Alright, first of all my apologies for neglecting this. It's all due to procrastination and this thread slipping my mind. I also didn't expect this much interest in my travels. Well it seems to be mainly just Rey but 1 member in a forum of like 5 regulars is considered substantial
So without further ado, here is my long overdue (can't believe its been 6 months, how time flies) "KH! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Malaysia".
Sooo...after Chandler, I ended up not going to LA + SF but went to NY for a week instead. I've always preferred NY over LA/SF but initially went with LA/SF as that was the cheaper and more convenient option travelling from Chandler, but I thought "fuck it, I don't know when, if ever, I'll be back in the States again" so I changed my plan to the Big Apple.
It was a fairly uneventful flight from Penang to Phoenix but I feel compelled to post that I was truly annoyed by a baggage handler in LAX where I was transiting. So I had to collect my check-in luggage at LAX and drop it off again at another luggage carousel for transit flights. I was walking up to the transit carousel and about to start lifting my luggage onto the carousel when the guy said "Hey buddy, need some help with that?" I was like "Ok yeah sure thanks" and he proceeded to lift my luggage up to waist level and roughly tossed/dropped it onto the carousel with a loud bang. What the fuck was that about?? Don't offer helping if you don't want to help, you prick.
Other than that shitty "Welcome to the US" gesture, fortunately everyone else I met for the next 3 weeks were great. Below are some observations.
- Seen and read so much about America via the media, it felt really nice to finally be there and experience for myself all those things that I've only seen through the movies.
- Everything in the US is big. Big cars, big parking lots, big roads, even the people there are big! Yes, America has an obesity problem. I'd say part of it is due to the huge meal portions over there, it took a bit of effort to finish most of my meals while I was there. When I got back home, initially I was always feeling hungry after a meal because my stomach had gotten used to the size of the meal portions in the US after 3 weeks there. Also, the snacks there are super salty or super sweet, which does no favours to the obesity problem.
- Knowing when to tip is something I feel you learn by staying in the US for a while. Not a problem in obvious situations like at a sit-down restaurant, but there are some curveball situations like when I was quite surprised to find out from my colleague that tipping is expected for hotel housekeeping. I was armed with this knowledge before I went on my trip but I still managed to forget tipping the one time housekeeping came to make up my bed.
- I think I managed to completely avoid using the term 'toilet' and used 'restroom' instead.
On the subject of toilets, I found it interesting how toilets in America have less privacy, the gaps at the bottom of the door are big and the gaps at the side are big enough that if you really wanted to peek through it, you could.
Also, public toilets were a huge pain in the ass to find especially in New York where I was walking around everywhere. I found it amusing how shops tried to limit their toilets only to paying customers by locking their toilets with a passcode and printing the passcode on their receipts. Even places where I expected to find a toilet like at a subway station, there weren't any. Contrast this to Japan where every convenience store has a toilet which anyone can use, and convenience stores are found almost everywhere you look in Japan.
I was at Union Square this one time and needed to go. I actually tried googling 'Union Square public restroom' and I was pretty surprised and amused (not to mention relieved) to find the below article which helpfully pointed out to me that the Barnes & Nobles there had a public restroom I could use.
https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/hidden ... bathrooms/
- Arizona is so dryyyyy. First time in a desert climate. Heat was generally tolerable as it's hot as well where I'm from but while humidity here is in the mid-80% all year round, it was like 20% while I was there.
- I found it so weird how cars in Arizona have number plates only on the back with none on the front. I thought it was universal logic that cars should have plates both on the front and back, but apparently not in AZ.
- My company brought us to Sedona which was pretty with all those red rocks from the cowboy movies, but too bad we didn't have enough time in our schedule to fit in the Grand Canyon.
- The tap water there is salty.
- Giant cacti!
- Scorpion candy
- I found it amusing when my Uber driver was telling me stories about how everyone suddenly doesn't know how to drive and the accident rate spikes up when it rains in Phoenix (despite it not being heavy rain), because it rains so infrequently over there.
- Magical city. So much to see and explore. I stayed in Astoria, Queens, which was a really vibrant neighbourhood
- Covered all the major sights; Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Staten Island Ferry, Wall Street, WTC, Times Square, Fifth Avenue (+Trump Tower and St Patrick's Cathedral), Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Centre, ESB, Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, Flatiron Building.
-Wanted to catch a show at Broadway but didn't had the time despite 6 days there. No time to fit in any of the museums or to catch a baseball game. 6 days and I only covered the major sights which were all in Lower + Mid Manhattan. Didn't even touch Brooklyn and Queens (aside from the Brooklyn area surrounding Brooklyn Bridge and my Airbnb neighbourhood in Astoria, Queens)
-It was drizzling on and off the whole week I was there, but fortunately didn't impact any of my plans though it did limit my visibility of the NY skyline while I was at Top of the Rock. Also, just as I got onto the ferry from Ellis Island back to Manhattan, a huge storm broke out that killed 3 people in the wider NY area.
- Love the ceramic and tile mosaics of the subway stations.
Due to not wanting to have any potential issues with claiming the cost of my flight tickets; it took me 2 full days to fly home, from the moment I stepped out of my Airbnb in New York to throwing myself onto my bed in Penang.
- Caught the subway at 2am in New York to catch my 6am flight to Phoenix (4 hours)
- 5.5 hour flight to Phoenix
- 8 hour transit at Phoenix airport
- 1.5 hour flight to LA
- 5.5 hour transit at LAX
- 15 hour flight to Hong Kong
- 3 hour transit at HK airport
- 4 hour flight to Penang
Fuck, that was a really long journey!!