Potty Training – The Malay Way

As I mentioned in my last blog, you will find me from time to time, like just about every day, at a mall running errands, eating lunch or enjoying a Saturday afternoon with my family.  It is the inevitable that at some point you will find yourself in need of a bathroom for either personal use or perhaps to even change a diaper or two.

Fortunately at Suria KLCC there are a lot of bathroom options.  So many options, so many lessons learned.

Lesson One

So the time had come that Ari was in dire need of a diaper change, like this girl needs to be changed sooner, rather than later or right now versus it can wait a few minutes.  Are we all on the same page here? So were on Level G.  Level G is the floor with all of the designer brands like Enzo Angiolini, Chanel, MaxMara, Bvlgari, Carolina Herrera and Kate Spade.  I saw the sign for the bathroom that also had a nice little symbol for ‘changing table’.  I know there are other moms out there that feel my pain when you come across a bathroom with NO changing table.  It literally drives me nuts!  The places I have had to change my daughter and the quite ‘inventive’ ways I have changed my daughter when there is no changing table available is quite ridiculous.  So needless to say I was extremely pleased to see that changing table symbol.

I make a left to turn down the hall where the above hanging bathroom sign instructed me to go and just then, I walk right into an additional sign that read,

Premier Paid Toilet (please provide exact change)

RM 2.00 per entry

Non-Paying toilets are available on all other levels

The Actual Sign

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The Actual Receipt (possible tax deduction?)

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So the currency here is the Malaysian Ringgit. 1 Malaysian Ringgit equals $.25 US Dollars. So RM 2.00 would be $.50 or fifty cents.

I know that fifty cents is not a lot of money, but seriously I am just trying to change my daughter and even if I had to use the bathroom at this point I don’t even know what sort of royal treatment I am in for at this Premier Paid Toilet!

The other issue is that although I did have cash on me, I did not have ‘exact change’. I figured I would give it a shot, perhaps they would have change or just let me sneak in because all I need to do is change a diaper.  Um no such luck.   This lady took her job seriously!  As I was fiddling around in my purse trying to find loose change to equal 2 Ringgits, which I knew I didn’t have by the way, she was sitting there expressionless, no empathy for the mom with the adorable daughter who was might I add a bit stinky at this point, I was not getting past this lady without handing over 2 Ringgits in exact change.  I am convinced that if my daughter would have pooped up her back, this chick would still have been looking at me like, ‘2 Ringgits or no bathroom for you’.

Thankfully we live in a world where sometimes you still have the good Samaritan who is willing to simply help out someone else who is in need.  A kind gentleman approached the bathroom ‘bouncer’ with his 2 Ringgits, she smiled, graciously took his money and motioned him to the men’s bathroom.  He however, noticed me frantically searching for change that I didn’t have and kindly offered me 2 Ringgits.  Some good ‘ol Southern hospitality smack dab in the middle of Asia!  I graciously accepted his charitable contribution and was finally on my way to what I assumed would the most palacial bathroom that I have ever seen.  Not so much.  It did have a very nice changing area, not luxurious by any means, but it also wasn’t just a pull down changing table.  Other than that, I couldn’t quite gather what I would gain personally from paying 2 Ringgits to use the bathrooms on the ‘Fashion’ level of the mall.  I think I would have expectations like some sort of plush toilet seat or someone handing me a warm towel to clean my hands or a mint perhaps.

Anyways, Ari and I fled the ‘Premier Paid Toilets’ and have yet to return.  We found a much better place on the 4th Level within a store there called iSetan that seriously has a mother/baby lounge that is quite magnificent and is free.

Lesson Two

Where do I even begin?  So now it is my turn.  I thought Ari’s changing table situation was challenging.  It is now time for me to use the bathroom.  I waltz right in and notice the first 3 doors are occupied, but the last 2 doors are vacant and waiting for me.  Pretty normal, right?  I was just pleased that there wasn’t a line. I stroll right on in and out of habit immediately reach to lock the door, turn to take a seat and it was then that I literally froze in my tracks. I had so many things running through my head. Where am I?  This is new to me. Did I go into the men’s bathroom? Is this a urinal? What the hell am I supposed to do here?  Are these the toilets that are in all public bathrooms here? I panic, I open the door, peak in the last available stall and am hit with the same situation.  A cleaning lady appears, notices how confused I am and motions me to one of the first stalls that is now available.  I hesitantly walk towards it and am immediately relieved to find a toilet, a toilet that I am accustomed to and know what to do with.  The cleaning lady probably rolled her eyes after I went in and thought ‘stupid Westerner’.  So what was behind door #4 and door #5?

