The Daily – 3/7

Word of the Day: Glass

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I was so groggy when I woke up. I normally wake up and feel great, but I must not have slept great.
I was quietly eating/staring into space when Marcel came to join me. We chatted for a while and he told me about his meditation course he was working through. I was off to check out the street-art rich city but we decided to meet up around 5 in the evening to check out Komtar tower, which formerly held the title of tallest building in SE Asia for about two years but was dethroned by another skyscraper in Kuala Lumpur.
I started walking and started noticing bike lanes tracing roads and sidewalks. I was inspired my Marcel’s ride and decided I’d rent a bike to check out the city.
I rode all over George Town checking out street art and noting places for Juli and I to come back to. I wanted to take the funicular up the mountain, but the sky was growing angry and the wind was picking up, so I opted instead to find some food.
I don’t know what I was thinking going to a restaurant recommended by the NYTimes, but China House was a charming, beautifully hipster, and expensive choice.
I had to return the bike after lunch but continued on foot around the less touristic part of George Town and came across a number of other fun and interesting wall murals and a row of beautiful rainbow homes.
I finally headed back to cool down and rest for a bit before meeting back up with Marcel to visit Komtar. But when we got their the roof was closed due to weather, so we could only go to the 65th floor observation deck.
The observation deck was a project that must have had a lot of chefs in the kitchen, so to speak. There was a glass platform looking down 65 floors, a hair-raising outdoor ropes course circling the exterior, a chair made of gold horseshoes, silly bar games, photos against a green screen to put you in local landmarks, a classy nightclub, and of course a gift shop among other distractions.
As we made it to the 65th floor we watched as the budding sunset was overtaken by storm clouds. We spent about an hour wishing we could do the ropes course and taking silly selfies on the glass floor to the view below. We even watched as they recorded an advertisement for the space.
Afterwards we headed back near the hostel for drinks and amazing (and not overpriced) burgers at the Junk, where we had ended our previous night.
Current Location: Penang, Malaysia
Mood Emoji: 🚲 β›ˆ

The Daily – 3/6

Word of the Day: Console

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I woke up staring Ryleigh in the face. He had been knocking on Juli’s bedroom door and she let him out. He wanted to make sure I was still there I guess.
We made breakfast and talked about working, life, Scott and Rachel’s upcoming adventures, crippling anxieties, control, and planning/organizing.
Rachel and Scott’s flight was at 2pm and mine was supposed to be at 1:45, but as usual my flight got delayed. We said goodbye again to Juli and hopped in our ride.
I wasn’t ready for the visit to end but Scott and Rachel had a flight to catch to Siem Reap. We said our goodbyes and I wished them a ‘safe and pleasant journey.’
I found myself with about 4 hours to explore Changi’s new terminal 4 and it’s everything about Singapore that one would want to see. Comfy chairs, luxury shopping, cafes, and novel entertainment. Changi is known for its posh amenities such as a movie theater, golf course, and swimming pool. There are also indoor playgrounds for kids to tumble around on before flights. Terminal 4 has console video games and is building out a drone area where people can play with drones. And a really big 3-story playground.
I finally got to Penang and was welcomed back to Malaysia through immigration. My passport is starting to run out of space. It was a bit amusing as I landed in DCA airport (the airport just outside DC) and was staying in George Town. It felt like a DC weekend.
I got to my very hipster minimalist hostel, The Frame as it started raining. But I needed to get cash as I only had about $12 on me, so I went for a wander and the guy at the front desk gave me a very helpful little map showing me where I could find ATM’s and which ones normally didn’t work.
I wasn’t hungry though, so I headed back to the hostel to figure out if I wanted to spend the day tomorrow in George Town or head directly up to Lankawi and Koh Lipe. As I was researching, I started chatting with Marcel, a Spanish guy who’s been living in Ireland for 10 years and decided to travel over land and sea to Australia.
He had bought a bike in Chiang Mai and was cycling south on his route but ended up in Penang and has just been hanging out for a few weeks recharging or deciding if he wants to hit pause and continue on his way at another time.
We ended up grabbing dinner together and then getting beers in an alley bar full of backpackers and locals squatting on plastic stools and chatted late into the night.
Current Location: Singapore to George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Mood Emoji: πŸ•ΉβœˆοΈπŸš²πŸ»

The Daily – 3/5

Word of the Day: Street Art

Notable / Highlight of the Day: It was sooooo good seeing Scott and Rachel!!! It’s been a while since I’ve seen someone from DC and it was a reminder of all the people I love so much cheering me on from far away.
After we made breakfast we headed into the city to fist check out the Merlion and the Marina Bay area before heading to the Art and Science museum’s exhibit on street art.
The exhibit was, in typical Singapore fashion, very well done. It highlighted a lot of US artists and talked about the history and political movements behind some of them. We had fun with some silly photoshoots and captured our favorite pieces.
Afterwards we made our way to the top of Marina Bay Sands for a beer and the most incredible views of Singapore and then grabbed lunch at a Chinese place. Juli coordinated with Stu and we ended up killing some time waiting for Juli’s favorite cocktail bar to open.
It turns out, Scott is really into making cocktails so The Cut was the perfect spot for him. Juli may be the perfect hostess.
We hung out for a while and Rama stopped in to say hello and ended up treating us all to drinks. (Thanks for always being so generous, Rama!)
We headed to a Hawker Center for dinner and enjoyed some satay, carrot cake, and kway kew alongside some tiger beers and then headed home after that to enjoy wine on the patio before calling it a day.
Current Location: Singapore
Mood Emoji: 🎨

