Tag: #observations

Travel Tips: Toilet Time in Malaysia

In Malaysia you always need to remember to carry two things:

1. Drinking Water

2. Toilet paper: for use when the water runs out

Now, regarding #2, you might think “why?” or, if you’re used to travelling in this part of the world, you might think “duh, that’s so obvs” – however the point that needs to be made is not that Malaysia doesn’t have toilet paper (they have plenty of it), but rather, that the toilet paper is stored on the outside of the stall. 

Much debate has ensued over why exactly there is a giant roll of toilet paper by the sinks: does it save trees, did they just not feel like installing dispensers in the stalls, are we all being filmed for an episode of Candid Camera? To our “Western” brains with “Western stomachs” this design presents two big flaws: what if you forgot to grab some paper, and if you did remember, what if you didn’t take enough. 

I think we can all agree that not having enough toilet paper while in a public bathroom is a scenario best left to a movie whose main component is a slapstick sound effects budget and stars anyone from American Pie.

In the end, the answer was infront of our faces (especially went squatting). Malaysia has “wet” toilets. Each stall consists of a couple of hoses (besides.knowing they are for cleaning, I’m not entirely sure how they work) but the end result is that each stall gets hosed down after every use – which makes going to the toilet feel like you’re constantly at the public pool in the summer, and would make it impossible to keep the toilet paper dry. 

So, my solution is to constantly carry paper, mainly because I cannot remember to tear some off before I go in, but I can remember to replace the wad in my pockets on the way out. 

Note the hose and thin layer of water on the ground
Squat toilets: not ideal after climbing a mountain

Evolution: The Apple Product Release Strategy

Primates are “members of the most developed and intelligent group of mammals, including humans, monkeys and apes” – sorry dolphins, but apparently that’s what the the Cambridge Advanced Lerner’s Dictionary says.

Of course, not all primates were created equal, if they were then I’m pretty sure based on pure size, humans would not be a position to greenlight more Planet of the Apes movies. 

When you start to look at the differences between us highly intelligent mammals every “upgrade” starts to seem a little like an Apple “new version” release – an upgrade that simultaneously adds something new and also takes away something useful (looking at you, headphone jacks).

The difference between monkeys and apes? Tails. The upgrade was to remove the tail. Now, I know this probably had a practical reason, but why couldn’t we just keep the tail, get bigger and learn how to exist on the ground? If humans had tails we could swing from buildings and live in trees, alleviating some of our traffic problems, and making it much easier to pass highschool P.E. 

The difference between apes and humans? Walking on two legs and better hand function (and a language that we can understand). No one is going to argue with better hand function – we learned how to make tools, it’s like Apple coming out it camera upgrades, very useful for taking better selfies – which is progressing the human race. But, did we really have to sacrifice being able to walk on all fours? Like, why can’t we walk upright and on four legs. We could be our own pack animals, and giving kids rides around the house would be so much easier. 

It feels like Evolution is messing with us, saying “I could make the world’s most perfect animal, and while I could do it all at once, I’m going to do it in fifty steps – and no, you’re not getting a USB port until the end.”

I want to walk like you, talk like you…

Dear NZ: A Couple of Suggestions….

Dear New Zealand, you are a mighty country filled with volcanoes, mountains, earthquakes, oceans, glaciers, daring people willing to throw themselves off all manner of things, and the All Blacks, I wouldn’t change a thing, well maybe just some small things:

1. Sinks. How does one use these tiny sinks? Whenever I wash my face a lake of water forms on the floor. I would suggest bigger sinks, but if that can’t be done, please provide instructions. 

Defeated by tiny sinks

2. Wifi. Better wifi, or even more free WiFi would be great.

3. Feijoa. This fruit is absolutely delicious (it’s like a guava and a strawberry had a baby) and no one knows about it, definite next “world breakout food” potential. Same with Manuka honey. 

4. Spice. Please make the “spicey” option just a tad spicier, your palate might not thank me now, but it will later. 

5. Tea. How is tea the same price as a cappuccino? It only requires a tea bag, hot water and some milk from the fridge – hardly seems right.

That’s about it, thank you. Oh wait, one more thing – advertise the North Island more, it really doesn’t get the credit it deserves.