For starters if you follow my blog you know that I just recently do blogging and have not posted my international travel debut. So in preparation for my second travel outside the country this year (2017) YES! Allow me to recollect the memories of 2015 and share it with you.
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Basically it was my first time to travel abroad, be in a foreign land and be with foreign people- it is quite intimidating and challenging at the same time. Intimidating in such a way that you might feel dumb because of language, norms and cultural differences, you may not be understood but also challenging where your people skills and ability to adapt will be measured.
Here are some memorable experiences in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
Driver seat on the right side of the car! As soon as we had our Peso changed to their local currency (Ringgit) we headed straight to the taxi bay where bunch of cars parked and on the other side drivers were chatting with each other while waiting for passengers. As we approached the bay, one guy came to us and asked if we needed a cab and we said yes, then he helped us towards the cab. As always, I seat next to the driver’s seat so I opened the car door on the right side and got surprised to see the steering wheel staring back at me. I looked over my shoulder and saw the driver’s face turning red bursting with laughter and so my friends and the other drivers in the airport! I exclaimed “hala!” and laughed with them.
Here’s a picture of four of us with me next to the driver. (I am sorry kuya I forgot your name, it’s been awhile now so I hope you understand).
After we checked-in in our hotel, we went out to the nearest mall to look for money changer. Tip: have enough money changed to local currency at the airport and the rest of your budget in a local money changer. Exchange rates at the airport is considerably higher compare to regular money changers at the mall.
They say that in every country there is always Filipino. True enough, past lunch time and we had not eaten yet, we decided to look for some local food close to our hotel. While we were discussing which way should we look for we were interrupted by a familiar language from unfamiliar voice asking, “Saan ba kayo pupunta?” (Where are you going?) and you know what happened next.
Thanks to our friendly kababayan who helped us with directions, we found a restaurant. As we order food we were arguing which one from the menu is better than the other. Funny cause we have not tasted any of them before but basing our judgment on the pictures then the waitress said, “Mas masarap pa po yung halo-halo natin diyan.” And we were stunned.
You might guess that some of the hotel staff where we stayed are Filipinos, you bet.
Enough with the chit chat and start with our first stop. Mount Kota Kinabalu view point.
Mt. Kinabalu Botanical Garden.
Mari Mari Cultural Village.
Parasailing and Island hoping.
These are some good memories in 2015. Looking forward for Indonesia this July!
(pictures of flowers were taken by @salingkatkat)