December 12, 2013
Just checked into my hostel (Cocoa Mews) in Penang, Malaysia. An animated guy gave me a run down of all the food I must try here. Looks like it’s going to be a feast! He also told me about the spirits dwelling in the building. He mentioned they are friendly and to not try anything funny because then they will make sure I have a sleepless night! Bring on the ghosts! Furthermore, I nearly missed my bus today leaving Kuala Lumpur. I was waiting at the terminal and the bus still hadn’t arrived thirty minutes later. The bus station is insanely busy in KL and I finally went back to the ticket counter and they took me to the street and put me on my bus.. Which was not at the terminal mentioned on the ticket. Needless to say, I made it. The buses in Malaysia seem to be extremely fancy, only three seats per row. I put on my headphones and listened to Sigur Ros, who’ve been my go to band along with Of Monsters and Men. I can’t get enough of them. Up to Thailand by Sunday to meet up with Brien Silver to do some backpacking through the islands! He lined up some secluded spots and I can’t wait to see where Thailand brings me on my second go around. The first time I only did the North, now it’s time for the South. But I am getting ahead of myself, time to enjoy my last few days here in Malaysia.
December 10, 2013
Reread some old journal entries today from over the past six months and I can’t deny the overwhelming feeling of gratitude brewing inside. I’m so thankful for everything that has happened this far and I am so excited for my next countries of Thailand, Myanmar, India, Nepal, and China. After all this time my heart still lingers in the country of Laos with certain two brothers I was able to meet and continue to still be friends with. Some of you may remember the story about my friend Jonh and his brother Vai who I met months ago. Well I still keep in contact with them via email and unfortunately their situation hasn’t changed much, they’re still barely getting by and since had to move out of their tiny cement square room because they were not able to afford rent. I can only imagine their current conditions and it kills me when I think of all the possible scenarios. One thing still rings true, they never complain about the matter at hand and simply tell me the facts and always back it up with telling me to not worry because they have each other and that’s what’s important. It really helps me remember what’s important in life, not all the materialistic bullshit we always so easily get caught up in. Easier said than done, especially when you are used to having “stuff” but I think everyone can learn a thing or two from these wonderful two men. One day I picture myself flying back to Laos and helping them in someway, shape or form. If not financially, maybe just my mere presence will be enough. However, in the back of my head I just want to sell my flat screen and few “outdated” iPhones back at home and bring them all the money I get towards a years rent and education. I don’t know, just thinking out loud.
December 9, 2013
Kuala Lumpur! I had a great first day in Malaysia wondering around aimlessly in this fast faced city. I hadn’t explored a big city by myself in a while and it was really nice. Sometimes it’s good to be solo as you get to observe everything that goes on around you 100% of the time. I spent an hour on a park bench just people watching and it was awesome. I headed to China Town and the Central Market before figuring out the subway system to the Petronas Towers which are photographed above. When I arrived at the Petronas Towers I was walking up the stairs from the subway and when I finally saw them I yelled something like “No Way.. Awesome!!!” It yielded a ton of laughter from a group of Malays nearby. Hah. I couldn’t contain my excitement. There’s a huge 6-7 story mall inside. I stumbled upon a movie theatre and since I haven’t seen a movie since Singapore I decided to check out the new Hunger Games flick. I thought it was awesome but I could have low standards as simply watching a movie was a complete luxury. Plus I hadn’t read the second book so it was all a “surprise” to me. After the movie, I busted out my tripod I bought in Indonesia and took my first long exposure shot. You can see I am a ghost in the photo because I moved too soon. I have some where I am solid but I liked this one the best. A couple more days here until I bolt up north to Thailand next week to backpack around with @Brien Silver. Jesuit takes on Asia… and my friend booked me a hostel for NYE in Koh Phangan.. Going to be epic.
December 8, 2013
HELLO MALAYSIA!, Kuala Lumpur, from what I saw, is really developed. Skyscrapers everywhere, nicely landscaped highways, fancy buildings and not so many motorbikes.. Then again it’s 3:00am so maybe tomorrow the motorbikes will be out. I hope so. Love me some motorbikes. I left my hostel in Gili Trawangan, Indonesia at 8am to catch a boat to Bali and a taxi to the airport and arrived at my hostel in KL at 2:00am. It’s been a long day. When I got the the airport there was an additional (surprise) fee from my taxi driver which I am sure was completely a made up scam but I couldn’t be bothered to make a fuss. It was only $0.75, but it’s the principle of the matter. Especially when you average $25-$30 a day with all expenses. Upon arriving in Malaysia, I made the last bus by under 5 minutes. So lucky.. The airport is roughly an hour away (AKA an expensive taxi ride) so I was mentally prepared to sleep in the airport to wait for public transportation to start up In the morning.. but I made it! The Petrona Towers are glistening in the sky, all lit up, and half of me wants to walk over and take some photographs when there isn’t a crowd.. But I think I should get some sleep first. I’m exhausted. I came to the rooftop bar at the hostel to grab a night beer (10 Ringgit, seems expensive, I miss my Cambodian prices ). I am excited to explore this city come morning. Gooooodnighhtttt.
November 4, 2013
Planning day today as I fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this Saturday. Followed by a quick trip through Panang until crossing into the South of Thailand for Christmas and New Years Eve! Meeting up with Brien Silver come December 15th. Then Melia for Christmas. South of Thailand will great. This was my main initial attraction to SE Asia and the time is quickly approaching. // Photo of Mt. Bromo, East Java, Indonesia.