Malaysia - Ipoh, a 1-night-stop that changed our life
Ipoh - beeing in Malaysia mainland for the 4th time now, we have never thought of spending time in Ipoh. For us, this city is just the getaway to the Cameron Highlands (which is amazing!). But as Paramahamsa Vishwananda whom we were following through Singapore and Malaysia held a darshan in Ipoh, we were confronted with the city for the first time. And we have to admit, there are quite some things to do there that will keep you busy for 1-3 days.
In the morning we took a bus from Butterworth to Ipoh - it was a freezing cold (malaysian aircon....) but easy ride. The bus station in Ipoh is out of town, so we took a prepaid "teksi" to our accomodation, the Shamrock Guesthouse . We took the smallest and cheapest room available. The lady at the reception had a funny expression on her face when we said "no it is ok, we take the small room". When we opened the door we realised why :-). I, Nina stepped into the room with 2 steps - that was it. I could squeeze the backpack in and me. There was not more space, I already touched the bed. I had to put the backpack on the bedside table (which was firm enough!) abd step into the bathroom to let Markus come into the room as well. Yes, this was definitley the smallest room ever - and windowless. But everyhting was spotlessly clean and we had all we needed. So for 1 night it was perfect and suiting to our budget. Overall, we only stayed in the room for a couple of hours at night. And the bed was really comfy. If you are looking for a good place to stay in Ipoh - check it out!
We quickly went for lunch in a nearby excellent indian restaurant. Theses indian restaurants in Malaysia are a great deal. They are economical and mostly really safe (compared to India). Never ever did we have any problems with the food and it was almost always incredably delicious. After a filling lunch, we went on a short walk around town. It was sunday, all shops were closed and the new part of town was empty. Some people had warned us to take care of our belongings - and indeed, the atmosphere was not so inviting. Maybe on a weekday it is different. However nothing happened to us. We visited the Padang of Ipoh, a beautiful part with great views of the surrounding hills and stopped there in a busy cafe for a te tarik (the malaysian style of a chai tea) - oh, we love te tarik and are really addicted to it! The train station and some surrounding buildings are beautiful as well, really great restored colonial anbiance. We were surprised, we did not expect Ipoh to be beautiful - but it is! Unfortunately, we did not have time to visit some of the amazing cave temples around Ipoh. The Perak Caves are supposed to be amazing and we saw some other pretty interesting temples by driving with the teksi from the bus terminal.
But we had to get ready for the darshan with Paramahamsa Vishwananda. And we nearly were too late. The taxi driver did not find the function hall where it took place. But we made it in time in the end, shortly before Paramahamsa Vishwananda arrived. Next to the function hall there was a pyramid building - a small room ment for meditation. It was brand new and Paramahamsa Vishwananda made an inauguration ceremony and blessed the place with the people who were around. We were lucky that we were part of this inauguration as it was very, very special. After the ceremony there were few people (like about 15-20 people) in the pyramide when HE turned to me and asked me to lock the door so noone would disturb us. And he did a very special, hearttouching meditation with us. I, Nina, have to admit, that tears were running down my cheaks all the time. What a grace to be part of this! All were shaking in the end and we all had goosepumps when he finished. This was one of the most special moments we have experienced with our master and I really cannot describe what we were feeling or what was going on at this moment. It was like having a bath or better a long dive into the ocean of love. Incredible! Only he can make feelings like this possible.
Well, I know, that for the readers of this blog who have never had a close encounter with a saint or holy person, this sounds like we are completely crazy. And from the outside, maybe you are true. In the beginning, we thought about this the same way. But the feelings you have while being with your satguru cannot be described. And in "our" world, maybe this is crazy. We do not care and are happy to be "crazy", because this gives us something that goes beyond what life itself can give you.
Enough of that - this was "just" the beginning of an unforgetable evening for us. We had darshan (which was also different and felt much sweeter than at other times), we quickly talked to him again some words. And after darshan we were even able to go and talk to him personally in an interview. We are having some problems in the company and he had offered to talk to us. Now, that night was the time. We were both really nervous as we felt something important will happen. The interview was simply amazing - all our answers were answered, we had a great discussion and we felt very relieved in the end. He helped us in detail with all our issues, made suggestions, told us what to leave behind and how to continue. We are so thankful for this opportunity. But, we have to admit, it will not be easy in the future. Our life will change again very much, in the outside and in the inside. But these changes feel right and we feel protected and supported.I
t was just a few hours that night which from the outside looked nice, special and maybe crazy. But for us, these few hours are changing our lifes and are also deepening our relationship to our spiritual master. It feels wonderful, adventurous but yet safe. Well, and a little bit crazy but this is exactly what we want and need.
After darshan, 2 of our malaysian friends took us back to town by car. Thanks ladies - that was so lovely of you! It was nearly midnight, but we were so excited about what had all happened and when we saw an opened chinese restaurant around the corner of our homestay, we decided to have a bite to eat and talk about what had happened. We had some nice veggies with rice, fresh coconut juice and te tarik (of course) for about 2 US$. Man, how we love this country! Malaysia somehow has quite an important role in our lifes, we met so many fantastic people and friends here on our different trips and food is always available and mainly in excellent quality. Later, we squeezed into our room for a short but good night.
Next morning it was time to leave Ipoh already. What a shame - but next time we surely will visit the caves and make a trip again to the Highlands! For now, it was back to the bus terminal in search of a bus to KL, our last destination on this trip.
And we were really excited of going back to Kuala Lumpur, one of our favourite cities in the world (together with Cape Town, Wellington, Buenos Aires and Madrid).