Traditional Malaysians drop in on each other when they feel like it. They don't call up in advance: a guest can never be inconvenient.
Of course, that was in the old days when everyone lived in the kampung (the countryside) and spent lots of time loafing about.
Nowadays many of the urban crowd are rushed off their feet, stressed out, and not terribly chuffed when six people decide to turn up without notice. Not that they'd ever dare say so however!
Now that Ramadan, Muslim fasting month, is coming up, everyone is gearing up to drop by on family and old friends.
Officially everyone is supposed to really enjoy this, but as one of my mates says, "I really, really need some personal time. The holiday weekend that's coming up will be ruined by visitors. And they always drop by at dinner time so I'm forced to cook when all I want to do is veg out in front of the TV. If they called first, I could make an excuse for them not to come. But I just can't tell them to call first because I don't want people to think I'm like some orang puteh (Malay for white person). You know, all stuck up."
(She says this to me with complete unconsciousness because she forgets I'm orang puteh - moreover, one who HATES people dropping by without phoning. But I digress.)
So instead of telling her relatives and friends she needs some space to relax, my friend decides to deal with the problem by going away on holiday. It's an expensive solution, and it involves lots of tedious traffic jams, and paying premium prices for rooms as it's holiday time, but she doesn't care.
She gets to do what she likes, and nobody could ever accuse her of being stuck up like an orang puteh.