First and last blog entry from Malaysia the evening before we are about to continue our journey to Australia. The past ten days have somehow been pretty busy that there was no spare time for blogging. Celebrating Chinese New Year and arranging documents to get married in Switzerland kept us busy for the past one and a half weeks.
After a bumpy 2hrs flight onboard a half empty Malaysia Airlines flight we got into Kuala Lumpur. The evening we arrived was already the start for the Chinese New Year celebration and the first “inoffiicial” big reunion dinner the day before the actual new year. We had celebrations and gatherings basically the entire day for the first few days which gradually decreased within the second half of the first week. Dinner was usually the most intensene gathering (intense in this case means that you might find yourself meeting up with friends and families in a hall with no less than 125 tables and over 1’200 people). If you are very lucky, you might even meet the God of Fortune and you will stay lucky for the rest of your life (as happend to us).
Our typicial schedule for the first days was as follows: Get up around 9 o’clock, gather with one or two families for a hearty breakfast (usually some simple hawker food, dim sum or malay/indian food) followed by a visit to a friends or familiy members house, eat, visit another friends or familiy members house, eat again…(repeat this process until late afternoon). If not eating, people are either busy handing over or receiving angpaus (red envelopes with money for the unmarried to bring luck) or gambling (Roman lost a few houndred dollars this year – although he met the God of Fortune the night before!). A short break at home for shower and other necessities before dinner (the house sometimes gets very quiet and you might find one or another having a nap to recover from over meeting & eating). After having a short break from eating, an 8-course dinner was enjoyed together with at least 20-30 people accompanied by an almost infinite flow of tiger and carlsberg beer. The schedule normally ended around midnight.
As family festives eased off, we started with another mission that kept us busy for a few days: Getting the required documents to marry in Switzerland. The thought that this might not be a big issue (as there were only four documents listed that we have to collect) changed and soon we realized that this could be indeed challenging. After driving from one authority to another for two days and calling from Melaka to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok back to Kuala Lumpur, the collection of the documents peaked (and luckily ended) with a one day trip to government city of Putrajaya. We managed to post all required documents to Switzerland on our very last day in Malaysia.
The second last day at Malaysia was more meaningful with our donation the Handicapped and Mentally Disabled Children Centre Melaka which facilitates the handicapped, mentally disabled and autistic children. We continued our tradition and donated some goods such as rice, cooking oil, bihun (thin rice noodles), toothpaste, toothbrush etc to the centre.
Ten days trip to Malaysia ended fast, so much so that we feel like we have just arrived but leaving again. It has been eventful and it was nice to be around family (which we will be missing for the next five months). We are looking forward to come back again! And, Kangaroo and Koalas, here we come!