Rain or Shine

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Mar 27, 2018 01:32
I came back from Malaysia a couple of days ago. I’d stayed there for a week and really enjoyed it. Taking international flights can be exhausting but I’m fine with that. My homebound flight took off at 7 AM so I had to get up very early. Kuala Lumpur International Airport is very big and far away from the urban core where my hotel was. I checked out at 3:30 AM and got an Uber to the airport. The flight took nearly 5 hours and landed around noon, but I didn’t go straight home. Instead, I went directly to the city library and attended an English class that started at 2 PM.

Though I wasn’t very tired, I was not fully awake either. It was also weird that a few hours earlier I’d been basking in the tropical wind in my flip-flops but now I wore a down jacket, heading off to a class in the freezing cold. Anyways, I’d gotten into the routine of attending an English class at least every other week. I would try as much as I could to follow it.

The Chinese are the second-largest ethnic group in Malaysia and many of them can speak Mandarin very well. Many signs in the cities there are also written in Chinese. Therefore, Chinese nationals who don’t speak Malay or English can easily get by when traveling in Malaysia. However, when I was there, I tried to speak English because I wanted to practice it. By the way, I found Malaysians’ English pretty good, or perhaps most people I encountered worked in the service industry.

In order to study English, I try to use it and try to create an environment for myself, even if no one around me speaks it. When I heard that some Chinese students in the US don’t speak much English after class, I was full of pity for them because IMHO, they're wasting their potential. When a friend of mine who once worked in Mexico told me that he’d hardly spoken Spanish there, I thought that was also a pity. If I were him, I would definitely have grasped every chance to learn Spanish from the locals…. Anyway, it depends on the person. Some people are just not interested in studying foreign languages at all.