Tuesday, October 20, 2009

That fabled city was quite a shock,
so we hailed a taxi and left Bangkok.
We boarded a plane and soared over Asia;
two hours later, and we're in Malaysia

Because Chad is on break from his English teaching job, Miles and I are willingly going to places that he has heard about and wanted to visit. After just a couple days in Bangkok, we flew to an island in Malaysia named Penang, which is renowned for its food. It didn't disappoint; we think that we've had the best Indian food here--and Chad has been to India. Just as remarkable as the food (though in entirely different ways) is the guest house we're staying in. We're renting a room in a dilapidated building that has 20 foot ceilings and mice living in the walls. The innkeepers (there are two or three of them) laze their days away in the dark lobby watching Malaysian TV, with their shirts off and bellies out. At night they recline on the couch, counter or chair and sleep like logs 'till after dawn. One door down the hall from us is a Chinese woman who lives in the hotel with her 11-year-old son (whose birthday was today, allegedly). She subsists off of selling her artwork, and today she came by trying to make a sale to pay for bottled water. We bought two bookmarks for two ringets apiece, which comes to less than two dollars. The three of us like the vibe on this island. We were only in Bangkok for two days, but it was already time to have a break from the constant harassing from street vendors. Though there are stores and vendors everywhere here, we haven't been hassled once, and they are just as kind if you do choose to buy something.
Tomorrow we have ferry tickets to Sumatra. Chad has researched some places to go, and then he's going to leave Miles and me to do whatever. We might find a place to settle down for a little while and take things at a leisurely pace. We'll see.

As promised, here are some photos for visual learners.

We went to local mosque and ended up getting a tour and lesson in Islam by this guy.

We rented bikes on in Malaysia. It's definitely the way to get around. Miles and I are going to try to buy two when we get back to Thailand.

Some local flora

Chinese buffet for breakfast

The view from our guesthouse window

Our guest house room: one single bed, and a double on the floor.

Khao San Road in Bangkok. This place was crazy. We were buying fresh fruit juice.

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