Small Adventures

When I was younger I was a little bit more adventurous. I enjoyed festivals and rallies and protests, as any young student socialist/activist/hippy/liberal/journalist would. Despite this I’ve never been a huge dare devil. I like quiet and peaceful activities like knitting and reading, occasionally listening to a podcast. As I’ve gotten older this love of the indoors and quiet has grown. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete introvert, but neither am I a full extrovert. I sit happily in the middle of the spectrum, enjoying quiet solitude and the occasional party. Which is why I was able to travel around Europe mostly on my own. It is also why I was able (only just) to put myself on a plane and move to Malaysia.

Unfortunately it is also why I’m a little bit scared about dining out or exploring on my own.

Here are three reasons why it’s difficult for me to venture out:

  1. Until one month ago I was solely reliant on the generousity of others or cabs to get about. A trip to the supermarket was a large hoo-ha.
  2. Unless I have a specific purpose in mind the idea of strolling about in this heat and humidity is awful.
  3. It’s bloody scary out there! I’m the odd one, no matter what I wear or how I walk I’m still obviously not from around here.

This week I said “Enough! I am brave and strong and true!”

  • *I marched myself out of the house and down to the satay house, Satay Zul and I ordered in English a takeaway! Huzzah! Not so scary after all are you counter man!?
  • *I waltzed into the furniture shop and wandered happily until I got to the lighting section where I met Uncle U.

Uncle U: What are you looking for?

Me: A lamp.

Uncle U: This is the right place.

Insert minor chit chat about Australia and weather and my length of stay etc.

Me: I like this lamp.

Uncle U: Well I can give it to you cheaper than the price.

Me: Really? (I still don’t know how to haggle)

Uncle U: Yes. 200 Ringgitt.

Me: That’s great. That’s 40 Ringgitt off.

Uncle U: Do you want a yellow or white globe? They’re 10.

Me: Yellow. I think you know my friend, T.

Uncle U: Hmm? With the goatee? Yes! I know him. The light globe is free!

Me: Are you sure?

Uncle U: That’s how we work in Malaysia. We give friends and friends of friends discounts!

That’s right, I accidentally haggled. Plus I got a lamp!

  • I  ordered Chinese take away, alone at the local Chinese restaurant.
  • I drove passed my “city limits” into unknown territory, finding both the state mosque and the bus station. I even managed to drive myself home without the GPS.
  • And tonight, I went on a date, with myself. I took myself to a western restaurant, alone and ordered steak! I sat alone, I ate alone, I paid alone. It was wonderful.

These things that I took for granted in my home town were alien and scary in a new place. I’m glad that my quest for adventure can be quelled, at the moment, by a trip to a restaurant on my own. I don’t know what I’ll do if I start needing a bigger hit. I don’t see bungee jumping in my future.

Good Food in Kuantan

I’ve been on a food lover’s binge this week. Many people would be jealous of the amazing delicacies I’ve eaten and watched other people eat. Oh alright that’s blatant exaggeration! But actually I’ve had a few good lunches this week with some good people!

First up The Mathematician and I went for lunch on Monday to a great café near Lot 66. She’d heard about it from her sister because it was owned by her sister’s brother-in-law’s cousin or something. Anyway we ate Nasi Lemak (which translates as Fat Rice!) and I drank a new favourite beverage of mine, the Iced Milo. Nasi Lemak comes with chicken and/or a boiled egg! It’s very, very tasty!

On Wednesday, after driving around to get my parcels from the post office and set up cable in my apartment The Scholar and I took a turn past an alluring Japanese restaurant called Hana Mizuki. I begged for him to take me there and we decided that we would go on Friday. We went and had the best meal. I ordered the sushi set and The Scholar ordered tempura, udon noodles and beef that you cook at the table. The sushi set came with sushi, sashimi, miso, salad and chawanmushi. I’m so glad we went.

And today I finally got my fill of Indian curry. There were four dishes and some rice served on a banana leaf and we ordered some prawn and chicken curries as well. The food was delicious but eventually the spice got a little too much for my poor mouth. I can eat any amount of wasabi with no worries but the long lasting sensation that comes with curry really affects me.  I went with The Scot. We had a great time eating and chatting. She’s a lovely lady and she’s been all around the world.

All up a very good week I would say!