i've been away from the internet again, and this time my excuse is that i was on a plane to malaysia. which is where i now sit, with air-conditioning so i don't feel the heat, and in a beautiful home in a lovely suburb of shah alam.
we havd a 5.30am flight (ouch), which stopped in over in brunei for an hour or so. the airport there was smaller than wellington, with only 10 gates and a few shops. we'll be spending a night in brunei on the way back so i hope to see a little bit more of the place.
i love malaysia, and i know it's because i'm having, well, not the normal experience. as i've mentioned, it's an upper class experience where we get to see the best that the country has to offer. malaysia is a wonderful blend of east and west - many places are so typically asian, others have a totally western feel.
but for me, it's a little more than that. i love to hear the call for prayer 5 times a day. i love that there are so many lovely mosques. i love that i don't stand out in my hijab but just blend nicely into the environment. i love that there are prayer halls in every shopping centre & public building, so that i can stop for prayer whenever i need to. i love that the food is halal, and we've been busy pigging out on big macs & all those other fast foods that we can't eat in nz. and the shopping is great. it's so much easier to find clothes that suit my lifestyle & beliefs, and that actually fit!
the thing with life in nz is that i'm so used to being a minority, so used to standing out & being different from everyone else. even in india, i'm part of a minority group - yes, it's a large minority that has had a significant impact on that country's development, but still a minority with all of the harassment and discrimination that comes with it.
here in malaysia, indians are hardly a majority but still, i just don't feel out of place. i know it would be different if i had to live and work here, but as a visitor i really enjoy the place.
so you may not hear much from me (again!) as i enjoy my holiday here.