Penang, Georgetown

Trip Start Jan 20, 2006
Trip End Sep 10, 2006

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Sunday, March 5, 2006

Malaysia! I changed country at last! It was one of these things still to be done in a proper "round the world" trip.
After I got over the fear I had thinking of bombs everytime I was seeing a Muslim with long bears I managed to calm down and start discovering the new country.
A comment about muslims by the way. We are taught that Coran wants them to kill all people of other religions. Looking their everyday life, couples walking in the parks, kids playing, people being polite to you, I am not sure that their first priority in life is to kill. I want to read more about it.

One funny thing is that I translate Ringgit (RM), the Malaysian currency, not to Euro but to Baht, the Thai currency. It takes some time in Thailand to realize that 100 Baht, 2 euros, is a lot of money. You can have a proper diner with 100 Baht, it's half the accommodation expenses, the banana supply for a week and so on. Now that I have to think on RM, it's easier to say for example, oh it costs 10RM, that is 100 Baht, it's a lot of money, than say it's 2 euros and then try again to think that 2 euros is a lot of money.

Georgetown, or Penang, was quite a disappointment at the beginning. Old colonial city as it is, it has some nice houses but overall it's a bit decadence. Interesting things are the food, whatever you want, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, (I was stuck in Indian) and the trishaw that is actually a bicycle here. One hour tour at night was really worth doing.
The bike driver asked me at the end if I wanted a girl. He said "massage and sex, 45 minutes, 200 RM". I didn't go into the details, if let's say you can have 5 minutes massage, 40 minutes sex, or the other way round, or 15 minutes massage, 20 minutes sex, 10 minutes massage. But anyway I was impressed, I thought these things don't happen so openly in Muslim countries. That's why I thought at the beginning that the girls just outside my hotel were waiting for the bus...
The hotel by the way was a bit expensive, 3 times the budget I have for accommodation, but it was an old colonial house, thus it had a nice atmosphere. A bit decadence maybe but the old guy at the reception still calls you Sir, and this stuff.
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