Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Train and Penang


The train came two hours late, at 3:07am.

You wonder how it could have managed it. A rat was crawling around the train station and a couple of cockroaches were scampering everywhere. Somehow I got about two hours of sleep.

And then five more on the train. Top bunk. I'm so grateful for having my punjabi leggings. Otherwise I would have been freezing. But they're warm and I love the bright red of them.

Woke up at 8:30 because we were 'reaching the border.' Met Jesse from the Galápagos. His grandfather owns Sol de Mar hotel in Puerto Ayora. Huge coincidence? He's not religious and believes in the Law of Attraction. He asked me if I was religious like he was asking if I was stupid enough to believe organized propaganda. Very little conversation after that.

At the border we managed to find the slowest people. Not sure if they were the best at their jobs or not.

Train lasted another four hours. A Japanese and British man talked nearly all the way. It was entertaining to hear them.

Reached the station and took a taxi to George Town. Were accidentally taken to Trader's Hotel instead of Stardust Guesthouse. Like Dad said, we don't have enough money for Trader's— big, deluxe monolith of a building. All three of us kids were trying to figure out what happened to Dad to make him take us to an overpriced, snobbish hotel. We like the cheap ones, even if the rooms in Stardust are 7 by 8 feet with no bathrooms. It's cozier here.

And the lights turn off at 12am.

I'd been planning on a night of uninterrupted reading. Ah well.

We walked through the town for a few hours 'seeing the streets' and looking for a 'restoran.' Malaysian is ridiculous in that 'teksi,' 'farmasi,' and certain other words are so obviously taken from the rest of the world. The similarities are interesting enough to make me want to learn it.

We stopped in what is acknowledged as the 'best' restaurant in Penang.

Yeah right. You get a plate of rice and then can pile it with food from a self-serve buffet. Maybe I'm sick of this cuisine. Curry doesn't taste good any more, if it ever did, and I'm sick of rice. Come to think of it, I'm sick of food, period.

Life would be ten billion times simpler if you could solve hunger with a pill. Unfortunately, you'd miss out on taste. The funny thing is I miss proper food the most. You can be nourished, but I miss Romanian food. SARMALE, chicken or tomato soup (the good fat kind), sour cream (sour cream), polenta… it's just not fair.

Reading some Nora Roberts romance novels. I missed my easy books. The ones that you don't have to think on. Even 20th century 'classics' aren't this simple. Reading five books all at once because I'm too tired to finish any one of them.

Soon. Maybe in March.

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