Or Why I am fascinated by the mundane things in life.
I have pretty odd requests when I travel.
"Can we go to the supermarket?"
"Can we watch a movie while we're there?"
I get pretty excited about visiting the local supermarket whether I'm in Europe or Asia or anywhere in the world. I could spend hours going from aisle to aisle, just browsing the kind of products that they have. I find it very fascinating checking out all the types of peanut butter that the supermarket has on offer; whether Kit Kat has a special flavour made for that particular country or whether they spell Coca-Cola in their local language on the tin cans and does the cans come in unique designs, in miniature or jumbo sizes?
I think the products say so much about the people in that country. For instance, if soda cans come in smaller sizes in a country, it shows that the people living in that country consume food and beverage in smaller portions. Countries such as the USA for instance, has mostly everything in jumbo packages with the words '50% MORE/LARGER/BIGGER' in RED CAPITAL LETTERS. Hence, why 2/3 of Americans are medically obese.
The other thing is that products tend to taste different in different parts of the world. I think MNCs adapt their recipes to local taste. I don't know if it is just me, but I swear Coke and Sprite taste much better in the UK than in Malaysia. So does Kit Kat. I think there's just more of the real stuff in there, instead of just sugar.
Plus, it's really fascinating to see 'Special Edition' flavours not made in anywhere else in the world. For example, my friend, Izza, told me that in France, there's Lindt Creme Bulee; which I can't seem to find anywhere else. So, stock up on them and they make great gifts to people back home because you can tell them, "You can only find these in France!" (as far as I know!)
The other place that I like to go to, is the cinema.
My boyfriend found it pretty odd as well, initially.
"Why in the world do you want to see a movie in Seoul/Sydney/anywhere in the world, when you can see a movie right here in Malaysia?"
Well, the answer to that question is that it is a different kind of experience, depending on where you are in the world.
Sure, you buy a ticket and you see a movie with hundreds of strangers, just like anywhere else, but there's little things that make it unique.
For instance, in Western countries, there's no such thing as numbered seats. You choose where you want to sit. That itself, though nothing special, is incredibly fascinating to me. Because it changes the movie experience.
In Seoul, I went to the first 24-hour cinema that I've ever been to. Honestly, I don't see the relevance in a 24-hour cinema. I can't imagine myself, not falling asleep at 3am, waking up my brother in the next room and asking, "Do you feel like a movie right now?" But then again, perhaps watching a movie in Korea is like going to a 'mamak' here in Malaysia. There's always someone out there in this country who needs a 'teh tarik' fix. Maybe there's always a Korean somewhere who NEEDS to see a movie. Right now. Even if it's 4.15am on a Tuesday. Who knows?
I told my boyfriend of how my family and I seem to catch Twilight at different parts of the world. We saw the first one in the US (LA, I think), the second one in Gold Coast, Australia, and the third one in ...uhh, I can't remember, and the fourth one (part 1) in Reno, USA. But I will not be watching the final part. Nope. The last one sucked big time. The first three rocked, in my opinion. I came out of New Moon in Gold Coast thinking, "That was the best movie ever!" Seriously. :P But the moment Bella thought of naming her unborn child, E.J. which stood for, Edward Jacob, that's when I lost it. That was it. I mean, how selfish can you be woman?
My biggest pet peeve about movie-watching in Malaysia is that there is no big bucket of buttered popcorn that smells of buttery goodness and drips with buttery juices. There is only salted popcorn. Which. Is. Not. The. Same. Thing.
The other thing I notice about watching a movie in the US and Australia cinemas is that the audiences are more responsive. When Bella wanted to name her unborn child, Edward Jacob, I heard people snort in the audience - which told me that I was not alone in my thoughts of regretting this movie. People clapped and whistled and threw back comments at the screen. It's so much fun! In Malaysia, we all sit still until the movie is over. And shhh! at the guy who can't silent his smartphone.
There you go, guys. It doesn't take a lot to make a trip memorable. Just go to where the locals go. Then you get to see how things are different, as compared to back home.
Oh, and check out McDonald's too! Not because you're too afraid to venture into local cuisine, but just to see how local flavours have influenced the menu. Do they have Prosperity burgers? Nope!
But we do! =)