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Asia » Malaysia » Penang
December 18th 2006
Published: December 18th 2006
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At this point I'm asking myself why we didn't come to this country earlier. It's wonderful! I was reserving judgement on the country until after we had left the big city, just in case I wasn't getting an acurate portrayal of how real Malaysians live, but we're out of the city now and I'm still really impressed.

We decided yesterday (well, OK, I decided because I was the only one that was going to put in any effort to plan anything) that we would head to Palau Penang, and island off the west coast of Malaysia, for 4 nights. Then.... and here's the big excitement, we would head to the east coast for SURFING!!! Yes, I found surfing in Malayasia, and I'm quite proud of myself because there's really only one location where it can be done. Back in Australia we all made a pact to go surfing on Christmas Day, but then we couldn't find any surfing locations so we thought that plan would have to fail. Now, however, the pact is back on! I felt a little bit less proud about my find this morning, however, because there was a big story in the Malasian paper about surfing in Cherating (where we're going), which kind of made it sound less secretive. Oh well, I found it before I read the story!

So, anyway, today Mark and Erich booked accomidation and bus tickets for us (I told the boys I was tired of planning and someone else needed to do some grunt work. hehe). After much stress on the part of some of the other guys, we finally departed in just enough time to catch our bus. I won't get into details, but accessing money is proving to be a big issue for many of the other guys, either because they had their bank card stolen, or it won't work in Malaysia, or because they just don't have any money in their account. Honestly. I'm tyring to just stay out of it and let them take care of themselves, but it's tough for me! THEN they insisted on going and getting food before our bus ride, and Angus and a couple others were litteraly minutes away from not making it on the bus. That is because bus service here in Malaysia is glorious! It leaves on time and we traveled in comfort and style on a very nice, clean bus. The highways here are in great shape, and they are garbage free! In fact, not only is the highway free of litter, much of it has been landscaped. They have gone to great lengths to trim bushes and plant flowers and mow lawns and do all kinds of nice things. Plus, the areas that aren't landscaped are filled with some of the most amazing vegetation and botanical life I have ever seen. It's really lovely. I must say I'm struck by how flat the area is, though. We drove for 5 1/2 hours and there were times when I could see to the horizon--it was like I was on the praries during the age of the dinosaurs!

The place we're staying is great, too. It's slightly more expensive than I had hoped for, but it's really not that bad of a price for island accomidation and its really clean. Yah!!! We're in a 15 person dorm room, but with 10 of us we fully dominate. We're the only ones in there right now, but we could get visitors any time. I pity anyone that has to stay there with us. We're noisy--very noisy--and if you could have seen the hotel room that Troy, Erich, Mark S., and Geoff left behind you'd realize that it is only a matter of time before those dorms are uninhabitable. I'll do my best to keep things civil =)

Well, despite everything being great here, internet is kind of pricey so I'm going to cut this short. It doesn't look like I'll be posting pictures any time soon, so you'll just have to imagine what it's like. The ol'snorkel gear is getting to make an appearance tomorrow. Yah!!

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