Archive for the 'Malaysia' Category

Another anniversary, you can see in his eyes, and so much for wireless.

The Wandering Nerd January 23rd, 2008

We’ve - Dan, Cam and I - been staying in Georgetown on Penang. There’s a mix of many different countries colliding here. The chinese, thai, malay and indian cultures are all swirled together like a psychadelic slurpee. Spent the first day just putzing around the city, then rented a car for a more thorough exploration. I’m force to use the term ‘car’ rather loosely. It was more or less spring loaded and with’s Dan’s thorough testing of the brakes, there was a real danger of it tearing itself apart, the thin aluminium wall ripping away exposing the raw pulsing power of the .80 litre engine.

It served its purpose however functionally and, after making a number of triangulational runs around the airport, we were able to find the ‘Snake Temple.’ I was expecting - or at least hoping - for some truly Indiana Jones snake temple shit. What we got were three languid little bastards lounging in a decrepit tree stuffed in one corner of the place. Though I’m somewhat glad there weren’t that many in some ways, last thing we needed was to have Dan start busting out some parseltounge and calling their mothers boots or something. These were actually poisonous, and I’m not sure how well that poison would mix with all of the other varied maledictions he caught from Coco.

From there it was back to lounge on a beach - Batu Feringghi - for the afternoon and strolled through the night markets looking at all of the pirated movies, music and games, along with fake clothes, sunnies, and perfume of all types.

The next morning was an early trip to Kek Lok Si, a much more impressive Buddhist temple here on the island. The place is stunning, I can’t wait to see some of the bigger ones farther in Thailand, Laos, or Cambodia. Kek Lok Si has the largest statue of a Guan Yin Bodhisattva! Yeah, I didn’t know who it was either. What they don’t tell you is that it’s under massive reconstruction, like Europe. Unlike Europe, they were clever enough to leave a decent sized gap in the scaffolding allowing interested travelers - such as myself - to take photos of the biggest statue of a diety that I didn’t - to that point - know anything about. How kind of them.

Spent some quality time feeding the Koi, eliciting a feeding frenzy, well as much of a feeding frenzy as giant goldfish can get into. I was worried that Dan was going to start some shit with a minnow and end up with some grown up Nemo attached to his stupid forehead, but luckily he was able to contain himself yet again. (It’s never really gonna’ get old, me taking the piss out of ‘The Slapper.’)

Farther along in the temple is the turtle pond…I wish I could come up with some epic story about the fierce standoff between Dan and a slow motion shelled monstrosity, but c’mon, it’s a turtle. You can’t even taunt a turtle. Well I suppose you can, but you’d probably have better luck trying to play chess with it. We were going to grab some turtle food and incite another feeding frenzy, but the sooped up RC car we’d rented was due back in a couple hours so we didn’t think we had the time for them to get ramped up into ‘frenzy’ mode.

The next morning we got up early - again - to check out Thaipusam. Yup, nothing like good old fashion mortification of the flesh at sunrise. I love the smell of piercings in the morning, smells like…perforation. So members of the Tamil faith celebrate the slaying of a particular demon, by walking long distances with burdens on their head, then climbing stairs, and getting pierced through the flesh along the way. *shrug* To each their own.

I wanted to find a copy of the Bhagavad Gita in English along the way and reread it. Yeah, I read it back when I was a kid, we went on some field trip and, as I recall, some funny looking guy in orange robes was handing them out. I was a sucker for books even then and I read through it. I remember thinking how much more interesting it was compared to the christian bible (yup, read that too, cover to cover - though I did skip a goodly number of all the ‘begats’).

In the Gita you get demon slaying, gods Shiva lopping the nuggets off of their own kids - Ganesha - and then promising to replace it with the head of the first animal they see, which subsequently turns out to be an elephant? That’s showmanship right there! All the bible has is a burning bush - a litre of petrol, a lighter and me hiding behind a rock and I can pull that one off - some bearded bloke doing a lot of smiting of people - pulled from Zeus - and then finally a hippy carpenter telling everyone to be excellent to each other. I’m just sayin’ that maybe a polytheistic would make for better night time telly. In any event, here’s the event:

As the long time readers of the site - all three of you - have pointed out, I am indeed at the 6 month mark. The good doctor pointed out that there have been a lot of changes, and I’ll agree. I’d be more inclined to say I’ve evolved, or more precisely there have been multiple revisions. I’m not really sure what version number I’m on, but I’m getting up there with AutoCAD. I do know I’m slowly breaking out of the massive funk I was in back in the states. Some things are still to be worked through/out, but I’m doing okay. I’ve still got some things I need to get sorted, settled, buried or strangled behind the woodshed, but things move ever onward, as does the wandering nerd.

Tomorrow I’m off to Thailand, where I have cleverly recieved a 60 day visa, and I’m intending on spending all of those 60 days. Thailand was one of the places I was most interested in going and I’m going to live it up as best I can there.


