Monday, December 1, 2008

Satay, Satay

Day 265
I was up early and had no problems getting to the bus station. This was probably the most comfortable bus I have ever been on. Not only was it air conditioned, but there were also only three seats across. It was like riding in first class on a plane. The border crossing into Malaysia took a bit of time and as usual I picked the wrong line, but there were no actual problems.

On the bus I met an English girl who had been traveling on her own in the Middle East for some months now. She had a prebooked hotel and I decided to tag along with her there. Despite her months of budget travel experience she seemed appalled when there wasn't anyone to carry her bag up the steps. We were both quite hungry and headed out for lunch. The first place we picked didn't have anything that looked good so we ended up at what we thought would be hawker stalled, but turned out to be a mall food court. What we got was disgusting and neither of us could really eat it.

After lunch we split up, we didn't get on to well anyway. I ended up at an internet cafe before headding back to the hotel to do some much needed laundry.

Malaca isn't far from Singapore, but it might as well be an entire world away. There were no sidewalks and a small drainage ditch ran in front of all the buildings. People seemed to use it as a garbage can and I saw several throwing fruit peels and random liquids into it. In places it really smelled bad. A friend of mine told me that this was his first stop after Africa and that it felt very western to him. I really couldn't understand how.

Once my stomach began to rumble I headed out for some dinner. I picked a nearby satay place in my guidebook. I am determined to get over my food phobia here. I picked five skewers, all would be cooked in the same sauce. I picked meatballs, sausage, pig skin, tofu and fish. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't cook everything for long enough, but it didn't turn out to be a problem. My favorites were the sausage and the tofu skewers. The pig skin didn't taste bad, it just had a really odd texture to it.

After dinner I did a bit of wandering and tried to check out a night market, but not much seemed to be going on there. In the end I just went back to the hotel. I'm a bit out of my travel comfort zone and I think it will take some time before I want to be out after dark again. I spent the evening reading and planning my next move.

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