Friday, November 29, 2013

I Live Here.

This morning I woke up in my bed at about 6:00.  Despite my hardest efforts at sleeping in, I've learned that it just is not going to happen.  The sun comes in my windows a few minutes before 6 each morning, mother nature's alarm clock, if you will.  I got out of my bed around 7, filled my laundry bucket with water and detergent, then pushed my clothes down for them to soak while I crawled back in bed for about 45 more minutes.  After talking with my family about their Black Friday buys, I got out of bed, walked downstairs, said good morning to Mrs. Soong, and began washing my clothes.  I walked outside to give them a final ringing out and hung them to dry.  I went back to my room to get dressed and packed up my bookbag to head into town.  I've learned to never leave home without an umbrella (tropical country), tissues (bathrooms, restaurants... you just never know), and a jacket (yes, this is a hot country, but I frequently get goose bumps in places with air conditioning) in my bag.  As I walked down the street, I passed the dogs that sometimes decide to chase me, but I think I've learned how to hide my fear ;).  I turned the corner onto the main road to my bus stop which happens to be where I buy my pau, so I had to stop and buy one for the road!  The girl who usually takes my order (and by that I mean knows my order and now just hands me my pau without asking what I want) wasn't at the front, so I had to order today.  I looked around the restaurant and saw the usual morning staff and gave them a wave.  As I walked down the road, I looked to my left to see the school bus stop that I sat at for a good 30 minutes in my first weeks in KK before realizing that it was a school bus stop and that I would not be able to catch a bus into town from there.  I turned at the stoplight with my bus stop in sight, I turned to look behind me and saw a bus was approaching, so I gave a wave to let them know I wanted them to stop.  My first time going into the city, 5 buses passed me before I realized you had to give them some sort of sign to stop.  For awhile, I flailed (probably excessively) to make sure they saw me, now I know just a simple wave will do.  On the bus, I went ahead and pulled out my 1 ringget fare for the bus, as you never know when they will walk by to collect money, you don't want to be the one that holds the man up.  The bus pulled into KK, I got off and made my way to the places I needed to go today.  Especially in KK, I often pass other "orang puti", white people, tourists from Australia or Europe.  Today I saw an exceptionally large number since a cruise ship has started docking in KK.  With their maps in hand, fumbling with their ringget, I smiled to myself, since that was me not too long ago (/sometimes I still am clueless... let's be real), but now, in my routine, through trial and error and lots of guidance, I can say that I know how to do at least some of this now, because I live here. And that is a pretty cool feeling.

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