Beechworth Secondary College Malaysia Trip by Jamie O’Callaghan
Fifteen students from Years nine to eleven, lead by John Tharrat and Jo Morrison participated in the trip. I was the only student from Stanley.
The school offered the trip for those learning the Indonesian language as a subject at school to further our knowledge on Malay culture and tradition.
We learn Indonesian from Year seven at school but are unable to go to Indonesia as the education department will not allow it.
However, Bahasa Malaysian is almost the exact same language.
We had to use our Indonesian to barter with some market owners in the Chinese market and shop keepers around the town. We visited Kuching and Kuala Lumpur.
The main highlight in Kuching was a long boat ride we took to a long house in a tribal village down a river. We stayed with them over night and watched them perform a traditional dance.
The best thing about Kuala Lumpur was the shopping, The shopping mall that we were staying next to had 6 levels, each of them like a maze to find your way around.
The sun and humidity had an effect on everyone. 100% humidity all the time makes it hard to be out for long periods of time and makes you very thirsty.
For the boys food was a big part of a trip, many of them having three to four serves at every dinner and breakfast. Foods we consider expensive in Australia are so cheap and easy to come by in Malaysia.
One night I had two whole crabs for around 15 Australian dollars and on the last night we fed our entire group including teachers for 70 Malaysian ringgit (which is approx. twenty five Australian dollars).
I would love to return to Malaysia for another couple of weeks as there was so much more to do that we did not have time for.
I am going to continue to study the language so I can go back and speak fluently with the locals and possibly get a job over there.
Picture attached is of Sue & myself at a cooking class we took part in while in Kuala Lumpur.