The Daily 3/4

Word of the Day: Welcome

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I had booked an early bus to make sure I arrived around the same time as Rachel and Scott, but as their flight had been cancelled, it was going to instead be a lazy day with the Christmases.
I got to their house around 11:30 in the morning and joined Juli and Stu for some errands. We spent the afternoon talking about her course and making super cute signs to surprise and Welcome Rachel and Scott at the Airport.
Their flight ended up arriving early so we hustled down to the airport and eagerly waited by the exit. Rachel and Scott were excited to see us but had know something was up because Juli hadn’t given Rachel any directions or tips once she landed πŸ˜‚.
Once back, we spent the evening catching up and enjoying each others company with a class of wine on the porch.
Current Location: Melaka, Malaysia to Singapore
Mood Emoji: πŸ€—

The Daily – 3/3

Word of the Day: Packing

Notable / Highlight of the Day: I spent the majority of the day just wandering around the city, shopping for gifts, and taking snapshots of the city. I stumbled across a Chinese food and medicine shop that had dozens of shark fins hanging from the ceiling which made me think maybe we should cool it on the shark fins.
I also had to organize my bag once again as I had replaced some clothes that had finally given up on life. It’s exciting to have some fresh options to pick from.
I spent some time chatting with the guy who was working the desk at the hostel. He and his girlfriend had been hitchhiking down from Thailand and were about to head back to India. They had also ridden a motorbike for two months through northern India. It was so rugged and beautiful.
I went back to the night market to grab sinner but realize that instead of street food I wanted something healthier. So I instead got an almond milk/chia seed bowl at the Daily fix, but when I got up to place my order, the hostess gave away my seat! It was quickly sorted though, and she apologized profusely.
Current Location: Melaka, Malaysia
Mood Emoji: πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

The Daily – 3/2

Word of the Day: Dragons

Notable / Highlight of the Day: Melaka is a lovely little city and is very popular with tour groups. I’m not quite sure, however, why you need to move in a group as it’s such a small place and the tour guides don’t really seem to be explaining anything.
I spent a good part of my day hiding from the sun at a cute cafe called the Daily Fix, working on updates to my blog and daydreaming about how to decorate my room if/when I do my divemaster.
After wandering around a bit, I went back to the hostel for a while to shower and change. Felix, the guy working the front desk, mentioned that tonight was the last night of Chinese New Years and there would be some festivities.
As I was getting ready to leave, I could already hear it. There was a parade going down the street in front of the hostel. I walked alongside the revelers and floats for a while and finally slid through the procession to get down to check out the night market and grab dinner.
I stopped in this little shop to pick up a few gifts and ended up chatting with the owner for about 30 minutes. She was telling me about the city, the dragon-dancing competition, and sharing all the sweet treats people make for Chinese New Years.
I took her advice and made my way down to see the dragon dance competition and managed to eek into a curbside spot.
And after waiting for about 45 minutes, the drums and dancing started. I watched three or 4 dragon dances and lots of warm ups. The dancers jumped along pillars, connected at the waist. Some of the pillars were 10 feet high and one of their tricks was to ‘fall’ off without falling.
The crowd was cheering and the dragons were jumping to serious heights. But my bum had finally gone numb, the mosquitos were starting to attack, and it was nearly bedtime. So I made my way back through the thicket of market-goers and dragon fans and tucked in for a good night of sleep.
Current Location: Melaka, Malaysia
Mood Emoji: 🐲

The Daily – 3/1

Word of the Day: Marionette

Notable / Highlight of the Day: After another not so great night of sleep because my chinese roommates kept turning the lights on as they entered the room at 2 am (I asked them to stop, but as there were three of them, I had to ask as each entered in succession, turned the lights on and chatted with each other).
I packed up, had another PB&J and caught my Uber to the bus terminal. I had pre-purchased my tickets and was fortunate to get a seat on the side where it was a row of single seats. I binge-watched ‘The End of the Fucking World’ (cute, but a bit gory and tart).
When I arrived I had falsely assumed that I’d easily find an ATM. Well, I easily found an ATM, but it wasn’t working and neither was the one next to it.
I caught an Uber, thankfully not needing cash, and got dropped in the middle of this charming city, Melaka. But I still needed cash so after checking in and taking a quick shower I headed back out to find an ATM.
And after about 40 minutes and stopping for a .50 cent roadside chicken bbq bun, I found one. I wandered around just checking out the city and dodging tour groups.
I finally stopped for a snack and a tea at a little cafe for a while to cool down and do a bit of research on what to check out. Turns out, not much, but it’s still quite cute around here.
I wandered around, popping into a few antique and gift shops before heading back to my hostel to take another shower. Some of the shops have really interesting antiques, like old marionettes that I got yelled at for taking pictures of and old currencies from various foreign occupations.
Once I got back, I was caught up figuring out where I might be able to find a comfy pillow and maybe a soft blanket for when I do my divemaster. And then I melted into watching Blue Planet as I haven’t really had access to TV for months because Netflix is banned in Indonesia.
I had the entire hostel to myself (besides the mosquitos) and did laundry and walked around like I owned the place (in my night shirt and undies) and wasn’t at all sorry about it.
Current Location: Kuala Lumpur to Melaka, Malaysia.
Mood Emoji: πŸšΆπŸ»β€β™€οΈ