Sunday, September 29, 2019

I Left My Heart in Sabah

I left my heart in Sabah. As I ate amplang that I bought from the night market in Bandar Kim Fung, I reminisce the beautiful smiles of the people of Sabah. The warmth and friendliness I experienced in Borneo is an attraction itself that people should notice. The Borneo part of Malaysia gives the country another dimension that is different from the Peninsular. So much so that even Peninsular Malaysians like yours truely find foreign. 

Having travelled quite a bit across the world, I find that Southeast Asians are still one of the most welcoming people you can find in the world. And within Southeast Asia, Malaysian hospitality is one of the best. With qualities of individualism being more popular, it is not easy photographing people for my blog or request for exceptions and special arrangements in Western countries. The right to privacy is spat right at your face. Even belongings and pets are protected. This attitude is creeping into Kuala Lumpur and other major cities in Asia.

Sabahans on the other hand, are not armed with such aloofness. Instead of questioning you if you are sharing your drink, Sabahans will actually fetch you another empty cup. Instead of turning down a request to be photographed, Sabahans will actually smile for you.

Such vulnerability is our asset. Hopefully we are not taken advantage of our warmth.

Leaving Sabah with a heavy heart
The fishermen actually told his sons to smile for my camera
Friendliness at the Sandakan Food Fest. 
This market vendor poses for me without charge or posing an obligation to buy from him
The vegetable seller just lets me 
This lady gave me a sample of her tuak and smiled as I walk away without buying.
I returned later to buy a cup because of her sincere smile. 
She was actually honoured that I took a pic of her in action
Gary, always so humble and accomodating
Till next time Sabah!

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