn’t do that (later on I regretted that) and I just rented a taxi (yea yea, stupid me) for around one hour and I told him where to drive me: I saw some temples in the neighbourhood, then Orang Asli village- Orang Asli is the aboriginal indigineous tribe in Malaysia, but the part I was in, wasn’t that “indigenous” but still I got a gist of it, at least, and later in KL I went to the museum to learn more about them, look it up too:
So anyways, i just chilled out in Cameron Highlands, different mountainous air, a bit chillier etc. there were many young travelers, too. But I kind of was shy just to approach them and introduce myself. However, when I was about to fall asleep a girl next to me stated to speak Polish to me! I was so shocked! She told me she found it out in the registry so that she took a bed next to me. We had a great short conversation about her- she’s been travelling alone already for half a year or more, been working in an orphanage in Nepal, then india etc, now heading for Thailand, Vietnam etc. Amazing! Another inspiration for me… ;)
In the morning I still had some time to kill so I wandered around, did some Sudoku and once in the guesthouse one guy approached me and asked if I wanted to play scrabble with him. Although I’ve never played that in English, I decided to give it a try. While playing, I got to know this interesting American guy, who has been travelling for 3 years already and is planning to do that for at least another 3! AMAZING!!!!! He’s been working here and there just to earn and save up money for other travels, so he would work in NZ and Australia as a driver, dishwasher, postman, waiter etc just to live! That’s is so great and everything on his own. Imagine how much experience with local people, culture he has had! Moreover, now he’s doing an online English course so that he can become an English teacher in Taiwan- intending to spend there one year so that he can save up a lot of money to keep travelling for 2 years or so. Oh man! You see, people keep worrying about money, job, accumulating capital etc, but since you don’t owe that much, you are so free and so rich of other stuff that is so precious and invaluable: experience, other people, other mentality, food, memories, pictures, inspirations from others and you don’t have to be rich to travel! That’s what I keep learning and keep reassuring myself whenever I meet those backpackers. You don’t need to plan everything and stupid worries and plans are just another stupid obstacle that hinders your deep dreams and desires (here: travelling). You don’t need to have comfort and great expensive food. It all turns out to be fine in the end, no matter whether you are penniless or well off. Another thing what I’ve learnt here is that respect to another people is so essential! Additionally, a smile can do wonders and break ice so easily even if we cannot communicate in the same language. Being in a different country, some western people feel so superior and disrespectful to the locals, treating them as a garbage and feeling that they are kings or whatsoever. I honestly don’t get it and hate it. Why would you feel that way? Is it because you come to this country and it’s much cheaper back home so finally with your mediocre income you can show off with girls and get expensive drinks and hotels? And why would you eat where the locals eat- you are not on the same level to mix with them? Or moaning and complaining that everywhere is so dirty and bleeee? Oh man… this thing really upsets me.. cause then these people go back home, talk bullshit about these beautiful countries and boast that they are so international to travel to Asia… pfff… it makes me puke…

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chinese New Year's Eve in Melaka
Malaysia trip- From Penang to Melaka 6.02-15.02
Hello everyone!
It’s Monday morning, yesterday evening I came back from my trip to Malaysia. In order to recall my memories I’m gonna write them in here and also to those who are curious how everything happened etc, please feel free to follow this post. Probably it won’t be that exciting and thrilling as a novel, but I cannot do much about that  and also sorry for an enormous album that accompanies this trip. I don’t know how it happened that I’ve taken 650 pictures within 8 days- well, I hope at least some of them you will stunning, nice or interesting or even useless. Feel free to express that!:) Ok, let’s begin! (Sorry, but it’s going to be a multilingual –rather poli-lingual story).

