Yes, let’s talk about culture shock.
The reason being is that, during umrah course, all they mentioned was – do not get into argument with the locals, be patience, respect the local law, respect other people’s spaces.
We Malaysians are really good bunch of people.
What we were not prepared was in essence, was a lot of things. Food, attire, the officials, weather, toilets, language, ways of doing things…
You can take out a kampung girl from the kampung, but you can’t take the kampung out from her.
By the third day, I was dying for something familiar – my fried fish, sambal and ulam. Ok, second option? Noodles. Try looking for anything that resembles noodles in this part of the holy city? I could not find it. I dreamed of eating fried tuna fish, hot steaming rice accompanied with spicy sambal belacan and ulam. I salivated over the thought of tomyam noodle, laksa curry, mee mamak basah, hokkien mee.
Good thing I brought my emergency ration from home (dont laugh!) – noodle in cup, a jar of sambal, soup in sachet and my favourite drinks such as Milo and Aik Cheong coffee. Somewhere in between the days when the caterer served the three-times daily meals at the hotel, that I saw fried fish, sambal and ulam. (grins)
There were some nights when we just wanted something to nibble on. So, G would go out to buy some Arabic bread and cheese. We had our little picnic in the room by spreading a plastic sheet on the bed and we had our bread, cheese, fruits and mint tea. It was so basic that it felt so romantic and awesome.
His regular Americano and muffin cost from Starbucks twice as much than in Kuala Lumpur. Sigh.
Would have been interesting to try out the Mc Donald’s but the nearest outlet was a tad too far for walking.
On most days, we ended up at the food court where I tried out strange food to my palate such as liver sandwich which was surprisingly, yummy! (sorry no pix). Otherwise, be prepared to spend about between SAR10 to SAR30 for food. Portions are big though. You can share with at least another football team.