JenUwin Visa Run to Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I came here to complete my first visa run, where I leave the country of Thailand for a few days to return and be given a stamp allowing me 30 more days in the country. I decided to go to KL and much to much excitement upon arrival discovered that the days I was there would be celebrating Diwali or Deepavali, the festival of lights for the Hindus of KL. Malaysia is mixed with Malays, Chinese, Indian and Muslims.
Batu Caves is one of the 10 sacred sites for Hindu people, 7 in India and 3 in Malaysia. The cave steps were actually recently painted in this rainbow fashion and I think it is a wonderful addition. There was so much to see there and I think I only saw 1/3rd of it. The statue of Murgana is HUGE and the caves inside are vast and decorated. There are nooks and crannies of alters and statues, many places for worship and admiration from tourists and devotees alike, I am so glad I came!
The Festival of Lights (Diwali, Deepavali) is a Hindu (from India) sacred holiday, kind of like their New Year - the illuminate their homes with lights, they go to temples for prayers, poojas and offerings, they eat special food and partake in cultural events. I was lucky enough to land in Kuala Lumpur during this time. I took partook in the sacred festivals within Batu Caves - various liquids were poured of Lakshimi, goddess of health, wealth and prosperity, such as saffron water, milk, honey and water. She was then blessed with the light of a candle and a ringing bell between each liquid pour. Nasal music played by a large sham like instrument and a drum with two heads accompanied this ritual. A blessing of ash was put on my forehead, I bought a Ghee candle and took it to Ganesh and said thank you for all the readjustment I’ve gone thru this year. I asked for my family and close friends to be healthy and wealthy. I asked that I be guided and protected as I walk new lands and seek places to serve and uplift others. Many folks were happy to see me in my unicorn head gear and wanted to take pictures. I had an uplifting and tiring day exploring the far reaches of KL.
That night I met a new friend who told me the story of Murgana (the tall statue) and the epic of King Rama. I was grateful to be told these stories from a native tongue while walking around the river. The night before I hung out with 3 New Zealand guys and had a blast playing pool, joking around and being merry. I must say I enjoy that I don’t drink because as they were getting sloshed and spending lots of ringets, I was still clear headed with my wallet not empty.
Food was great, city was a city but still friendly and accessible. I dressed modestly due to the cultural change. I felt safe and enjoyed my time there. I flew back to Bangkok and took a train home the next day. I met up with 2 new friends for lunch and I am happy that I am starting to feel at home in Thailand. I came back to Hua Hin and then quit my position at DVIS. I began “visiting” Halio school (www.halio.org) and will begin “official” work here once I have a work visa. I’ve got 30 days on my Visa and hope to get one more renewal for 30 days before leaving the country again. I love Thailand, the food, the culture, the people. I am excited to be meeting more like minded people and to have a place to stay and money to eat and live with. I am so grateful.