1st part- Penang
Nasza podróż rozpoczelam lecac z singapuru na Penang (lot w jedna strone jakos 99zl)- mala wysepka na polnocy malezji. Przez nastepne dwa dni Nikie miala mi towarzyszyc i tak wlasnie się stalo. Po 1,5 godzinnym locie wyladowalysmy w innym swiecie. W koncu azjatyckim- troszke brudniej, troche mniej zorganizowanie, spontaniczne, wszyscy bardzie wyluzowani niż w Singapurze, taking their time etc. Miałyśmy plan nocowac w Georgetown- głównej miejscowości na wyspie- jakies 18 km od lotniska, co się okazalo godzinna przejazdzka publicznym autobusem, ale czego by się tu spodziewac od 2zlotowego biletu a na dodatek toż to pierwsza z zasad backpacking- robic i podróżować tak jak normalni lokalni podróżują czyli od początku- taksowki nie istnieja, hotele również, restauracje neither.
Chodząc z plecakami po centrum, szukając hotelu, minęłyśmy piekne Chinatown i znalazłyśmy hotelik- za 18zl za double room, zobaczyłam co prawda raz lub dwa karaluszka, ale nie zrobilo to dla mnie wrazenia  zostawiłyśmy szybko plecaki i ruszyłyśmy w miasto... możecie zobaczyc zdjęcia z naszych spacerow- Chinatown, Little India, Fort, Penang Museum, Protestant Cemetery- no generalnie proper sightseeing  po drodze oczywiście nie moglam się oprzec roznym przekaskom- pau, samosy, jakies kokosowe paczki etc
Obviously, the obligatory part was some temples etc, so one next to our hotel turned out to be quite interesting. We have met a crazy guy over there, crazy in his passion in couch surfing concept ;) he would host people every second day, was really busy and crazy about other people, travelers etc, so he decided to start writing a guide book about Penang itself. We will see how it will develop later. Anyways, we heard from him that there is gonna be a CS gathering in Batu Ferringhi- a small town a few km from Georgetown in the evening, so we took a bus there- the way was really mountainous and the thought that I am going to drive a scooter through such roads made me feel a bit anxious, but whatever! EXCITEMENT – it’s what travelling is all about, right? 
Anyways, the people on the bus were really friendly cause we had no idea how to get anywhere, so they told us, the bus driver also, that’s one of the amazing part about Malaysia, which I’ve learnt. Anywhere I went, people were coming to me to ask if I need help, offering a lift or a walk or whatever!
At the party we didn’t see any white people so I guess we missed the gathering, but we met a guy from Saudi Arabia, a really nice guy, studying medicine and visiting his sister. Whatever, we ended up talking about Islam and religiosity. I didn’t want to be too radical so I didn’t get involved too much. We also discussed the concept of openness to other people since he found Nikie a bit more distant and less friendly to strangers than me. Cause I kept on smiling to people while they were greeting me (Malaysian people first looking at me, I just smiled and all the ice was broken- totally loved that!). anyways, in the evening we went back to Georgetown and went to sleep since at 9 am we were supposed to pick up our motorbike and have a great trip around island! So we were at 9 am waiting, and again we made a mistake having expectations about Malay people being punctual- I guess that’s what they inherited from Portuguese or whatever- they are taking their time and do things when they feel like, not when they need to. So we ended up waiting for it around 1 hour and then the guy that we were renting the scooter from wanted to check whether we can drive that so first Nikie was supposed to show her skills which turned out to be rather vague- after 10 seconds they fell down pretty badly so the only hope lied in me but come on- after India nothing could scare me, so the guy gave the scooter to my hands and we started our journey!
Well, it didn’t start that smooth, since firstly my slipper broke so I was driving a scooter only with one shoe – well, another adventure!:) somehow, fortunately, I managed to repair it so we took off. It didn’t turn out to be easy since all the streets in Georgetown are one-way so in order to get to the next street it took us a huge while trying to find some way! So it took us an hour to get out of the town although within one hour we could have been already at the other end of the island!  Anyways, having got out of the town, we managed to drive to Penang Hill where we took kind of a train to the top of the hill. The view was really great, but later on during our scooter trip we could see much better and more stunning views, for sure! But we did it so we could proceed to the temple – the fusion of Thai, Chinese and Burmese architecture of Buddhist temple. It was really something breathtaking- the colours, dragons sculptures and many more!
Nasza podróż skuterem trwala mniej wiecej 10 godzin, mialysmy ambitny plan zobaczyc wiekszosc fajnych aktracji na wyspie, ale skonczylo sie na tym ze musialysmy co chwile pytac lokali gdzie sie znajdujemy bo co chwile jakos sie gubilysmy. Prawda jest taka, ze wszystkie znaki drogowe pokazuja jak się dostac na lotnisko albo do Georgetown i inne miejscowości są zapomniane wiec nie było nam dane wszedzie dotrzec na czas, np. na fruit farm dotarłyśmy 15 minut za pozno kiedy już było zamknięte, na butterfly nawet już nie probowalysmy bo było jeszcze pozniej. Ale widokow nikt nam nie odbierze i wielkiej frajdy całodniowego prowadzenia skutera! Niesamowite widoki, czasami szalone prędkości, wiatr we wlosach i czujemy ze zyjemy! Czasami sobie śpiewałyśmy, śmiałyśmy się etc. No coz, po prostu było zabawnie i wesoło!
Dzien skończył się i dopadlo mnie zmeczenie, toz to prawie 10 godzin prowadziłam, nikie mogla sobie patrze w lewo i prawo a ja jednak wolalam się koncenrowac na drodze, ciekawe dlaczego 

