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I don't want you guys to think that I'm NOT excited about going to Malaysia because I totally am. However, it seems so far fetched that I'm actually going to MALAYSIA of all places that it's little hard for me to grasp. It's not a normal vacation destination for many people but then, I suppose, Jonathan and I are hardly normal people. I don't even know that much about Malaysia. Strike that - I know NOTHING about Malaysia except that, I believe, the old TV show on PBS, 3-2-1 Contact (you remember the show, right? It had the original Blood Hound Gang?), had this whole thing on the equator and I do believe they mentioned Malaysia. Maybe something to do with rubber plants or something. I'm not sure. Yeah - that wraps up my knowledge of Malaysia. A fourth grader could have written a better report than that.

ANYWAY - the reason that we're going is that Jonathan's dad works for Western Digital and WD decided that it was cheaper just to move his mom and dad out to Malaysia than it was for them to keep sending his dad out there every time there was a problem at the plant. So since late this summer, Jonathan's parents have been living in Kuala Lumpur and that's where we're going to be going for about a week and a half or so. We leave at midnight on January 2nd and come back in the afternoon of the 14th. It's a 26 hour plane ride so Jonathan and I are planning on getting a DS for me, a DVD player for him, and a metric shit ton of batteries.

As for what we're going to do in Malaysia...I have no clue actually. One of our servers at work grew up in Malaysia and told me that the real place to be is far from the cities and into more of the country. The western coast is really urbanized and he said that one big city is just like the next. If we really want to understand and really see the country, we should get away from the urban areas. He said that the eastern coast is really a great place to be. There was mention of a train that would take us down the western coast further away from the cities - I'll have to look into that.

Next thing to think about: what do I take with me???
You know if you just make sure your DS is fully charged before you get on the plan it'll probably last the whole trip. The battery life on those things is crazy. I once left mine on, in sleep mode so less power used, for almost two weeks and still got several hours of play time out of it before I had to recharge. It's crazy battery life.

You'll take lots of pictures right? Lots and lots?
Oh yes - yes I will. I will FORCE myself to take pictures because I'm not one who normally does. But this? This needs to be documented!
Good because I want lots of pictures of Malaysia.
I feel your pain! You have to figure out what to take with you for a two week trip, I have to figure out what to take for six months! if you figure out what you have to take, let me know! I need as much help as I can get!
I have NO idea what to take, really. My hiking boots, yes. My tank tops, yes. Jonathan's mom said that no pants will be cool enough, though, so I'll probably have to buy shorts for my fat ass somewhere there....

What I REALLY need is some kind of day pack that will hold my day needs: sun tan lotion, bug spray, camera, wallet, passport, etc without being too bulky or ugly.
what my study abroad advisor suggested for traveling through airports is a money belt. it might seem a little dorky, but you wear it completely under your clothes to hide your passport, extra cash, credit cards... I got one of those. Heck, it's $8 insurance against pickpockets!
This trip sounds way cool. My globe trotting Grandma loved Kuala Lumpur, I seem to recall. (She was an Asian country junkie, that woman, though...) 26 hours is a long time. I hope that DS holds out (Lizzie's got one and I have to agree, the batteries last for a really really long time.) The DVD player, on the other hand, will crap out in abut 2 hours--10 minutes or so less than the average gripping movie. Maybe those planes have plug ins? (The ones that go over multiple oceans...)
I've only flown cross ocean once and that was well before the days of portable DVD players. I know my computer battery will crap out after about one movie too. WE'll have to check out the airplanes!
All you need is me...
I'll take a lock of your hair with me when I go....maybe a finger tip as well...we do have the mandolin.
My brother's girlfriend has been there twice. She has her master's in environmental science or something, and she went for research trips. I can see if she has any good info if you want.
Dude - that would be AWESOME. I have no clue about how to get anywhere in Malaysia but I hear the trains are pretty good. I know there's rain forests to visit but I don't know where they are in relation to where we'll be.

I was in Malaysia for 5 days back in 2002, so I might be able to try and give you some basic ideas, though I wasn't there for long enough to be an expert or anything.

I remember Melaka being really pretty; it's a few hours on the bus south of Kuala Lumpur. Also, if you have time, you might be able to get down to Singapore, which is freaking surreal (it may be worth it just for the food, which is generally pretty cheap and freaking good, in my opinion). Also, there's a kind of piece of mini rainforest inside of Kuala Lumpur where you can go on a short hike. It's kind of cool, but the misquitos are NASTY. Oh! And Batu Caves where also really awesome (lots and lots and lots of stairs, but SOOOO worth it).
I have no real idea WHERE we're going to be. We're flying into Penang, but the WD plant it in Selangor which is outside of KL. I have asked Jonathan where we're going to be and he kind of looks at my blankly and just says "Malaysia." That's kind of like saying "we're going to america!" oh, where will you be staying? "California!"

Phhhhs boys - what are they good for?
Malaysia is gorgeous, has some of the most amazing beaches in the world and has incredible food. You are going to have an great time. KL is a big bustling dirty Asian metropolis. It's an experience. Where will you be exactly?
I wish I knew where we're going to be - we're flying into Penang and I know the WD plant is in Selangor but Jonathan hasn't really asked his parents WHERE in Malaysia they are. I think I'm going to have to email his mom and get further details. I'll let you know!