This is no Occident

1996I am a sucker for those small details, when and if I notice them. Sometimes they spring into your face immediately, and sometimes it takes just a little while to figure them out. When we arrived in our hotel room, I didn’t oppen the drawer of the desk immediately. I didn’t really expect to find anything there, I was more interested of storing something there. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when the drawer contained not a “Holy Bible” – or even a Koran, Malaysia being a muslim country afterall – but a book containing “The Teachings of Buddha”. Wenny thought someone forgot it there, but I am pretty convinced that the hotel is owned by a Buddhist.

1999I did notice another strange feature of our room immediately after arriving. Someone had glued an arrow to the ceiling, pointing into what seemed a random direction. I didn’t really think much about it – being jetlagged and all – but when we arrived in [Genting Highlands](/2006/01/23/kuala-lumpur-to-genting-highlands/) Wenny told me the obvious explanation: That little arrow is a feature of pretty much every hotel room in Malaysia, and it points towards Mecca – as a convenience to the many Muslim guests so they don’t have to bring a compass everywhere they go. Kinda neat. I like it. And if I owned a hotel in Europe I’d add these arrows to all the rooms too. Maybe Muslim guests would be a small minority, but it’s so little effort for a nice gesture.

And I’m sorry for the pun.

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