The more I stay here in Sabah the more I realise one thing. It’s a whole new world down here. Maybe its the fact I’m a city guy. Maybe I’m just too paranoid. Maybe it IS a whole different world down here. I don’t know. As far as I know in the east coast of Malaysia specifically right here in Labuan and Kota Kinabalu everything has their own flavour. Now I don’t know about other states here in the east coast, but I’m willing to bet my hat that it’s almost about the same.
So, in order for west coast Malaysian city slickers not to feel all alienated and totally lost I present to you this handy applicable guide to North East Coast Malaysian Lifestyle.
1. Coke and Pepsi is simply refered to here as Cola. They still come in glass bottles…may have rusty looking bottlecaps.
2. Don’t say “SMS“, people won’t understand it. Say “I’ll text you“. It has the same meaning.
3. When people smile at you for no reason, it isn’t because your fly is down, you’re wearing funny clothes or they are about to rob you off your money. It’s because they are REALLY smiling at you.
4. Cantonese Noodles does not exist here.
5. Don’t try to blend in. They KNOW you’re from the West Coast. They can read minds.
6. Don’t act like a damn tourist. You may hit something while you’re not looking (oww…my poor head).
7. Bring LOOSE clothing. The humidity here is waaay more than the West Coast for some reason.
8. They actually HAVE Streamyx over here.
9. The buses here are very small. The mini-buses here are vans.
10. Many people here are bad in arcade shooting games.
11. Bring your software CD’s. Software shops here are virtually non-existant.
12. A larger part of the population are technologically gullible. (wait…I think that goes for west coast as well)
13. WarDriving/Walking will turn heads and make you look like a fool. Plus you won’t get anything out of it. WiFi doesn’t exist here.
14. The sun rises one hour earlier, so people here wake up damn early (I needed sleep! I’m supposed to be on vacation!).
15. Everything here is way more expensive…except the fresh foods in the markets.
16. Hypermarkets are virtually non-existant, you can buy all that you can at everything-under-the-sun sundry shops.
17. Commercialised Coffee Shops are a rarity…even considered virtually non-existent (just order Kopi-O Ais, it won’t kill you).
18. You cannot get away with driving offenses here, not even not wearing seatbelt.
19. Karaoke is the favourite sport (oh no…they started singing again).
20. Open Door Policies are taken very very literally here…especially for big big houses.
So that is the 20 most important things to know so far about the northern east coast. I’ve lived here on and VERY off for the past 20 odd (or was it even) years. So if there is one thing to see…these are very factual observations. So to all those wondering what it would be like here in the east coast. Come on down. It’s good for a week of relaxation. The beaches are nice, the mountains are cool, the atmosphere still has that…old world feeling. It’s a good place to kick back and get your bearings up.
Next time you have trouble with your holidays, you’ve already got a good destination. Right here in the east coast. You won’t regret it. I know I don’t…well…unless you count young cousins screaming bloody murder…but that’s…another story…