2nd part- Taiping& Ipoh
W każdym razie, nastepny dzien miał być ambitny dla mnie bo mialam zostawic Nikie i ruszyc w dalsza podroz. O 9 już bylam gotowa i z moja torba na barku poszlam na piechote na prom do Butterworth, stamtąd mialam wziąć autobus do Taiping etc. Wiec tak to zrobiłam! Jakos niesamowicie się czulam- poczulam szczypte takiej adrenaliny samotnego podróżnika, który jest samotnikiem i jego dobytek rowna się paru spodniom i koszulkom i paru dolcom. Hehe, co prawda bylam nadal jeszcze w cywilizacji- miescie etc,to jednak poczulam się jak jakis konkwistador który jedzie na wyprawe w nieznane, haha ;)
Taiping okazal się uroczym miasteczkiem z przyjaznymi ludzmi, zero turystow, dobre jedzonko, niesamowite jak jeden uśmiech może zmienic i zdziałać – wszyscy tacy sympatyczni, pytaja się skad jestem, taka gościnność, wzajemna ciekawość!
Pobyłam w Taiping 2-3 godziny, gdzie pare razy podwieziono mnie gdzies. To było zabawne bo na przykładpytalam się jednego chłopaka gdzie się teraz znajdujemy i w które strone mam skręcić żeby się dostac na inna ulice. On nie wiedziak kompletnie wiec po prostu powiedział ze mnie tam zawiezie, bo nie wiedział jak wytłumaczyć, opowiadałam mu jak mi się japonki zniszczyly etc, to on mi znalazł sklep obuwniczy i podziękował za przejażdżkę( - He? Chyba to ja miałabym dziękować, co nie?)
Nastepny miastem był Ipoh- dojechałam tam mniej wiecej o 16. nie wiedziałam dokladnie gdzie jestem, wiec weszłam do autobusu i spytałam się kierowcy czy jedzie w tym kierunku, on nie wiedział o co chodzi ale powiezdial żebym wsiadla to cos się wymysli. Przez cala droge pytal glosno pasażerów czy ktos mowi po angielsku, żeby mi pomoc. I w koncu znalazla się jedna mala dziewczynka, która mi wytłumaczyła dzie mniej wiecej jesteśmy i dzieki temu wiedziałam gdzie mogę wysiąść. Gdy wysiadlam, zaczelam od razu od szukania jakiegos taniego hotelu etc, wtedy zaczal padac deszcz to już w ogole zarabiacie- z torba na barku, deszcz a ja nawet nei wiem gdzie isc. Hehe, po 2-3 godzinach szukania nie znalazłam nic normalnego (tylko holte 4 gwiazdkowy za 110zl za nocleg- za tyle to mogłam przezyc 4 dni, wiec podziękowałam). Dlatego tez po prostu stwierdziłam ze nie zostane tam na noc tylko rusze w nastepna destination- Tanah Rata (tam gdzie Cameron highlands się znajduja- piekne gory i swietna baza do spacerow po gorach) i tak tez zrobiłam. Pojechałam na przystanek autobusowy około 18:20 i mowie ze chce bilet, a koles powiedział ze sorry, ale ostatnio autobus był o 18 i ze mam przyjść jutro o 8 rano. No to mi mina zrzedła... nie wiedzlam co zrobic, nie mam noclegu, pytałam się ludzi i w koncu ktos mi poweidzial ze YMCA ma tutaj swój hotel, okazalo się ze nie ma tam dojazdu autobusowego i ze musze wziąć taksi, wiec się zgodziłam po zmudnym targowaniu i koles mnie tam zabral. Jak weszłam, zapytałam z desperacja- czy macie lozko, miejsce na podłodze żeby mnie przekimac dzisiaj? Cale szczescie- było miejsce! Taka ulge poczulam! Bo nie ukrywam, wizja szukania hotelu gdzie robilo się ciemno na ulicy- nie za bardzo mi się podobala! Jeszcze nigdzie Internetu w miescie nie można było znaleźć! Ale wszystko zawsze się jakos układa i tym razem tak samo było! Dostalam miejsce w dormie 10cio lozkowym, bylam jedyna osoba tam. Caly wieczor spędziłam w recepcji oglądając TV z ochroniarzem i czytając jakies gazety. Strasznie mily pan Hindus, opowiadałam mu o Indiach, on mi opowiadal jak się zyje w Malezji etc, iw koncu jak powiedziałam ze ide spac, on powiedział ze w sumie to tak smutno ze ja jetem w tym wielkim dormie sama i na koncu korytarza i powiedział ze wolalby żebym była bliżej w razie czego, i się okazalo ze dal mi prywatny pokoj z prywatna lazienk, klimatyzacja i TV! Ja mu mowie ze nie nie nie, ja mogę spac te jedna noc tam gdzie bylam, a on mowil ze nie ma zadnej dyskusji, on będzie się czul lepiej wiedzac ze jestem bezpieczna! Serce mi zmiękło! Niesamowite! Nie wspominając ze nie musiałam za to placic nic ekstra!
Oj wlasnie musze wracac do nauki, na reszte poczekajcie jakis dzien lub dwa!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chinese Garden 1.02
Thaipusam 30.01

