Month: February 2016
So far Bali has been pretty extraordinary. We arrived here a little nervous on Saturday night, having realized right before we boarded our plane that Indonesia requires an exit ticket upon arrival. Many countries aren’t so stringent, merely asking you how long you intend to stay, but some require you to have a plane/train/etc ticket already booked to leave their country so that they can ensure it’s within the visa time limits. In Indonesia, a tourist visa is 30 days or less. Every day beyond that, you pay a fine. At 60 days, you face up to 5 years in prison. Their website also informed us that drug traffickers will be given the death penalty. Indonesia does not mess around.Read More
…is Mandarin for “Happy New Year!” and is said when we celebrate the Lunar New Year, which started February 8th. This is beginning of the Year of the Monkey. We’ve been spending the last three days with my friend Stephanie’s family.
As I’d mentioned earlier, Chinese New Year is a mass exodus home for Chinese people to their home to see relatives and loved ones. Since Malaysia is 22% Chinese, there are a quite a few people here celebrating.Read More
So we’ve arrived in Johor Bahru, which is in the south of Malaysia right near Singapore. Tonight we will participate in our first Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner, a special meal kicking off the celebrations and a reunion meal for family members. The transportation isn’t quite so gummed up as what’s going on in China, but it’s such a serious undertaking for all Chinese people that it’s the largest annual people migration on earth.Read More
We’re wrapping up our time in KL and will be leaving on Sunday morning. It’s been a quieter week since we’ve run out of most of the things we wanted to pay to see, and it’s also nice to take it slow. I took Matt to a Thai massage studio that focused on foot reflexology, and we both got a foot massage for an embarrassingly cheap price. I think in the US, most massages are meant to just be comfortable and relaxing. Not here. This Vietnamese guy beat the crap out of our legs and feet. There were times it felt really nice, but other times where you’re gripping the side of the chair and thinking “man this hurts, but if I say anything I’ll sound like a weak American”.Read More
We arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday evening. We’ll here for 9 days total, a long time in one city but there’s quite a bit to do here (and eat) so we’ll have plenty to fill our time. We’re staying near the popular Bukit Bintang neighborhood, where you’re just as likely to run into a tourist or expat as you are a local. If you move past the waiters begging you to come inside their overpriced European and American pubs and restaurants, you can quickly arrive at places like Jalan Alor, where equally pushy hawkers compete to draw you into their open air eateries where the real food of Malaysia can be experienced.Read More