Week 10: November 8th - 13th 2005
The best part of this week was that we got our digital camera back from the repair shop! They didn't actually fix it, or so they thought. I'm still convinced that a) they didn't really know what they were doing and were just keeping us apeased with "we are still waiting for the parts to arrive" and b) that all the camera really needed was a cleaning. The camera works fine now and we didn't get charged, though we were without a real camera for two months.
That weekend we explored a little more of the west side of the island, most local villages, and went to a beautiful secluded beach. We drove and drove down this little path through the jungle along the edge of the island until we reached the end and the beach. There were some other people there, but they just stood at the edge of the beach, never came down. We brought beach towels and books and relaxed under a tree for a while until the mosquitoes drove us away. One of the dangers here is the Ades mosquito which carries dengue fever (pronounced deng-gee). There are
several strains and you can be infected with a couple before getting sick, but it's best to make sure you aren't in danger. Anyway, it was nice to be on a beach that actually looked tropical, though I still won't go in the water. After, we went to a lookout at the top of the main "mountain" range on the island. It's impressive to see both sides of the island from one spot.
Week 11: November 14th - 20th 2005
This week was a pretty ordinary week with some fun things thrown in. We had been taking language lessons since our second week here and felt that we had reached a point where they were no longer necessary. Learning Bahasa was not as important as we thought since most people here speak English. We discussed this with our language teacher and he offered for our last couple of classes to be outings, he would be our tour guide of sorts. This sounded like a great idea to us. There were things that we wanted to try, but it can be intimidating and it’s a little easier when you go with someone. We agreed to a couple different outings
including the hawker stalls, night market and Little India (more on those later). The other big event for me was a tour of the Mikasa factory on the mainland. Pretty interesting, plus we got to browse through their seconds shop. I got a nice Christmas platter and cookie jar for ¼ of the US price because they had very minor flaws! Friday night we had a wonderful Japanese dinner with Phil’s Penang boss’ boss, a visiting person from Oregon (Phil’s Oregon boss’ boss’ boss who owns a great game store that we go to a lot) and some of his coworkers. (sorry if that was a thoroughly confusing sentence) The food was amazing!
Saturday we went and saw the new Harry Potter movie, loved it! Movie theaters here are interesting. All seats are assigned and the theaters are much smaller. It’s nice in that you can go in at the last minute before the previews start and know that you will have a seat. It’s bad in that the theater size makes it hard to get into a new movie without pre-purchased tickets. We stood in line for a long time for Potter tickets and missed the first couple
This is what the beaches are made of. Nice to look at, not so nice to walk on.
of minutes of the movie. The funny thing is that we ended up being next to Phil’s boss’ boss and his family (the same guy we had dinner with the previous night).
After the movie we went out to the Butterfly Farm in Batu Ferringhi. It was really cool! It was raining and some of the rain was coming in through the enclosure so not all the butterflies were out. Most were clinging to the underside of leaves. I got to play around with the camera, trying to get good shots despite the low light and fast moving butterflies. The farm also had some other insects, reptiles, ducks and a bizarre gift shop that seemed to go on and on like you were in a fun house and would never come out. It was a good week!
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