Saying Good-Bye to Mountasia

‘Selamat Tinggal Kepada Rakan-Rakan Saga’ Goodbye to my friends.

One year ago I boarded a plane and started an adventure that changed me in so many ways. I have laughed, and cried, and then laughed some more over the past year with many wonderful people. I’d like to think I’m less judgmental, more cautious about things that matter and carefree about things that don’t. I learned a new job, about a new culture and government. I’ve experimented with new foods, some I will miss (red curry, not one of them). I have made friends, some I’ll be fortunate enough to work with again; others will remain friends of my heart.

I remember planning this trip and telling a friend the pros and cons of living in Malaysia, seems they were the same; blue skies, even temperatures, and tropic green foliage, what’s not to like, right? My first impressions when landing in Kuala Lumpur confirmed, what’s not to like, I saw lots of coconut and palm trees, and the weather was warm. I was sure I was going to love this green, lush, tropical adventure.

The issue was Lumut isn’t that tropic paradise. It’s very hot and humid (melt the skin off your body hot), and not green, at all, plus as a bonus the neighbors burn their trash so you have smoke almost daily. If you Google Lumut you’ll discover 26 things to do. 24 of these things are around the corner from where we ate weekly, the island (#25) is a nice day trip, and the monkey park (#26) is a fun outing. There wasn’t much time for travel, but I managed a day in Penang, and a weekend in Cameron Highlands. But mainly I worked, a lot, every week.

The people were amazing; I will miss Nava dearly. She invited me into her home and since I ate with Nava and her family often, she became my personal food police. She took on the responsibility of telling people in the office, ‘oh, Stella won’t like that’ (and she was usually right). Jen Nie, took me for my pedicures, and hair cutting adventures. Thankfully, Jen Nie will be moving to Houston and our friendship will continue. Ian, remembered my birthday, and surprised me with a cake. Welder Dave taught me to drive, HR Brad was usually willing to go on an adventure. Leslie and Bob were my dinner buddies, and PFE Steve was patient while I learned this new and very different job.

The people of Malaysia will always be the best part of this adventure, the 365 days of heat, probably not so much.

As I say good bye, I look forward to my life back in Houston, to being with my family daily and not just through Face Time and SKYPE. My friends in America will be all the more dear, and I will cherish my time with my ladies friends. I have grown to appreciate my freedoms and opportunities. Simple things I have always taken for granted, but found them not available to many in a country I have lovingly called, Mountasia.

Sehingga Kita Bertemu Lagi – Until we met again

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