Yesterday, we took an all-day bus across the border and entered Malaysia. We're staying on the Island of Palau Penang, in Georgetown's China Town to be more specific. Penang features a blend of Chinese, Malay and Indian culture and is one of the world's most famous food meccas, a "gastonomical eden." Last night we ate in Little India, a maze of narrow streets with men making nan on the sidewalks. We ordered grilled chicken marinated in yogurt, raita, plenty of bread and the best samosas I've ever had (crunchy crust, whole peas and strings of fresh herbs in the center with a surprising heat).
On our walk home, we stopped at a tiny bar to enjoy a couple Tiger beers and I waged a losing battle with a wooden puzzle game presented to me by the proprietor (along with a rousing game of Connect Four; I lost every time).
I'm surprised by how much I love this city. The low-flung density reminds me of Europe, or the best parts of New York or San Francisco. The melting pot of cultures is astounding. It's a place that feels all at once foreign and familair; plus everyone speaks English.
Today: More food. And tomorrow, we're taking a boat to Langkawi, a beach island.