Friday, September 23, 2011

Really cool

by Ron.

There is a lot of really cool stuff about living in KL and working at ISKL.  One of the best things is the diversity. Students are from all over the world. They learn a lot from each other and I have learned a lot from them about different cultures. I teach 44 students for math and science. I thought it would be neat to get an idea of where they all are from. Check this out:

United States---10 students
Australia---2 students
Malaysia---7 students
England---3 students
Korea---4 students
Japan---1 student
China---1 student
Columbia---1 student
Kuwait---1 student
Netherlands---1 student
Singapore---1 student
Indonesia---1 student
India---3 students
Venezuela---1 student
Canada---1 student
Thailand---1 student
Uganda---1 student
Pakistan---1 student
France---1 student
Vietnam---1 student
Brazil---1 student

So if you were counting, that is 21 countries represented among my 44 students. Many of these students have lived in 3 more countries as well.

That's it for now. It's Friday. And payday. Pretty good combo.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Differences

by Megan


Difference 1
So, Ron and I recently found out that there is no such thing as a "hamburger" at the McDonald's here.  Now, don't get me wrong, one can order a cheeseburger, but if a burger with no cheese is what you're looking for, you need to ask for a "beefburger."  I mean c'mon, it really does make sense!  Speaking of "ham" (sort of), it is not an easy task to find anything made with pork around here.  Most sausages and such are made with chicken (since it is predominately muslim).  It's weird how excited I get when I see bacon - made from pork - on a menu.  I almost feel like I HAVE to order it.






Difference 2
Another difference is how you point to things here.  Now, this is something I read about before coming to Malaysia, but I wasn't really sure how "true" it was.  Oh, it is true.  If you are pointing to anything, do it with your THUMB.  Yep, the "pointer" finger as we American's like to call it is considered sort of rude.  I have gotten so used to it that when I am just with Ron and point to something, he loves to make fun of me like "you just LOVE pointing with that thumb don't ya!"  Funny thing is, BEFORE we came here, Ron would start pointing to things with his thumb in the U.S. just to annoy me - and now he's making fun of ME for doing it in the proper place.  Anyway, once I get back, if I point to anything with my thumb - you can make fun of me - but just give me a bit of a break.


Difference 3
When you are at a restaurant here, the waiter won't bring your check until you ask for it.  Then, once he/she brings it to you, there is no walking away and allowing you time to go into your purse/wallet to get out the money.  Nope, the waiter will stand over you, waiting to be handed the money.  That took some getting used to.


Difference 4
Never assume all bathrooms will have toilet paper or soap to wash your hands with.  This assumption could get you into quite an uncomfortable situation (to say the least).  Bring a small pack of kleenex, wipes, and hand sanitizer EVERYWHERE.  Oh, and just because you are paying to use a bathroom, does NOT mean it's going to be a nice or really very clean one.  The majority of the nicest bathrooms are the free ones in nice malls and hotels.


Someone's blog about Malaysian toilets (most places have at least one "western" toilet - thank goodness)


Difference 5
(Thank goodness we didn't learn this from personal experience - but sadly learned it from friend's experiences):  If you get into an accident, don't assume the person who was actually obeying the law is the one who gets off while the guilty party must pay for damages.  Oh No.  It is the person who gets to the police station and files the report first that is assumed the innocent party.  Yep - even if he/she is CLEARLY in the wrong, it doesn't matter.  (It also helps the other person if he/she is Malaysian and/or willing to pay off the cops).


On the same note - always have cash on you.  If you get pulled over, just hand over some cash and suddenly - whatever you were doing wrong, never happened.  You are free to go.  (Or you can just do what our friend Paul did: the cop made the mistake of saying "Can I give you a ticket now?"  To which Paul replied "No, I didn't do anything wrong."  The cop tried once more, "Ok, I'm going to give you ticket now."  Again, Paul said "No you're not, I didn't do anything."  The cop just walked away.)



Totally Separate Subject:  Here is a video giving a first hand look at why motorbikes here NEVER get stuck in traffic jams.... (and can really make driving scary when one is learning, not only a new city, but how to drive on the other side of the street).