A Good Meal in Malaysia
By Erika Lehman (Guest Blog for Apple Hotel in Kuala Lumpur).
Whether you’re from Michigan or Malaysia, chances are you enjoy a good meal. Everybody gets hungry. For adventure, for knowledge, for a good meal, and for even better company to share it with. Traveling in Asia satisfies my appetite for life in ways I could only imagine. But, leaves that sweet aftertaste in my soul that keeps me coming back for just one more bite.
Food is the one thing that we all have in common. And yet, what we eat is one of the most obvious cultural distinctions between us and our neighbors. Traveling in Asia gives anyone the chance to peek over the neighbor’s garden wall and invite yourself to the barbeque, fish fry, or stir-fry. From Bombay to Bangkok, Beijing to Bali, and everywhere in between, friendships form from food.
In the West, tradition tells that breaking bread together is special. The East takes it to a whole new level. Every grain of rice, along with the surprisingly spicy curry on top of it, imparts a sacred experience to every man willing to dip his spoon, fork, chopsticks, or roti, into the communal bowl. No where else in the world do the people eat with such passion of their food. An ordinary “Hello, how are you?” is transcended by a greeting that almost always translates to “Are you hungry?”
Neighbors, friends, and family always eat together. And a lucky farang is often welcome, too. Usually, sitting in a circle, the conversation constantly flows. This circle is the symbol of Asian food. The bowl of noodles, the plate of curry, the kharma and good energy all circle continually about the center of the eating experience. Look for all these experiences near Apple Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
A home cooked meal provides one of the finest pleasures when you live life on the road. Luckily, Asian cultures are more than willing to share their traditions and food with a fortunate traveler passing through. Every home, every street market vender offers hospitality far beyond anything a four star Hilton has to offer. To really understand a culture you must experience it with your whole body. Don’t settle for just casting a lazy eye out the tour bus window. Feel it with your whole body. Jump out of that overpriced tank, walk down a random road, and within a few minutes you will find food. Guaranteed. Embrace that adventure for all the sights, smells, sounds, textures, and tastes a meal, and the loving hands that cooked, can offer. If you are bold enough to haggle and to eat just about any thing that walks, slithers, or swims on this Earth, Asia is your happy hunting ground. My Mum always said, “Full tummies are happy tummies”, so open your wallet, open your mind and eat up.