September 21, 2004

Melaka.

Pretty little historic town on the coast of Malaysia. Brick and cobbled streets. Geckos running up old building walls. Palm trees leaning over sun-dappled courtyards. And no sidewalks. Yes, this tourist mecca boasts no sidewalks and maybe some of the narrowest streets I've ever seen. Traffic in Malaysia knows no reason. Cars come and go at breakneck speed through the strangest places at all hours. Pedestrians are like fodder. Or targets. Woe to you if you step off the sidewalk. Wait, didn't I just say that in Melaka there ARE no sidewalks? Yes I did. So walking through Melaka requires Elven agility. (And you thought I couldn't work Elves into Malaysia - HA!) You must scooch over to the far side of the cobbled street, press to the wall, and avoid slipping into the open gutter along the side of the street. In the rain. Right, it's now raining. After all this nerve-searing action in probably one of the quaintest towns this side of Kuala Lumpur, you may need a bathroom break. Did you pack toilet paper? No? *laughs uproariously* Well you don't expect toilets in Malaysia to supply TP, do you? Foreigner. This, my friends, is daily life in Malaysia. And I'm only three days in! You learn quick. Like the first time you encounter a squattie without TP in your bag. And the first time you get honked at as the car grazes your heel. It only takes once. But am I enjoying Malaysia? Omigod, yes. YES! It's beautiful here. Lush and lovely, warm and exotic. And a great learning experience. You'll learn more as I do, my lovelies, so stay tuned.

September 20, 2004

My pretty mortals, I write to you from my temporary Crypt in Malaysia.

We arrived yesterday, Homie and I, after more hours on a plane than I care to recount. Somehow we lost a day (Saturday, I hardly knew you) but gained a gorgeous sunny city in the process. KL (local-speak for Kuala Lumpur) is fascinating. It's comprised of equal portions of the three main cultures of Malaysia - the native Malay people, Indians, and Chinese. As such signage tends to default to English as a sort of common ground. Communication is actually a breeze. And the people are so wildly friendly!

I nearly saw a monkey today. I could hear them moving about in the branches of the rainforest reserve but never quite spied one. I'm on a big monkey quest for some reason. I'm bound and determined to see one outside of a zoo habitat before we leave Malaysia. *pounds the desk in determination* In other news, Homie and I befriended a fellow traveller during our stopover in LA. Or Hell-A which is somehow much more appropriate. We gave him a Band of Brothers name as we were on a kick of referring to each other as "Buck" (me) and "Carwood" (Homie) due to constantly being assigned seats B and C. Blythe, our newfound Edmonton actor friend, is currently hopefully in Mumbai right now. If you read this, Blythe, leave a bite to say hello!! It was such fun to meet you.

Now I must away. I think of you all often but am having a riotously fabulous time! We're off to the beach town of Melaka tomorrow so think about swaying palm trees, 31 degree weather, and chattery little monkeys as you're slogging your way to work. *evil laugh* Yes, that's one of the perks of travel, I'm afraid. Rubbing it in.

Melin chen, mellynen. (I love you, my friends.)