Pic 1

Ladies & Gentlemen, if you haven’t yet been introduced, let me introduce you to a squatty potty.  These were foreign to me.  They are sometimes also referred to as a squat toilet,
pit toilet, shit pit (this is my favorite!), The Asian toilet, The Eastern toilet or the
poo hole.  Okay I am literally laughing out loud right now.

Just in case you missed the shit pit above

Pic 2

Back to business, I have since realized that they are all over the place here in Malaysia.  In fact, my husband had to go to the bathroom when we were recently shopping at Mid Valley Megamall and opted not to go due to his only choice being a squatty potty.  He said he will need to practice….ha ha!  What does that mean?  It is no joke, I came across another blog that literally is titled, ‘How To Use An Asian Toilet – The Art Of Squat, Go, Wipe, and Throw.

Using An Asian Toilet – The Art Of Squat, Go, Wipe, and Throw

This is a serious matter people.  It is time to get serious and start practicing.  I vow to use a squatty potty before leaving Malaysia.  Although the sheer sight terrifies me, there is a reason they exist.  I will spare you all graphic details and the benefits of utilizing a squatty potty, but let me direct your attention to this.  Anyone watch Shark Tank?

http://www.squattypotty.com/

I have no words.  Only hope that this information will help some of you with your ‘kinked’ colons.  Hope you know someone with a birthday coming up! On to Lesson 3.

Lesson 3

Butt sprayers are the norm.  Google ‘asian toilet sprayers’.  You will soon find out that some call them ‘bum guns’ or a ‘bidet spray’.  I had to stop looking at that point because I couldn’t stop laughing.  But seriously, my husband and I would both agree that they are strangely awesome.

Bum Gun #1

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I say that because it is a hygiene thing.  Please do read at your own risk, but this just about sums it up!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidet_shower

Some may think this is just gross and upon my initial introduction I absolutely refused to use.  However, we eventually got to know one another and for my 2 year duration here in Malaysia, I think we will remain close friends.  And if I know my husband as well as I think I do, we will be the butt spraying trend setters back in the states.

Bum Gun #2

Sprayer

If you are trying to conserve toilet paper, this is the apparatus for you!  They even sell them on Amazon.com.  Would make a great Christmas gift. Y’all can thank me later!

 

 

 

 

My New Addiction

Shopping Malls.   I will be quite honest that when I was in Junior High, High School and even College I really did enjoy going to the mall.  I am not sure I actually did much shopping, perhaps some, but whomever I was with at the mall, we would usually just walk around rather aimlessly.  Browse this store and that store on occasion, but we would just spend an absurd amount of time people watching and a ridiculous amount of time at the food court.  Cinnabon anyone?

Then I got older and I came to a point in my life that I hated malls.  Like I seriously loathed them.  The thought of having to physically enter a mall and deal with a ridiculously absurd amount of people was absolutely appalling to me.  Before you could even get into the mall you would have to deal with the horrendous mall parking and that annoying person who would wait literally 5+ minutes just for a car to back out of a spot that was no closer than a spot they could have parked in 4 minutes ago!  It drove me crazy! If only Fitbits existed back then, maybe more people would have been okay taking the extra 3o steps to park just a bit further away!  Okay so you finally get into the mall and then you have to deal with people that walk so slow, so slow that you are trying to scope out a way to move past them only to see a stroller with a screaming child approaching! Time to stay focused, just go to the store you have to go to, bypass all the rest and get the hell out of there.  Did I mention how much I hate fitting rooms?!  These experiences my friends are what led me to become a perpetual online shopper.  I was loving all of the stores that were in malls that offered their inventory online, I grew very strong feelings for Zappos.com, I mean seriously free shipping & returns, yes please!  And then my husband came along and I fell madly in love with Amazon (and him of course).  Amazon is everything.  I am not joking when I say that they delivered to our house at least once a week, probably more accurately 2-3 times per week.  Don’t believe me, ask our neighbors.

So online shopping was now my best friend and the thought of malls still made me ill. And then we moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  In all fairness, I had been warned.  My husband told me that a lot of people spend their time in malls.  Doing what?!?!  It drove me crazy.  How was I going to do this?  I was having flashbacks of everything that I hated about malls.  I convinced myself that I was not going to be one of those people, that I could live in KL and not touch foot in a mall unless absolutely necessary.  I can do this, I got this.

Y’all.  My name is Theresa Wade and I am addicted to malls.  Hello Theresa.  Also, our daughter is sometimes the screaming toddler in the stroller.  I guess payback is sometimes a you know what.

