Michael P

Wedding, Bak Kut Teh, and Jalan Alor
August 30, 2008, 1:29 pm
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Today started off early with a wedding that started at 9 am. I got picked up at 8:15 by Elder Dava. We had some time to kill and he asked me if i wanted to get some food; a traditional Indian breakfast. I’d already had breakfast and i was full from dinner the night before, but i decided to give in. He took me to the same place we got banana leaf the day before and order rawa tosai. It was a spongy pancake like thing that came with daal and some chutneys. It was pretty good. then we made our way to the wedding. It was the wedding of the daughter of the pastor of the church that i went to sarawak with.
After the wedding i went with some people from the mission trip to get bak kut teh. I’d never seen malaysians get so excited about a meal. Now i understand why they were so excited. Bak kut teh is a breakfast stew of sorts that has different mushroom, fried bread things, a really good sweet herbally broth, and big pieces of pork (malaysians get excited anytime pork is involved also). Then you mix it with flavored rice, sweet thick soy sauce, garlic, and small chili padis. it was amazing. I was offered a piece of the spare parts (intestines). It wasn’t my favorite. It tasted pretty funky.

Then later in the night i went with my supervisor and his family to Jalan Alor. Its a street in downtown KL that has a bunch of food stalls. we decided to skip the toads…

but decided to go for the stingray.
I’m pretty sure i’ve gained like 5 lbs since i’ve come to malaysia. between not walking because of my foot and having at least 4 meals a day its hard to stay slim.


banana leaf
August 29, 2008, 6:52 am
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Today i got banana leaf with an elder that i went to Sarawak with. He had been telling me about it for a while on the trip and promised to take me when we got back to kl. Its a pretty simple concept. You sit down, they give you two banana leaves, then they give you rice and veggies. If you want you can order chicken, mutton, or fish curries to go with it.
Elder asked for these little salted chilis about half way through. After taking the first bite i didn’t think that they were that spicy, but the second bite had a lot more seeds and my eyes started watering pretty badly because it was so spicy. I also got to practice with eating with my hands. I’m getting pretty good. I can manage to not get too much in my beard.

When you are done you fold the leaf over, they pick it up, and you go wash the curry and rice off your hand. One weird thing was that they they don’t give you cold water. They only gave you really hot water to drink. This meal was pretty spicy and the last thing you want to drink it hot water. I asked for a kopi (coffee) tarik (pulled) with ice to cool my mouth down.

Touristy stuff in kl
August 28, 2008, 9:39 am
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Today i went into kl to get lunch and do some touristy wandering around. We got indian food which was amazing, as usual. They have this stuff here that i’ve never had in the states called chicken jalfrezi. I’ve had it twice so far and its ridiculously good. Its a creamy sauce with bell peppers, curry, chicken, and some other stuff i’ve never had. After lunch i split from the group and tried to find a way to send stuff back to friends in california. first i tried dhl, which was like 30 usd. then i finally went to the local malaysian post office, which is called POS. a lot of stuff here is an english word without the t on the end. Restaurant is restoran, post is pos, etc. It was only 3 dollars to send a package home. Then i wandered around Petaling street, which is the main china town, knockoff street. it was mostly just westerners buying knockoff shoes and purses. I decided to take pictures with my holga. Mainly i’ve just been taking pictures on my digital camera, but it was nice to take a break and take some black and white pictures. i brought 30 rolls with me and hopefully i’ll get some more from my dad in January. I took the commuter train back to USJ (where i’m staying) and tried to get a taxi back to the house. Taxis are weird here. They are really picky of where they go and are usually jerks about it. they usually try to rip you off or just tell you they don’t want to drive there. luckily today it didn’t take too long to get a ride. No pictures today, since i was taking holga pictures. But i’ll have some interesting ones soon. I’m going to a huge hawker market tomorrow, then a chinese wedding tea ceremony, so i should have some interesting pictures from those two.

broken foot news, the royal family, and joel osteen
August 25, 2008, 6:49 am
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i went to the hospital today. after getting another x-ray the doctor told me that my foot hadn’t shown enough signs of healing, so i’d have to keep the cast for another month. i forgot to bring the old x-ray, but he still said it didn’t look good enough. he saw that the cast is cracking and isn’t in very good shape, but he didn’t want to go downstairs and make a new one, so i still have my old smelly cast.
On my way out a motorcade showed up and some old lady stepped out of a s320 mercedes. After asking a guard i figured out that it was a member of the royal family. I took a picture of her car (below) then the guards got mad at me and told me i wasn’t allowed to take pictures of any royalty (even though it was only her car).
then i took a taxi to the train station and took the train back to where i’m staying. The trains are really nice. they reminded me a lot of BART.
Near the train station i met up with the people that are hosting me for lunch and some shopping. They have a Carrefour here which is like Walmart in France. I wanted get some cheap clothes and they had lots there. I got three pairs of dockers like pants, a polo shirt, and a blank shirt for about 100 ringot (about 30 usd). And in the book section i was slightly surprised to see the new Joel Osteen book, being that this is an Islamic country and all. you can never escape him.

And a couple of days ago i saw a huge lizard thing on the side of the road. it was like 3 feet long.

sitting around in kl
August 22, 2008, 5:42 pm
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The past two days haven’t super entertaining. Yesterday I went to the Islamic Art Museum in downtown KL. Then today I want to the Sunway Pyramid Mall. It’s one of the larger malls in Malaysia. It has its own exit off of the freeway. Then when you get in the parking garage there are arrows telling you where to go to find a parking spot. Each row tells you how many are available and there’s a green or red light that tells you if the spot is open. I wandered around the mall for a while but got pretty bored. A mall is a mall. I never really liked them in the states, and they aren’t much more interesting here.
The next few days aren’t much different. The people I’m staying with back are coming home tomorrow. Then on Monday I’m going to the doctor to get my foot looked at. My cast is starting to smell, but I doubt it will get taken off.

Here’s some pictures from my trip in Sarawak that I like.

Wall e + Food courts
August 20, 2008, 1:29 pm
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Today wasn’t super exciting but it was a good one none the less. The people that I’m staying with went to Singapore for the next couple of days, so today I tagged along with another family that is with the mission organization I’m interning with on this trip. Around lunch I went to see Wall e. They have 4 little kids so it was fun to see them running around and watch them get all excited about seeing Wall e. The movie came out about two weeks ago here and it was only 6 ringot(2usd) to see it.
After Wall e I want back to the house to watch 12 channels of the Olympics. I realized how boring handball is and how enthusiastic Europeans are about canoeing. Nothing really exciting. Then around 7 I got picked up again for dinner. I really love eating in Malaysia. It seems like every time I eat something here its new. Small food courts are really big here. You sit down, get your drinks from one person, then go to different stalls to get each individual dishes. They have a fried noodle guy, a satay guy, chicken rice, and tons more. I went for a teh tarik (sweetened tea that is poured from cup to cup multiple times in a pulling motion), popiah which was like a Malaysian burrito of sorts, and chick satay. Another great part about eating here is the fact that everything is so, so cheap. The popiah was 1 usd, the teh tarik was less than a dollar, and the satay (split between the three of us) was about 4 dollars.
Tomorrow I’m going to the Islamic Art Museum and hopefully trying more interesting foods.

Back in KL
August 19, 2008, 2:31 pm
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So I was supposed to be in Kuching until the 22nd, but after one day of trying to get around I realized that there wasn’t much I could do without walking a long ways. I switched my Air Asia flight to this afternoon. Now I’m back in KL with the modern conveniences like air conditioning, inernet, and a real shower.