Yesterday I received an unusual message on my Wall in Facebook. One Indonesian friend, whom I’ve got to know during my trip to Macau, told me that my Thai friend, whom I’ve got to know in Macau too, is in Malaysia for a holiday and would I please call him because he was trying to contact me!
I immediately sent my Thai friend a text message (the Indonesian friend gave the cell phone number in the message). A few minutes later, he called me back and we made plans to meet up for dinner after work. I was really quite excited because I never expected to meet him so soon after our trip, or that we’d even meet after that! Let’s face it, international friendships are pretty hard to maintain if you don’t have Facebook or e-mail. Or a blog. 😉
You see, my Thai friend is a German-speaking tour guide, who’s in his fifties, I believe. He has an affinity for languages, which was why he went for the summer course we were both in. But he has yet to pick up the Internet bug, but he mentioned yesterday that he plans to buy a computer soon to learn how to get online. Anyway, I called him just in time, because he is leaving Kuala Lumpur today afternoon!
I met him and his girlfriend, whom I got to know in Macau too when she visited him, at the McDonald’s in KL Sentral, the train and bus terminal in the heart of KL. They were staying in a hotel nearby.
Even though I only got closer to him in the last half of the month-long summer course, my Thai friend was one of the people I felt most comfortable with. Seeing him and his girlfriend yesterday was like meeting old friends. They are so friendly and warm, even though we are not physically affectionate.
We had Indian food for dinner, because we were in Brickfields, which is the Little India of KL. My Thai friends were very excited about that too, because Indian cuisine is very expensive in Thailand and here it’s dirt cheap. Seriously. We had chapatis and your usual dhal curries and veggies and fish, but because my Thai friends told the proprietor that the fish doesn’t seem fresh, he didn’t charge us for the fish! Three people’s dinners only cost RM11 (around USD4). That’s ridiculous!
So we chatted while we had our delicious and spicy Indian food. I usually feel awkward meeting people I hardly meet, but with them I didn’t really feel so because older people usually have lots of things to say. I don’t really have to worry about keeping a conversation going with them. 😀 They told me how much they love the food here and the people, who are very helpful in comparison to Macau.
(That’s not to say Macau people are unfriendly, but I think my Thai friend had a hard time in Macau because not many people there could speak English so if he got lost it was a bit difficult! I, on the other hand, love Macau. But I have my smatterings of Cantonese to get me by there.)
After dinner, we took the longer route back to KL Sentral and I saw a bit of Brickfields. Silly, isn’t it, that I often pass through Brickfields because I take the Monorail from KL Sentral, but I’ve never really been there, and that it took my Thai friends to show me around a place that I should know? 😳
They walked me back to KL Sentral and bid me goodbye in front of the LRT (one of the train stations there) entrance. I felt like giving them a hug, but I was all sweaty from the walk and probably smelly after a day at the office too. So we shook hands instead. Which felt a bit silly and awkward, as if I was attending an interview, but they are Asians like me and we aren’t very touchy-feely people by culture.
I am so happy I know them. 🙂
(And now, I shall have no problems getting around Bangkok, hehe!)