For those of you who know me pretty well, you know that making decisions has never been my strong point. Just going to the mall and picking out a simple pair of shoes or a sweater can take hours, so you can imagine my difficulty in trying to find an apartment, especially when practically all of them require a one-year commitment. To make matters worse, my two-week free stay at Hotel Caliber runs out in three days. The clock is ticking…
So basically my dreams of commuting to Cheras from KLCC every day were squashed the day I got to work when practically everyone told me I was crazy. Not only is KLCC exponentially more expensive to live in than Cheras, but the commute during rush hour could take hours, even though it could be as short as a 20-minute drive. So I have decided to stay in Cheras, but settling on where exactly to live in Cheras has been a whole other issue. The problem is finding a place I am comfortable in that is accessible to both work and shopping without a car, not an easy feat here. I did find a newly-opened “luxury” studio apartment complex that is within an acceptable distance from work. The only problem is, while this place is technically affordable, it is small. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful, very clean and would be very easy to maintain. But for the same price and even less (sometimes a lot less), I could get a multi-bedroom, fully furnished apartment elsewhere that is in a much more rundown condition. It’s not that I need a ton of space, but aside from saving money, it would be nice to have a kitchen table and extra space for when I have guests. (Sidenote: the “luxury” apartment has a very lovely bathroom that separates the bedroom from the main room – completely encased in glass walls…)
Technically, I have made a verbal commitment to rent the see-through, “luxury” condo, but one of my real estate agents said he has a cheaper, two-bedroom nearby to show me Tuesday. Plus, a new cab-driver friend I made said he is going to recommend me some condos within walking distance of work that would be even cheaper. Sigh, thank goodness I have friends to stay with after Wednesday… Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll have a home. Fingers crossed.
On a positive note, I am much more comfortable here. I have gotten over the initial feeling of “Oh my goodness, am I really going to be living here for two years?” to a growing excitement of all the cool things I want to do. Seriously, I am learning soooo much every day, I cannot even begin to write it all down right now. Everything from Malaysia’s religion(s) to its politics to its climate and living conditions is so vastly different than what I have experienced before. This is definitely not an experience I would have gotten staying in the U.S. or western Europe.
For instance,Wednesday I saw my first wild monkeys ever. Let me tell you, it was SOOOO COOL!!! I was such a giddy, little girl, it was ridiculous. My boss was like, “I don’t think I have ever seen someone quite so excited about monkeys before…,” but to someone who has only seen monkeys in zoos, to see them within feet of you with no bars was incredible. There was a mom, her baby (so cute!) and two, what I presume, were males, eating garbage outside the homes surrounding the university where I work. Though no official contact was made (they have been known to snatch stuff from people), the few times they caught me staring at them was enough to make me run away a few times. Very, very cool just the same. 🙂
The other highlight of the week was eating possibly the most delicious Indian food I have ever had. My co-worker Joyce and I went out to check out an apartment in a trendy, expat suburb called Bangsar (though too far away and too expensive) and had dinner in this open, noisy restaurant with no menus and terrible service. However, the delicious chicken tandoori (with three types of curry) and garlic cheese naan that was brought out after finally convincing our server to take our order made the whole experience worth it. It was incredible! And that, plus two chocolate milks, cost less than $4. Amazing.
Work has also been going well. My official title is manager in the corporate affairs office for UCSI Group, which is largely made up of UCSI University. Though I am still not exactly sure what all my responsibilities are, my job so far has been editing and writing speeches and articles for the university. So far everyone in my office has been really friendly and really helpful, especially when it came to housing recommendations, and we seem to get along well. Hopefully the good vibes will continue. Tomorrow starts week two!