Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hello again!

Well...hello there!  

Yes it's been a while, but I'm tentatively re-dipping my little toe into the bloggersphere; I'm going to try a small post and see how I go. 

My excuse?  I would like to say the internet was broken at my house and I just got it mended, but unfortunately it was my body that failed me - yet again.  Blerg.  I'm pretty sure you all know how that story goes, so I won't go into detail about it. 

Instead, I'm going to re-post a little travel report that I recently wrote for another blog I have (which  my family sees).  I'm in Malaysia at the moment, lying on a couch in my sister Maz's apartment, looking out over the sea to the island of Penang.  The view from here is AWESOME! 

This photo was taken from her lounge-room.  At any time there are usually 3 or 4 large tankers lined up to go into the docks, so we're also planning on getting some binoculars so we can spy on some sailors.
We are looking right out over the Penang island.  If we had this view coming the other way (from the island to the mainland) it would cost about $2000 a month, but because we are in scruffy Butterworth, it is a bit cheaper than that.  (Ok, it's about 80% cheaper than that.  It really is scruffy over here).

We are definitely NOT in a tourist zone here, I haven't seen another 'westerner' since I've been here.  The locals are a mix of Malaysian, Indian-Malaysian and Chinese-Malaysian. 
I was going to say it's a melting pot, but actually, it's the opposite because the 3 groups are quite distinct and even after they've been here 3 or 4 generations they don't mix that much.  Intermarriage  isn't common, and they all speak different languages and are different religions, so the differences between the 3 groups are quite obvious. 
They all seem equally prejudiced against each other - a Chinese person told us to be careful to lock the apartment because there were hordes of Indian youth delinquents around, then an Indian person told Maz to lock up her bike because 'those naughty Malaysian boys' would steal it.  So, everyone seems to think that everyone else is out to get them - which explains why this apartment building is guarded like fort-Knox.  They have 24 hour security guards, and everyone has these hideous grills in front of their doors...
Hideous grills - apparently you just shake them if you want to 'knock'.
The apartment building - looks quite good from a distance...

..but not quite as classy close up!
The food here is AMAZING, and ridiculously cheap - I ate for the whole day yesterday for $2.50.  And, it's just so tasty, they use fresh spices in everything and it all tastes quite different. 
OK, here's Mazzy signing off, Malaysian-style. Peace out. 


  1. How long will you be in Malaysia? It's nice to get a non-tourist experience -- you get to see what a place is really like.

  2. Hi there! I'm here for another week, then go to Indonesia for a month, then back here for a month. It's only a 45 min flight to Indonesia, which is great. Yes, it is nice to stay somewhere non-touristy, I get a lot of practice trying to speak Malaysian!


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