Palm Tree Paradise

Trip Start Jul 17, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Malaysia was a stark contrast to Singapore. It had more of the developing country feeling. Endless rows of palm trees, for the purpose of harvesting palm oil, abounded in the countryside. Toileting, which cost 30 cents, was accomplished by squatting and further aided by a water hose. You use your own discretion in regards to the purpose of the water hose. Malaysians traditionally wipe their bum with their left hand, and eat with their right, so I suppose it is a multipurpose hose. Remember, if you get the opportunity, shake with your right upon greeting! We only visited to key places: Kuala Lumpur and Tioman Island.

First impressions of Kuala Lumpur, (KL), Chinatown, where we stayed, "dirty, I want to go back to Singapore." KL was easier on the eyes at night, especially when venturing out to the Golden Triangle business district. We had some interesting meals there. Julianne adopted the practice of ordering random items off the menu. This time she got a chicken's foot. A more plesant suprise was Chinese Mooncake...mmm. I ordered coconut juice and they served me a whole coconut with a straw in it. I suppose you get what you ask for. Asking for a banana is a good choice. They were the best I've ever tasted.

We spent 3 nights on Tioman Island. It was more like a retreat than a resort, but very relaxing. Monkeys creeped out of the jungle in the evening to sift through garbage, and there were two komodo dragon-looking guanas in a nearby swamp. Cats are everywhere in Malaysia, even in restaurants and eating areas. One night we ate barbeque at a local happening restaraunt. Two cats started fighting under the table next to us. Startled by the snarling kitty brawl, I tucked my feet up on my chair, but continued eating. On the actual barbeque there were fish being grilled. The cats enjoyed climbing up on the grill and pawing at people's dinners.

Oh, I can't forget this one. One afternoon, while sunbathing, Julianne had just come back from our room. She sits down to tell me the details of her errand--got the sunscreen, bought some water, and "oh by the way, there is a frog in the toilet." Laughing, I said, "I love how that was an after thought." There had been a frog nesting in the little toilet brush basin. Julianne, attempting to do some tidying up, delievered the little fella into a whole new world--the toilet bowl. Then she abondoned him. Thankfully, I came to his rescue and set him free in the jungle. I hope he enjoys feeding on some more nutritous snacks.
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