Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Landing in Langkawi

Photo Link (Again): https://photos.app.goo.gl/k3KCYztdsfq4idnx9
After a three-hour boat ride where we all sat in the bottom of a boat that had the windows tinted so you couldn’t see outside, I emerged unscathed into the town of Kuah on the “duty free” island of Langkawi (having avoided seasickness, unlike a quarter of my fellow passengers). The first night was spent getting oriented and finding food (also taking a picture of the back side of a giant eagle statue). After the first night, I moved to the hotel where I’m typing these words, which is a little off the beaten path (Motel Seri Mutiara). It suits me just fine though - I’m actually writing things. In a most un-Simonlike twist, I’ve lost my usual unquenchable thirst since being sick in Georgetown. This is good for my health, but annoying for the miser in me - unlike the rest of Malaysia, the beer here is super cheap (I just checked a receipt - I bought a tall can of Tiger that would cost 16rm in KL for 4rm here and I didn’t even enjoy it). Aside from sleeping and vowing to write more (and listening to podcasts instead), so far I’ve wandered around looking for food, wandered around a disappointing nature park, visited the library (wrote a poem!), visited an unspecified government building, and, like a good Malaysian, went to the mall. So far the highlight has been gambling on “Nasi Goreng USA” - I wondered what the USA part would herald (ketchup? mayo? french fries?). Turns out it was delicious: veggies and fried rice (nasi goreng) with a mix of proteins (squid, prawn, chicken) and a fried egg on top (that’s what made it “USA”). I might go get something else from that same shop in a few minutes. Until I do, today’s consisted of writing up all the “Catching Up” series, a million cups of coffee, and a lot of stress as I try to figure out what I’m doing in the next three months. I have one firm date - Osaka on April 1 - and I need to stick Brunei and Hong Kong in between, perhaps with stays in the Philippines, Taiwan, and who knows where else. I still have no idea when I’m getting to Australia or New Zealand and that’s not taking into account a hopeful return to Thailand (Chiang Mai) and even a short visit to Indonesia. Oh, and what about South Korea? And Cambodia? And Vietnam? It’s almost as if there’s just too much to do over here! Until I do it, my immediate plan is to book a spot on Cenang Beach, soak up some sun, and read some books. (I’ve been updating my book list, for the record. Since getting Kindle Unlimited, I’ve read the Harry Potter series, the Hunger Games series, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Silent Spring, the Little Prince, the Hobbit, and the Handmaid’s Tale. A turn toward YA Fiction, but that’s what’s available for pay - I’ll go back to classics when I cancel my subscription in February.)

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