Published: September 24th 2006September 24th 2006
A Malay Woman Carefully Paints a Batik Design
This'll be made into a nightgown or something after it's dried.
- right into an overhead post. I was pretty dizzy for the next few seconds and a little confused. Jen got me to sit down and when some poor old Malay guy came to see what had happened I started shouting at him: "Yes? Do you see anything interesting?". She sprayed so much disinfectant on my scalp that it was running down my face and into my mouth (disinfectant tastes bad). I was talking fast - very fast, asking Jen questions and then answering them myself. Probably the adrenaline. I found a bit of blood trickling through my hairline and decided I'd better head to the local hospital - I'd heard Malaysian healthcare was supposed to be pretty good.
One taxi ride later, we found ourselves wandering around trying to find A&E realising we had no idea what it would be called here. I showed a security guard my head and she pointed me in the right direction. Had to pay a 50RM special foreigner price, but figured it was worth it to make sure I was okay. Jen reported normal pupil activity, and the endorphins had kicked in during the taxi ride, so I was a lot more
Call Me a Damned Liberal...
...but this seems a bit inhumane to me.
relaxed by this time.
Good thing about being a foreigner and paying extra is that you jump the queue, so I'd just sat down and started wondering how long I'd be there when somone stuck his head around the door and called "Samwell!'. A doc and his entourage crowded around while I lay on a gurney. When he cleaned the wound up they were all laughing because they were surprised by how small it was. Something like a 1cm long cut. Gave me one stitch (need to get it removed in a KL clinic on the 28th) and a tetanus jab. We debated about using the needles in our sterile kit, but figured Malaysia is a place where you can generally trust that sterile means sterile, so decided tyo trust the hosptial's needles. Wouldn't trust the needles anywhere other than Malaysia or Singapore on this trip though.
Left the hospital feeling very reassured, but had to walk all the way back into town because the taxi drivers (who normally swarm like midges trying to suck your wallet dry) were nowhere to be seen - it's like they know! I swear, I never thought I'd welcome a call of
They chased us through the park firing imaginary guns at me. I started it. Osed long enough for a photo too. Note the "I'm too cool to smile" pose on the older one. He dropped it again as soon as the camera was put away.
"Taxi! Perhentian Island, yes?" Prior to this
Left kota Bharu on a local bus to Kuala Terengganu. We've been generally looking for a place to get to the Cameron Highlands from (loads of scenic mountains, high altitude and cool air - and very nice fresh tea, apparently) but it seems the only direction you can do that from is Ipoh. Should have done them earlier. Anyway, we decided it's better doing things that Jen's never done before, so we've given up in the idea of going there now.
Arrived in the pouring rain (there's a reason for the gutters I complain about so much - they really finn up when the rain comes). Eventually (just as we were ginving up hope) we managed to find a little place with a nice looking "Traveller's Cafe" with a twin-bed room for only 15RM. We were suspicious as this is the cheapest place we've been offered so far at all. Took a look though and we were very pleasantly suprised to find that it was also the nicest place in Malaysia we've seen as well. The cafe does great western food, too (there's something to be said for the comfort of
This, My Friends, is a Dragonfruit
Easily peelable with purple pith and colourless kiwi-fruit-like flesh inside, regularly punctuated with tiny black seeds. Cooler unpeeled than peeled.
egg and chips after all that rice and noodles). Decided to stay there for 3 nights, to give plenty of time to relax a bit, then move on to KL.
Yesterday (before the hospital incident), we went out to a little village called Centering (pronounced with a "ch") to look at some batik painting workshops (batik is a traditional Malay style of painting on cloth, usually for clothes). It was hot, and when we got off the bus we asked some local who told us it was 1km up the road that way. A very nice woman with good english (turned out she'd lived in London for 2 years) gave us a lift there when she saw us. Such nice locals! The workship was interesting, but I think I got the most out of visiting a place we wouldn't normally have seen - the village looked very different, with quite a few wooden houses up on stilts to protect agains floods and wildlife. today...
First day of Ramadan. Made lunch a bit harder to find, as all the cafes were closed due to lack of clientele. Wandered around looking at the city (it's small but must count as a city, as it's the capital of the state of Terengganu). Nice place. Like Kota Bharu, it's a centre for Malay culture, so most of the population is Malay Muslim. I think it'll be easier to find lunch in KL, as that's a bit more cosmopolitan. Tonight we're going to see if we can get some of the great food the stalls are supposed to serve especially for Ramadan. Should be interesting.
Once again, I suck at updating photos - no camera leads this time! Sorry!
Love to all,