The Ling family and I tossed the rice cooker in the family sedan on Monday along with some luggage and headed north for a little get-away. We passed through the checkpoints out of Singapore and into Malaysia uneveventfully albeit being pillaged in the pocketbook, and I happily got two fresh stamps in the 'Port for show and tell. Beauty.

I enjoyed seeing open terrain again as we ventured into the Malay countryside. This Okie does enjoy his open spaces. The rolling greenery gave way to distant low mountains and the palm oil trees stretched as far as the eye could see before the eye fell asleep in the back seat. I'm still not over the weighty 11 hour time change yet, methinks.

So basically our trip to Malaysia will highlight several cities: Malacca, Port Gibson and finally the majestic capital, Kuala Lumpur. We "did" Malacca yesterday, staying in a pretty boss hotel with a free sushi buffet and comped booze. Rockin. Dan's dad warned him to "not drink too much of that, cause you are only eighteen." Indeed. Indeed. There'll be plenty of time for that, Dan Yao.

A couple of things stand out from Malacca. In the mid-1550s, St. Francis Xavier was buried here, having spent a good amount of his life converting the Malay fishermen to Catholicism. This isn't so interesting except that we have a university named after him, and that university has a pretty upstanding D-1 basketball program. Some portugese saint who died in small-town Malaysia after a life of celebacy and absolute devotion? Pshaw...turn it to ESPN II, Xavier's playing Duke. Seriously.

I also got my first taste of curried laksa yesterday. Sweet mother of coconut curries! The spicy, curried, noodly, soupy goodness burned all the way down and warmed my spririts aplenty. We ate at a local place in Malacca, the closest thing to a hole-in-the wall "Joe's Burger Joint" back in the 'States, I'd say. The toilet was a hole in the ground.

You just gotta lock on target and get your feet out-the-way and hope for the best, you know? And really, what option did I have? I could ask for another toileting option, but no one would understand. They would just stare as is their custom when stumbling upon The Great White Gringo (TGWG). This isn't SO much of a tourist area you see, and to some the ol' White Skin is still somewhat of a novelty. Lucky for me...

Regardless, the beautiful Laksa cost 3 Malay dollars, or "Ringgit." And I did the math. With the current exchange rate for the USD, the meal cost me negative 60 cents. I actually should have been paid to eat it. I graciously explained this to the locals and they agreed to put it on my tab for my next visit this way. Fair enough I thought.

But all-in-all it's been a grand ole time with Uncle Stanley, Auntie Daisy and Dan-O. Mainly we walk or drive about until we bump into something. Then we either eat it or take a picture of it, depending on the societal norms. And sometimes we do both.

But I'm definitely thinking that this trip will give me more than just an irreplacable cultural experience. Rather, I'll no doubt come home with a few extra kilograms around the waistline as a souvenir. But golly, I've never had so many fine vittles. Uncle Stanley suggested that I pick up a Chinese wife whilst over here to give me a lifetime of quality cooking. We'll see. So far no prospects...

So, you'll notice there are no photos. Sadly I left my camera cable back in Singapore, so no pics until Thursday. *Sigh* I assure you I'm taking them though, so there'll be no gap in the documentation.

Until then, good day and

3 Responses to 'Malaysia'

  • Sally said...'> 11:03 AM

    good day and what?

    imagine what the hole-in-the-ground is like for the females....or the potty-training toddlers....yeah.

    they say it takes one day for every one hour of time change to recover. But I could usually do the 11-12 from Central Asia and back in 3-4 days...get over it! :)

  • Daughter of Eve said...'> 10:33 PM

    TGWG has a lot less problem than TGWGringA, take it from me. They're called Belgian pots back on the continent.
    But the best part...driving around until we bump into something that you either eat or take a picture of or maybe both depending...

  • jules said...'> 3:40 AM

    Oddly enough, Americans are somewhat of a novelty here in Vichy. We just get stared at and sometimes I feel like an animal in a zoo. In St. Tropez, it wasn't a problem because they see so many tourists, but here in little ol' Vichy, we are apparently very fascinating.