Georgetown by JON

Trip Start Feb 18, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  , Pulau Pinang,
Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our 30 day Thailand visa was up so it was time to move on to Malaysia.  It was our first over-land border crossing, very exciting.  Basically the same as at the airport, you get your passport stamped to leave one county, walk 50 feet, go through customs, and get your passport stamped for the new country.  We came straight to Georgetown, on an island called Penang on the Northwest corner of Malaysia. We came here solely because we heard the city was a melting pot of cultures, and some of the best food in Malaysia...and we have not been disappointed. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So that's fun. Basically the east India company took the city over in 1786 and it became a huge trading hub. So immediately people from all over Asia started immigrating here. Now it's primarily made up of Hokkien Chinese, Tamil Indians, and Malays, but you have people from everywhere else too.

The reason I love it is because the city is filled with street hawkers selling all kinds of foods. And they have these cafes everywhere. Basically they are huge seating areas where people come around offering you beverages and surrounding the whole perimeter are all different food vendors. It's amazing. And we have even been watching some world cup action from some of them. 1 has a stage with live music in the middle of the "cafe"

Last night we had the best dim sum ever, right near our place. This was in a restaurant. The only other time we eat in restaurants here is when we want the best Indian food we've ever had. There are a handful of 24 hour Indian restaurants down the street a few blocks that are incredible.

And the city is filled with the most beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples.

It's pretty awesome.

We came to this city to catch up on the blog, and we have been here 6 or 7 days already and haven't even started with the blog. But we have all the time in the world. We are so lucky.

Yesterday we waited for a bus to the botanical gardens for 90 minutes in the insane searing heat. It was crazy. We knew we could get on any of the dozens and dozens and dozens of buses that were going by, and go to the main bus hub and find the #10 bus there. But 3 people told us the 10 would come by here. Even though it wasn't on the list of buses on the sign. These 3 people worked for the city bus company too. Long story short, we gave up, walked around the block to see a Buddhist temple and there was the 10 bus driving along a random street. We flagged it down and hopped on. It felt amazing to get on the freezing cold bus. It turned out the bus was on the way back to starting the route again. I sat down and asked D, "what's the moral of this story?"

I didn't find a moral, but I was glad to know that in my life right now I can sit and watch cars and scooters and people go by for 90 minutes waiting for a bus.

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