I left India cursing myself after I realise I really did book 3 flights for that same day: Bangalore/KL ; KL/ Kota Kinabalu and KK/Sabah – what was I thinking, I know…. I am not the superwoman.
So it was almost 2am when I set foot in Malaysia! Arrived to KL and had my next flight to Borneo at 6am so obviously the plan was to stick around the airport for a couple of hours before boarding again, and what amazing couple of hours I had 🙂
First, after a smooth touchdown, we quickly were dispatched through the airport, and in less than 15min I was out the customs with my 90 day Malaysian VISA in my hand waiting for my luggage.
After spending almost 2 months “fighting” through so much bureaucracies to have an Indian VISA and spending literally a fortune on it, to get a 90 day stamp literally in seconds was so refreshing. Specially as it was free!!!
After getting my luggage I just found an ATM, and literally could take the amount I wanted (in India there was a limit of ￡100, which is not good because as often you take money out, as more taxes you pay.)
I have walked out of the ATM with money on my pocket, to be greeted by 3 little shops selling SIM cards, and in less than 5 min I have managed to negotiate between the 3 shops to choose the best deal/internet capacity and without any fuss, I had an Malaysian number and unlimited internet on my phone (don’t forget it was 2am). Now bear in mind that while I was in India, the process of getting a SIM card went like this:
day 1 – after giving my passport and filling a bunch of forms and bureaucracy work, I paid for a card that wouldn’t fit my phone – and yes, I did explaining 258462 times I needed a NANO card and not a micro , so after 3 SIM Cards it finally fitted. The gentleman from the store said it would take roughly 6h for the card to be accepted and activated. Weird I tough but fine…
day 2 – the phone still didn’t recognise the card, went to the store and complain – 4 times 🙂
day 3 – the card was finally activated – could call but internet didn’t work
day 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 – me complaining to India Vodafone everyday – several times a day – a lot of verbal fight involved. Finish my credit (or maybe they cut it as a revenge?)
day 10 – I had internet 🙂
Then, just after checking my perfectly fast internet connection, I walked a couple of steps to find a beautiful big store full of exotic items (exotic here means “homey” products…) and for one second I thought “would be lovely if I could find here Port wine so I could offer my good friend Emma’s father for Christmas as I am spending the holiday with them”, and guess what I found? yep, a beautiful old Port Wine bottle which would be the perfect present as its felt like would be a present I would offer if I was at home. Another WIN!
But it just got better, because as soon as I walked out of the duty-free store, I saw 2 of my biggest western guilty pleasure, yes ladies and gentlemen, I saw the beautiful green Starbucks sign and the beautiful green Body Shop’s sign. And what a view… my eyes were smiling hours later. The whole thing might sound very sad but the true is that those were brands/products I would see and consume everyday and after a few months without a proper hot chocolate and using the tiniest amount possible of my gorgeous smell and creamy Body Shop products, I was ecstatic to see such products again.
And ALL that happen in the first 40min in country. So refreshing.
That was a sign, I knew I would love Malaysia. It was like I was back to civilisation, so what else could I expect?
Well, stay tune to know what happens on “the next episodes” 🙂