"Surprise! I'm coming to visit!"

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April 15th 2015
Published: May 26th 2015
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4 people, 4 countries, 1 great time
I love getting email. Well, I love getting emails with news, stories, or a friendly hello. When I saw that I had an email from my friend Candy I was pretty excited. Candy had been one of my closest friends when I lived in Shenzhen and the last time we saw each other was when I traveled to Xi'an in 2012. Candy had written me a short email that can be summed up with, "I'm coming to visit you! I arrive in KL Sunday. I can't wait to see you!" My excitement turned to panic as I realized that Sunday was 3 days away and I had plans to be out of town all weekend! (As luck would have it, I had a speech contest in KL.) When would I prepare or clean? Sufficed to say, I managed to prepare for the contest, pack, clean the house, and put together the guest room with superhero speed.

I met Candy for brunch Sunday with some friends of mine from Bangkok. 4 people, 4 countries represented, one awesome time. It never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to find common ground with people from all over the world.

After brunch I showed Candy where the bus station was and gave her the ticket I bought her on Friday. (Weekends are obviously a popular travel time and tickets sell out.) I hopped on my bus while she spent the next few hours in KL having fun eating and playing tourist.

Back home, I napped, unpacked, and tried to prepare for my work week. (Alas, with such short notice I couldn't take time off.) I picked her up at the bus station around ten and we stayed up late catching up and laughing.

Monday I got home from work and we went up to Kuantan to the beach. We played in the sand, jumped in the waves, tried to catch an apple that kept washing ashore, and Candy walked around to another beach while I stayed put. (I didn't feel like dealing with the monkeys.) Afterwards we got ice cream and coffee and just enjoyed the ocean while chatting and reminiscing. Half of me was calm and relaxed, the other half of me was thinking, "Holy crap, I'm sitting here talking to Candy!

After the beach started getting crowded we headed back and had dinner at my favorite food court. Candy wanted Malaysian food and this was the best way to give her lots of options and provide a Malaysian experience. (I've only ever encountered food courts like this in Malaysia and Singapore.) We stopped at the supermarket on the way home so she could pick up some spices to take back with her. Then we stayed up too late again!

Tuesday was hot and I was tired. (Gee, I wonder why.) After a much needed nap, we stopped in town for some quick food before heading to Kuantan. Candy had looked up a few places she'd wanted to see and I said sure thing. Since I live here I haven't really explored as a tourist, always saying I'll do it later...and 7 months later I am!

On the way we stopped at the Buddhist temple with the amazing views. It was a clear day and could see quite far from the top! In Kuantan, we visited the "Big Mosque" in the center of town (a beautiful building, I must say) and took a walk on the esplanade by the river. It was quite peaceful and the clouds had cooled everything down just a bit.

For dinner we went to have my favorite thing to eat in Malaysia, Ikan Bakar, or grilled fish. I'd asked some of my teachers for the best place to go and they all agreed on one place--decision making made easy! You choose your fish (or crabs, prawns, or whatever else) and tell them how you'd like it prepared. We ordered prawns that were the size of my hand and a crab that was a bit skinny but still tasty. We also got another creature that's similar to clams, but long and thin. This plus coconuts filled us up and we nearly had to be rolled out of the restaurant.

We stayed up late for our last night until my eyes were nearly closed. (Wednesday morning came way too early.) Wednesday we went to lunch at the local curry house before I dropped her at the bus station so she could continue on her journey.

It's always good to see a special friend. It's even better when you know it's not, "Good Bye," but rather, "See you later!"

Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


The Big MosqueThe Big Mosque
The Big Mosque

No, really, that's what everyone calls it.

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