Mad props to all you out there in there world that I’ve met, I do indeed miss hanging out with you in all your strange-ways glory. To those that have stumbled upon this page somehow, I hope you continue to enjoy it, and to the brois, a very special treat, this brick is going into the temple renovations of the biggest Hindu temple in Malaysia. Church of Broi time. :)

So cheers to you, kind reader. I hope my experience and prose has brought a few moments of interest to your day(s). I don’t know if this kind of mass travel is for everyone, but it’s done wonders for me. I’d suggest you get that passport you’ve been putting off, sell your kids and have someone watch your stuff and get away. Even for a couple weeks, to someplace you’ve never thought of. You don’t even need to bring much, and don’t bother looking into those high priced hotels. Spin a globe, point your finger and assuming it’s not smack in the middle of an giant bloody body of water, get the hell out there. Or, alternately, you could keep making all of those excuses…

i hope it stays dark forever.
i hope the worst isn’t over.
i hope you blink before I do.
i hope I never get sober.
and I hope when you think of me years down the line,
you can’t find one good thing to say.
-the mountain goats

Strawberries, tiger drinks, and sticking your thumb out gets you pretty far.

The Wandering Nerd January 21st, 2008

After KL we moved up to the Cameron Highlands. It was refreshing to go from 93 degree weather to 66 at night weather. It was still 78 during the day though, so I suffered through yet again. We also found this great ginger liquor that goes down a treat with sprite. It reminds me of Pimm’s and lemonade. To a point we even chopped up some strawberries - which makes it convenient that the highlands has so many strawberry farms - and dumped them in.

The highlands themselves are lovely, strange to find that cool - as in temperature - environment smack in the middle of a jungle. Their ‘trails’ generally seem to be paved paths through the woodland, leading to what they call waterfalls. I wasn’t summarily impressed.


We hit up one of the strawberry farms and gorged ourselves on all sorts of strawberry treats, ice cream, tarts, muffins, swiss rolls, and of course, fresh strawberries. After a busy day of exploring the surrounding countryside we hitchhiked back to the main town and enjoyed a good night of cards, camradarie and pleasant beverages. The next morning left me a big tuckered and I thoroughly enjoyed the 4 hour ride up to Penang. As you can tell.

Cameron Highlands ladies and germs:

well, maybe there’s a god above
but all i’ve ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
-jeff buckley

It’s ROY G BIV Damnit! Monkey retaliation, and South by Northwest.

The Wandering Nerd January 19th, 2008

Kuala Lumpur, for all it’s vaunted character as a major city had precious little to really do.

I’m liking Malaysia. It’s nice enough, has all of the basic infrastructure of any modern ‘western’ city, and it’s gleefullly warm. Usually hovering right around the low nineties (F)/ mid thirties (C), with rain cooling things off around the hottest points in the day, KL still has some failings for me. It’s a predominantly Muslim city. While I don’t ascribe, prescribe, or transcribe to any religion, I’m generally loath to deride any one in particular as it’s an emotional response and based on feelings and faith. I have only trace amounts of either remaining. Further, it’s largely influenced and populated by Indian identity.

Now, when it comes to a religion affecting my day to day operational routine, I begin to have some conflicts. With the whole Muslim thing it makes maintaining my geas towards alchoholism difficult, or at least more fiscally irresponsible.

Remember the part about my being ever mindful of the location of the nearest restroom while in Sing? Right. Well now I have a powerful aversion to Indian quisine, which is also a large portion of the day to day far of Lumpurians - I think I may have just made that word up.

With these two powerful forces combining, I’m going to give KL a 7 of 10 for WN-Livibility.


A few of us went to visit the Batu Caves, which also has monkeys. Not quite as many as the temple in Nepal, but certainly a decent number. One of the guys I’ve been traveling with, Dan, decided - against my suggestions - to pretend to be a monkey and try to interact with some random macaque monkey in the temple. While he was dancing about he didn’t notice the alpha male monkey of the group running up behind him, despite me saying, “Monkey, monkey, MONKEY!” So, said leader monkey leaps upon him and in classic vampire fashion reared its head back and bit him on the arm. I only wish I had photos of the actual ‘attack’.

After he threw the little bastard off it landed in front of me and hissed for a moment or so. We stared at each other for a few seconds, came to an understanding that jumping on me would be a bad decision, and then it bounded off after Dan again, cornering him farther in the temple. I have to give Dan credit though, bleeding arm and all he kept yelling, “Get a picture of this!” That my friend, is showmanship.

I’m hoping it was a radioactive monkey and he’s going to granted monkey like powers such as agility, strength and fantastic pooh flinging ability. Either that or he’s getting spinal meningitis and going to die soon. I’m watching out for delirium effects and plan on taking most of his stuff if he falls behind the herd. Ever compasionate I am. We’re planning on taking him to the snake temple, then the tiger temple…heheh…

You’ll see some good photos of the Petronas Towers. The towers don’t look real at all. Walking around the city it’s like someone has rendered the towers in the middle of the city. We made sure by walking up and physically touching the thing. Touching is fun. :)

alone…listless…breakfast table
in an otherwise empty room
-pearl jam

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