Malls are all over the place and there is one that is like maybe a block or two away from where we are currently living.  I go there just about every single day.  I am not lying. We have officially been living here since Friday, June 3rd 2016 and there might be just a handful of days that I didn’t physically enter that mall, but I probably did go into another one.  Sometimes I visit more than one mall a day.  So what has changed?  Why do I now love malls so much?!  Malls here are a bit different.  First of all they are enormous….like 4-8 floors enormous.  And the floors are long, like you could sometimes get lost long. They are beautifully decorated and they are from my experience thus far pretty immaculate.

Suria KLCC

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Suria KLCC (decoration for Ramadan and anticipation of Raya Aidilfitri or the celebration for the end of Ramadan)

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More decoration during Ramadan and and anticipation of Raya Aidilfitri

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Okay so big malls that are pretty and clean.  Awesome.  But there has to be more right? There is.  Malls here for the most part have everything!  I am talking all of the stores you would think that they would have like Nike, Gap, MAC, Bath & Body Works, Guess, Armani Exchange, Toys R Us, Sephora, and so on and so on.  And then they have the high end stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Michael Kors, Balenciaga and Versace.  Did I mention the restaurants?  Suria KLCC is the mall that is right by us and they alone have 30+ restaurants, some inside and some with outside dining options and 2 food courts, one of which has the absolute best chicken ramyeon ever.  But this isn’t all, malls here are like a one stop shop.  They not only have the stores and the restaurants and the movie theatre, but they have hair salons, nail parlors, banks, pharmacies and at least one grocery store in them.  Suria KLCC also has a walkway that not only takes you to even more restaurants/food courts, but takes you directly to Aquaria KLCC (the aquarium) and connects you to yet another mall.  Rather convenient I must say!  Some even have indoor amusement parks, water theme parks and ice skating rinks.

Suria KLCC

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Ariane’s Toys R Us

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So why all the mall love?!  The malls here are still busy, mostly on the weekends, but it just doesn’t seem as busy or maybe that is because I go there like everyday even before they open at 10am to just walk and grab a coffee from San Francisco coffee.  There literally seems to be a coffee shop at both ends of every single level.  There is even a Starbucks, which I was addicted to back in the states, but now not so much.  There are way too many other options and my only experience here at Starbucks had my Venti Skinny Vanilla Latte tasting not as great as I was used to.  Anyways, I run all of my errands at Suria KLCC and it is air conditioned!  Another reason why I think people gravitate to the malls here. It allows you to de-sweat.  Not a word I know, but it works.  We will walk around KLCC Park a couple of times and be drenched in sweat.  We take one step into the mall and it is like penguin heaven.

This is our new Barnes & Noble

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This is our new Macy’s or Boston Store or Bloomingdales, but most importantly my go to grocery store because it is right across the street.  They have clothes, shoes, furniture, kitchen appliances and more!  It is 4 levels.

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Okay so since moving here I have been to Suria KLCC (pretty much daily), I have also been to Avenue K, The Pavillion, Starhill Gallery, Sungei Wang Plaza, Bangsar Village and Publika!  Almost all of these are in the Top 20 Malls in Kuala Lumpur, that leaves 14 more malls that I need to go visit.

Starhill Gallery (this place is gorgeous!)

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Ari devouring Baskin Robbins ice cream at Publika

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Top 20 Shopping Malls in Kuala Lumpur

I usually don’t even buy anything, but groceries.  Okay well my husband would disagree since I have bought some clothes and shoes for Ari and a pair of sunglasses for myself (and wine, just a few bottles of wine), but typically the mall is where I go to run my everyday errands.

This is a day in the life.  Grocery bag filled with groceries and Ari in the stroller.  I know you can’t see her, but she is helping this stroller from tipping over!

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And I will get into this at a later time, but I have NEVER been in a mall here where I didn’t see a 3ft selfie stick in action and selfies galore!  It is quite entertaining and ridiculous at times.  And NO I do not own a selfie stick

I guess you can say that I am back to loving me some malls! When my husband asks, ‘what would you like to do this weekend’?  I say, ‘wanna go to the mall?!’.  Lol.  Fortunately there is so much to do in Kuala Lumpur and we have our bucket list of places we want to go and things we want to do, but ladies and gentlemen, the mall has a big fat check mark next to it!  6 down, at least 14 more to go!  Happy Shopping Y’all!

Hopefully Ari is up for the challenge!  Clearly this day, Mommy overdid it!

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But clearly this day, Ari had her shopping shoes on and was working that bag!

https://goo.gl/photos/zd7PhzQaovygTu2v5