May 21:  Penang

I was up at 8am but awake way before that, fully rested.  I have way too much energy for some reason.

Dek took us on a walking tour of George Town.  Here's what we saw...

Kapitan Keling Mosque.

Buddhist temple.

Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple.

Outside Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, the two biggest incense sticks ever.

Inside Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple.

Pile of pineapples inside Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple.


This was kind of a boardwalk/pier area, with a few shops but not much going on.

Other direction.  I didn't get a shot of the's a long one that connects the island of Penang with peninsular Malaysia.

Fort Cornwallis.

Fort Cornwallis.

Fort Cornwallis.

From a corner of the fort I got this shot of the Victoria Memorial, built to commemorate Victoria's 60th year as Queen.  I didn't realize Elizabeth II isn't too far from passing her.

Saint Jean-Baptiste de la Salle...priez pour nous.
Vive JÚsus dans nos coeurs...Ó jamais.
You're a good #25 boy.  What are you?  A good #25 boy, Brother.

On the way back to the hotel I got a Mountain Dew at 7-11, and stated my intention of snuggling it in my room.  I was very hot and sweaty.  I really wanted a Slurpee but this 7-11 was out.

I literally chilled in my room 11am-11:30am, checked the Internet (Casey James eliminated from Idol, Flyers lost game 3 to Montreal), and hung out to see if anyone was going to lunch.  Didn't see anyone, so I went out on my own at 1:30pm.  Saw Fiona on the way out, who confirmed that most people were resting in their rooms, getting ready for a big night out, since we weren't leaving till 1pm tomorrow.

I wanted to go to a tandoori restaurant that Lonely Planet recommended, but after walking there I found it shuttered.  So I went to another Indian place (Maharaj) that we walked by earlier that Dek suggested.  I had goat vindaloo, garlic naan, mango chutney and a Tiger, served on a banana-leaf placemat.  I was the only customer, and I felt like there were 4 Babu Bhatts watching me.  One came over mid-meal as I was dipping the naan into the mango chutney and said "mango chutney".  I said it was OK to make the vindaloo hot, and it was hot.  My nose was running.  During the meal a booty-shakin' Indian song played.  It actually had "booty-shakin'" as a lyric.

I still found myself confused when crossing streets, because all these countries drive on the left.  At least in London the streets are clearly marked and tell you which way to look, but here there wasn't much assistance.  I generally looked both ways several times rapidly and then made a run for it.  Easier than rewiring my brain backwards.

I looked around the streets a bit but I didn't see any eyeglass frames for sale.  Damn you, Jake Jarmel.  New eyeglasses would have been useful for fooling Lloyd Braun.  Also, while walking around Chinatown, I did not see any funky Chinamen.  Or gum for sale.  (So again, it all goes back to Lloyd.)  I also didn't encounter any ghosts.  Stella says Malaysia has a lot of ghosts, and one ghost killed a guy, and they had to send in the Ghostbusters.  But there were none in Penang, which only reinforces the fact that Stella has no street cred.  In retrospect I should have made an attempt to visit Penang's Monkey Beach, just so I could "stage" a monkey-brain-eating video and keep Stella guessing.

I tried to nap 3pm-4:30pm but the Indian food hit my intestines at 4:15.  First non-solid dump of the trip.  As usual, LG, the dump anecdote is for you.

For some reason my electric razor smells moldy.  I think mold requires organic material, but the only thing organic in there is pieces of me, which arouses me because of the similarly-titled Jewel album, and she's still pretty damn succulent.  It's like the razor is Brian and I'm Meg, and the moldiness is my hairpie.  OK, maybe not, because the hair in there came from my face.  This time.

We were supposed to meet at 6pm for dinner, but that was changed to 7pm, which was good because I'd had a big Carlsberg while showering and shaving, and now I had time for my other one.

We went to the same food court as last night for dinner.  This time I had the mixed seafood biryani, which according to the photo was supposed to include shrimp.  Mine had one shrimp and two shrimp tails, and the rest was squid.  Also I had another large Carlsberg.  My food cost RM8 and the guy collecting payment said "8 thousand", kind of like the lunch lady in high school announcing "50 dollars" when I bought a 50-cent can of Coke.  Did I really go to high school when Coke was still 50 cents?  Am I that old?  Damn, there are people on this tour who weren't born yet when I finished high school.  I need to get my birth certificate changed.  Also, I need to bang a chick who wasn't born yet when I finished high school.  Or better yet, college.

Toilet sign at the food court.  The peeing was animated but I didn't bother taking a video.

It started to rain, so instead of the big night we'd anticipated, we went to the roof of the hotel to drink, and played Jack Changes.  I had 2 more big Jaz beers from 7-11, and was the drunkest of the bunch, although no one noticed or knew about the pre-dinner Carlsbergs.  At 11:30pm we were watching SpongeBob, and Trisha declared all of us to be pathetic.  It wasn't my fault...again, I'd been touting Soho (the English pub that also plays '80s tunes) for 2 days.  But everyone was just overwhelmed by the heat and humidity.  That's why I went to Southeast Asia, because LA's dry air wreaks havoc on my skin and scalp, but it was almost too much for even me, and I have a higher tolerance for discomfort than pretty much anybody.

View of part of the skyline from the roof.  At left is the KOMTAR Tower, the tallest bulding in Penang, 6th-tallest in Malaysia and the tallest building in Asia at one point.

Bedtime 12:30am.  As self-appointed social chair of the group, I vowed to lead everyone in getting fucked up tomorrow night.