Sunday, November 6, 2011

Swish to be fresh! in Malaysia and Singapore

In just the last two months I was able to travel to two Asian countries, Malaysia and Singapore. It was a first time for me to visit Malaysia. My purpose of going there was to accompany my husband who would now be working in Malaysia. My trip just lasted for 6 days and in that span, we were also able to find a place to call home in Kuala Lumpur.

All I knew about Malaysia was based on the internet and some accounts from friends who had been there before. It also helped that my husband's head hunter emailed a booklet entitled "Living in Malaysia".

Prior to our departure, I spent a lot of hours daily researching about Malaysia through the internet. I searched for the must-see places/spots to visit in Malaysia. I even familiarized myself with Kuala Lumpur's street map and street names. I'm kinda O.C. when it comes to traveling. I wanted to make sure that my 6-day trip would not go to waste and would make me "experience" what Malaysia has to offer - Malaysia, Truly Asia.

When it comes to food adventures, I knew what I had to deal with -- lots of spicy stuff. But oh yes, I was game! Oh so I thought.

The first time I stepped into KL's airport, I immediately noticed how Muslim women, most especially, tourist women from Arab countries apply eye make-up that further enhances their deep set eyes. That observation prompted me to copy the way they put on eye make-up ... just so I could blend in a little.

The mosque-like structure behind me is the official house of Malaysia's Prime Minister.

When I travel, I try to learn as much about the place's culture and language. I ask a lot of questions from locals and try my best to speak their language and even copy their intonations.

Inside a Muslim mosque with my hubby.
Women need to cover their head while inside the mosque.

During my stay in Malaysia, I was also lucky to be invited to a usual Muslim family celebration of Malaysia Day. That's when I learned that Malaysians are truly simple and nationalistic. Most of them even wear their national costumes, not only during national holidays but even during simple family celebrations like birthdays.

But I believe one of the best ways to appreciate and understand the culture of a certain place is through its food.

These are just some of the food present on the table which I was able to take a photo of during their celebration of Malaysia Day.

It's their tradition to serve colored rice during holidays.

They also have itlog na maalat!

Beef Rendang - This one's HOT!

I gladly tasted everything which was put on my plate.

From mildly spicy to very spicy, I was happy to try authentic Malaysian dishes served during their feast day.

Every time we went out to eat and would get back to our hotel after, there would still be the spicy aftertaste lingering in my mouth. This was where Swish would come in. I would gargle with Swish which my hubby brought from Manila (3 different variants of 60 ml. Swish plastic bottles). Gargling with Swish would leave me with long-lasting fresh breath. Oh by the way, my hubby has sensitive teeth and gums that's why Swish is just perfect for him and yes, for me, too.

My next Asian trip took place last October 26. For a week, I, along with my 3 daughters toured Singapore where my husband was having his 3-week training. It was also a very happy reunion of sorts or get-together for all of us after a month of being away from hubby. I am grateful to experience and enjoy Singapore this time around and our kids were so happy to be with their daddy once again.

All our bags are packed and we're ready to go -- to Singapore!

Here, we also did a lot of eating. But unlike in Malaysia where we didn't know anyone, here in Singapore, we got to meet up with a lot of friends for dinner or lunch.

Dinner at Clarke Quay where seafoods abound

So happy with my crabby!

Aside from the MRT which we used a lot during our stay in Singapore, we also did a lot of walking, passing through CityLink Mall (Singapore's first underground pedestrian mall). In fact, during our adventures from one place to another, oftentimes, we didn't have the time to get back to our hotel to freshen up that's why I would always bring a big bag to carry some change of clothes for the kids, face towels, toiletries such as wipes, cologne, baby powder, alcohol and our very handy mouthwash - Swish. There's also one we leave inside our hotel room.

First time to try this world-famous Garrett

Ben & Jerry's banana split -- gone in split seconds!

Not only was our trip to Malaysia and Singapore memorable, both experiences were refreshing, revitalizing and truly enriching. Visiting these two countries has taught me to understand and respect different cultural values, not to mention, appreciate the distinct flavor and taste of their cuisine.

With all the eating and milk-tea drinking I did in Singapore & Malaysia, Swish surely helped in keeping my breath fresh all day long. All it takes is a gargle with Swish and I'm confident again.

'Til my next visit...lah.

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