Thursday, January 12, 2012

When In Rome, Do What The Romans Do (Part 1)

Many of us would love to go traveling in our lifetime but when planning a trip somewhere, what is the main reason for you to go to that destination? What made you thought of the place as a holiday destination? If you were to ask me, my answer would be pretty simple, I want to know more about the country from the locals rather than to read reviews online or in books. Culture and history in foreign countries very often fascinates me as I grew up listening to stories about a country’s history and their way of life.

The reason why I enjoy traveling is not only to visit places but to also to also feel of being a local. Try their food, learn their cultures and see how they behave in their own home ground.  Like how the expressions go, “When in Rome, do what the Romans do”. Have you seen the Malaysia Tourism print advertisements?

Photo taken from here.
Notice how they use foreigners in that picture? This is because foreigners who come to Malaysia participates with what our culture have to offer them. Most of these foreigners are bold enough to try our traditional dances and food without any hesitation. As much as some of them do not like durian, at least they try and to determine if they like it or not. Technically, they are doing what Malaysians do when in Malaysia! That is what traveling is all about. You should be trying what you do not do at home. If you are too scared to try anything different from your own country, you are missing out an experience.

I was in Lisbon last month when I saw this Asian family at the hotel’s coffee house. I would have thought they we were able to eat anything that was served on the buffet table but I saw they were eating instant noodles in a cup instead and one of the ladies at the table was complaining on how it was difficult to eat around there and they were grateful they brought their instant noodles in a cup.

What was the difference in Portuguese bread with their local bread? Before Lisbon, I was in Madrid and I tried something I thought that looked icky but tasted good; paella. Paella is a Spanish delicacy that would look like sticky nasi briyani but with seafood and there this family, who could supposedly try anything on the table, was not trying something new. However, in Amsterdam, when you enter a coffee shop, be aware on what you eat because by eating the ‘wrong’ thing, you could get unusually happy at an impropriate time. So, basically, it is also important you know what you want to try and what you do not want to try.

This is only Part I of the article. Part II coming your way so stay-tuned! :)

[Credits to Sharifah]

P/s: Keep a look out for our upcoming issue of MYC! News featuring articles about travel & around the world!

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