Published: December 22nd 2006December 22nd 2006
The Malaysian Navy Boys
Some of the navy trainees that I met on the beach. I saw one of them again (he's not pictured) today at the bus station. He even remembered my name!
Well, sadly our dream of Christmas surfing has died. Drowned, to be specific. It seems that the region of Malaysia which holds our surfing hotspot has been visited by freak rainstorms over the past couple of days and the whole region is flooded. Hospital patients are being evacuated, drinking water is contaminated, looting of stores is occuring.... it's ugly. Luckily, one of the guys who runs our hostel on Pulau Pangkor alerted us to this fact before we set off on our journey to ground 0, so we were able to make alternate arrangements.
We're in Georgetown right now, which is a city on an island north of Pulau Pangkor called Penang Island. From what we've seen of it, however, it's not the nicest island because of the pollution created by the presence of the big city. Granted, however, we just got here and I've only seen a small part of it so I don't want to be too harsh. I'm hoping to only stay here a couple of nights, because I don't really want to be here for Christmas, but Mark W. wants to stay, and the rest of the group has mixed feelings. We'll see what happens. When
A View and a Tall Ship
The view from my favourite secluded reading spot. The blog on the left is the huge ship that the navy guys were training on. It was only anchored for that one day.
I'm done updates and e-mail I'm going to do some research into Christmas events in Kuala Lumpur. Angus, Warren, and Randy fly out of KL on Boxing Day, so it would be nicest for them if we were already there. We'll see.
Pulau Pangkor was nice, but very quiet. After 3 days of the chill atmosphere we had had enough chilling and were ready to move on to another location. There were some definite highlights, though, such as meeting some young Malasian naval officers yesterday on the beach. Yesterday a huge sailing ship appeared in the bay, and I spent a good part of the day wondering what its story was. Turns out its a naval training ship, and the young recruits on board were just finishing up a 5 day course. I met some of them on the beach and talked at length with them. I got an invite back to the ship, which I was REALLY excited about, but when we tried to get the invitation extended to the rest of our massive group the whole thing ended up being resinded (can you blame them?) Apparantly the current captain is a bit of a 'by the book'
Getting ready for the big game. Our dorm room, which we're playing in, was perfect for us. Unfortunately, we didn't exactly leave it better than we found it... but what do you expect when you get 9 unsupervised boys together in one giant room for 4 nights? Going clockwise around the table from left we have: Mark W., Troy, Randy, Angus, Geoff, and Erich. I don't know where Derek, Mark S., and Warren are.
kind of a guy, and didn't give permission. That's OK, though. I met one of them again today at the bus station, and he even remembered my name! I think that's because they compared me to Jessica Simpson, though. Oh well.
We also have fond memories of 'Burger Boy,' this 13 year old kid who ran a super cheap burger stand practically 24 hours a day. I sincerely hope that he was on Christmas Break and normally attends school, but MAN can that kid cook a good burger. My favourite was the 'double special chicken,' which included two chicken patties wrapped in a fried egg, on a tasty bun with cucumbers, cabbage, ketchup and some kind of special chilli sauce. I basically consumed hamburgers for 90% of my food intake while on Pangor. It's probably a good thing we left when we did. I didn't eat nearly as many as the other guys, either. Oh, by the way the double special chicken cost just $3.50RM, roughly $1CAN. Wow. Derek asked for a picture of Burger Boy last night and it made him SO happy! Apparantly he was still smiling long after it was over. That's nice, because we always feel akward standing there while this poor kid cooks for us. He doesn't speak any English so we couldn't make small talk or anything. I sure hope he goes to school....
A definite non-highlight for me (though a bright point for many members of my group) was Derek's birthday night. After a dinner at some random restaurant (where I managed to communicate my request for candle's on Derek's fried rice--I was quite proud of myself for pulling that one off!) much alcohol was purchased and brought back to our hostel. I'm sure you can see where this is going. 1 rum mikey/person + 9 boys+ a bday excuse + a large room + no responsibility = breakage. Although I did my best to keep things in line, 2 beds were broken, 1 mikey was accidently smashed on the floor, and there was a couple of vomiting incidents. Goodness. We're 21, how many more years will this go on for? The birthday boy kept his head and didn't drink very much, so don't worry Ryan or parents =) I eventually couldn't handle it and ran off around 12:30am. I was still extremely cross the next morning. Who invited this downer girl, anyway? Somehow, though, we didn't get kicked out of our hostel and in fact they tried to get us to stay extra nights! I just don't understand. The boys have promised me to be good at our new place in Georgetown, which is extremely clean and nice, but we'll see if that lasts. They've already checked out alcohol prices here. Oh well, they're really not that bad. I have to admit they sure spice up traveling. There's no such thing as a boring outing with this group, because a challenge/bet can be made out of anything, and it's always entertaining!
Speaking of betting, I've been on fire with poker recently. I came 3rd our first night of playing and 2nd the next! My goal is always to come 3rd so I break even, but I earned 10RM when I came 2nd. Perhaps I'll win next time! (yah right). We didn't have chips so one evening's activities included cutting dozens of tiny shapes out of paper. Betting is slightly less fun when you throw scraps of paper in the pot rather than nice heavy poker chips, but you make do with what you have when you're backpacking!
Oh man, it's getting late. The boys much be wondering where I am. I left them hours ago in search of food and internet and never came back. All the food places here seem to just have food sitting in unheated dishes the gets slopped out when someone orders it, and I'm rather concerned with food saftey. It looks tasty, just... possibly contaminated. I'm sure I'll work up some courage soon, but this afternoon I managed to hunt down a McDonald's. Hehehe. Have I told you about Malaysian McDonad's, yet? Ohhh it's really good! They have these delicious things called spicy beef foldovers, which are like a pita bread filled with lots of veggies, seasoned beef, and some kind of cheese sauce. Sooo good and seemes fairly healthy, as well (though the fries and pop sure aren't!) Plus, McDonald's delivers here, so it makes it even easier to access. Basically, I just eat burgers in Malaysia, hey? No, I've been branching out a bit--don't worry.
OK, I'd better sign off. I'm trying to find a sweet Kuala Lumpur Christmas activity so I can plead my case for heading back there, and I haven't found one quite yet. I'm sure I'll post before Christmas, but in case I don't, Merry Christmas everyone! I miss you all, a LOT!