Selamat Datang ke Malaysia!

I became so excited upon knowing I will be flying to an Asian destination as it was my first time to fly to my home region ever since I came to the sandpit. As you all know, I haven't been out of my country until I was hired for my current position.

KUALA LUMPUR was my first Asian flight. I knew that Malaysian cuisine was really nice so it added to my excitement. I've read that their cuisine was a mixture of different cultures - Indian, Chinese and etc. I planned to eat at least one local dish on my layover.  Since our time there was just limited, I just wanted to see the Petronas Twin Towers (which was once the tallest building in the world) and the Batu Cave.

Approximately around 2 hours after our arrival on the hotel where we stayed, I met with some crews to have a look of the Peronas Towers and have our dinner.

Petronas Twin Towers was just a 5  minutes walk from our hotel. Adjacent to the famous landmark was Suria KLCC Shopping Mall. Finding a place to eat was not a problem if you're at the Petronas. I ate Penang Char Kway Teow (price below 7 RM at the Suria KLCC food court) - a stir fried noodle recipe made from rice cake strips (it has prawns, beans, chili and etc) .

Let me share with you some photos of the (still tallest) Twin Towers at night:

We booked a trip to Batu Cave for the next day (90 rm for 3 hours tour, all other stops include Chocolate Factory, Batik and etc.). If only I have more time, I could have just taken a train to Batu Cave because it was cheaper but it wasn't the case so I think the day trip would be a better option.

We started our day tour to Batu Cave at 9:30 AM. It wasn't really a long drive from where we stayed. I think we traveled for like 30 minutes going to Batu Cave.

Batu Cave - A limestone hill and Hindu Shrine (and temple).  The giant statue of Lord Murugan (around 42.7 meters) would be welcoming you on your visit. 

In order to see what's inside the cave, you have to climb 272 steps. Macaque Monkeys were numerous and were roaming around (freely) on your way up and even inside the cave.  I don't hate monkeys but I got scared while climbing the 200 plus plus (little) steps because some of them were aggressive and that made me paranoid (thinking they might do something to me).

Monkeys play a role in Hinduism.  One of the idols of the Hindus was Lord Hanuman, an ape who was also a devotee of Lord Rama.  His statue could also be seen within the vicinity of the cave. 

 Let me share some other photos I took inside the cave:

One thing I like about seeing new places was the new learning you always get.  You get more knowledge by immersing yourself to take even ba glimpse of other cultures.  Malaysia might be a South East Asian country like my home country, Philippines but there were (still) a lot of differences in terms of language, culture, religion and etc.  Based from my experience, Hinduism has a huge influence in Malaysia - the Batu Cave was one proof for that.  In the Philippines, there were Indians as well but I didn't know any Hindu Shrine like the Batu Cave. Any spot of difference could lead to a new knowledge - that fact keeps me enthusiastic all the time on my layovers.  I might not visited all the tourist spots and landmarks in Malaysia but at least I've seen two trademarks and learned something new.

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain


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Weekend at Manchester

In the Middle East, our, or should I say, "their" weekends are Friday and Saturday but for the other parts of the world including my home country, weekends mean Saturdays and Sundays.

Whenever I think of weekends, I would see a picture of people crowding in the city center - doing grocery shopping, window shopping, literally shopping and etc. Those thoughts were true when I operated a flight to Manchester. It was my first time to be there and I was lucky to have flown with other 'first timer' crews who also wanted to go around and bring something home to Dubai. 

Through the help of the hotel's concierge, we booked a taxi going to the city center.  Sight seeing was in my mind but not as much as mini grocery shopping.  Doing food shopping in Dubai was quite costly compared to doing it on my layovers. In the United Kingdom, there were plenty of shops that sell reasonable prices of goods and I would not keep my eyes closed on that. 

Before I dwell much on what I found in Manchester, let me share with you some sights of the city center:

random building

the largest Primark

Hot Dog anyone? 

I, together with some crews did not go so much around the city. We just planned on going to a few shops, ate hot dog sandwich and shop for what we wanted. Not much time for window shopping :P With the help of a Korean crew, I've been introduced to Poundland - where everything cost a pound. I bought a few food items there and my purse was still happy haha. I paid 5 pounds for 5 items - not bad at all. I could have spend more (converted to dirhams) if I buy those items in Dubai.

I must say, my layover at Manchester was a weekend well spent. Aside from setting foot to a new place and seeing some English buildings; getting along with crews coming from different parts of the world and experiencing new cultures were the two things I like about my layovers. 

I felt blessed getting this kind of job. Not all would be pleased of what I am doing but for me, no matter how simple or complex your job was, it wouldn't matter at all as long as your job makes you happy. 


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