"Deep thoughts" ;)

Hello everyone!
I've been thinking that it's time for some writing among all the pics posted ;)
Firstly, I went to Hawker's called Newton, this time. Having been renovated, it's regarded as one of the must see spots,cause it's clean and really pleasant to sit and eat. Personally, I don't mind Asian "standards" so for me it could be alright without the renovation, too :). Well, there were quite a few of us, around 15 ppl or so. I ordered Pad Thai, as you will see in one of the pictures. Others took other dishes so we ended up eating and trying everything. I managed to try most of the non-meat stuff including stringray (plaszczka!!), different types of Asian desserts etc. I couldn't move afterwards, literally! and then almost 1hr way to get back home... and then i dont know how and why, but i got such a fever (probably all the temp differences, A/C etc) and I had to sleep under the blanket and a sweater and then i was alright (neither cold nor hot). In the morning, I promised my friend (whom I've recently met, a local!) that he will be my guide to Thaipusam festival - Indian festival of masochism where people pierce themselves. The meaning of it varies among individuals: some of them do that to ask gods for some stuff such as prosperity, health, children, marriage etc and some of them do that as an act of thankfulness. Well, he wasnt able to explain to me why they are doing it particularly in this way but it didn't matter at that point. What mattered (apart from my leftovers of the fever and headache) was INDIAN atmosphere! I could really recall my trip to India a few years ago... Just the cleaner version (surprisingly or not, I preferred the local less cleaner one:D). As you could see, the colours, beautiful saris, women, the music etc- oh man, really, it whetted my appetite not to forget that i wanted to go there again which i will definitely! :)
That's how my Saturday was. Today, Mon, I was supposed to meet with Amelia but it didnt work out (no worries, Amelia, I still like you and we will see each other tomorrow!:) ) since we were supposed to go to Chinese Gardens and Jurong Bird Park. On my own and with such a heat I could only walk through Chinese Garden.. Fortunately or not, I forgot to take my videocam with me so that was a good excuse not to go to Bird Park alone, cause I guess I must get some films so that you guys will hear and see beautiful and stunning birds!:) Chinese Gardens were great anyways, quite a lot of walking but it was worth that.. so much green, bonsai trees, I saw a funny jumping squirrel etc, it is a perfect venue for romantic strolls... (eh... no comments:D)
alright, that's it for the reports ;)

As some of you may know already, I've decided to skip some classes and explore part of Malaysia. I'm flying on Sat 6th Feb to Penang (a small island on the north) and I give myself 7/8 days to come back to singapore. On the way I'm gonna see Taiping, Ipoh (from there I'mgonna hike on Cameron Highlands, see tea plantation, butterfly farms. Then I am gonna go to Kuala Lumpur (sth on the way is to see but i forgot, you will find out with the pics next week:D ), Malacca and Johor Bahru. Then bus schedules will verify when I am gonna be back to Singapore since it's gonna be within Chinese New Year and some ppl are really serious about that and It is a huge public holiday for them, but whatever- this is a motto of the backpacker, time and circumstance will tell and that's it what matters.

I'm gonna try couchsurfing to be hosted by locals, hopefully i will manage to do that in some places- it would be really cool again (India was great for couch surfing- it really gave me priceless memories and experiences)- anyways, I cannot wait!

Hmmm, I just realised that I named this post "deep thoughts" cause i wanted to talk about the essence of travelling for me and the attitude of others in terms of that such as some people think that weekend in Vietnam will enable them to say that they've been to Vietnam and stuff like that or being in Bangkok already allows you to say that you've seen Thailand etc,which i definitely don't associate with, but i ended up summarising my few days from here, but i guess you don't mind and you are so happy to read anything from me so that the content doesn't really matter, does it??? :)))
anyways, im gonna go back to this travelling issue and shallow/narrow stereotypes next time if i get inspiration.
ciaaaao for now and enjoy the pics!!