A Travellerspoint blog

On the market

An evening at Pasar Malam

29 °C

I love going into stores and buying crap. I can't describe it any other way. I love looking at trinkets and souvenirs and stuff like that. Cheap deals and awesome steals. Truth be told, I don't BUY that much of it, but I love to see what's out there, food, books, toys, and otherwise. SO, when Marvin's brother suggested he take us to the Thursday night market one neighbourhood over, I was ecstatic!

When we first pulled up, we parked at the side of the road a little ways away and walked in. What appeared over the crest as we neared our destination was titillating. I was greeted by a bustling block of tents and kiosks and cooking smoke and mouth-watering smells and blinking lights and colourful stalls and piles of fruit and crowds of people and shouts and smiles and...it was an assault on the senses. A welcome assault.

Having experienced the markets themselves many times, Marvin et al let me lead the way. Food dominated the market by far. We arrived "late" by eager beaver standards and could already see that some hawker stalls were closed, having sold all that they had to offer. But that didn't mean there was any less to see.

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The danger of this night market visit was curbed by the fact that we'd just had a mid-afternoon snack at home (though not necessarily by our choice), but that didn't stop us from getting selections of the best or most curious.

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We picked up snacks and food for our after-dinner supper and headed home. But not without me taking a few choice shots (you might have to click on the panoramics to get a better view).

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I love the fact that these markets happen once a week as opposed to at home where they happen once in never. It's such a captivating hustle and bustle that I know I could never tire of. Especially not while in good company.

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Posted by marvandmel 09:35 Archived in Malaysia Tagged night kuala_lumpur food market tourist_attraction Comments (0)

...and we're back!

For now, at least

The hiatus of writing hasn't been from lack of things doing - we just couldn't access our blog for no apparent reason after my last post in KL. It just stopped. And it didn't just stop for me, it stopped for Marvin too. :( We thought it would fix itself when we moved cities, but for the first night in Penang too (that's right, we're now in Penang), we were still blocked. I can't tell you how excited I was when Marvin logged in today and exclaimed "Honey! I can log in! We're back on Travellerspoint!

And now...I have writer's block.

It's just that SO MUCH happened in that time! I WANTED to write, but I never was able to. Well, that's my fault for not reverting back to old school and just writing offline. I'm getting old. I WILL update you and it WILL be good.

In the meantime, I just want to say thanks to you guys at travellerspoint for checking in on us. Kate was the first to comment (on my ridiculous TP post) and Sam was there on my OTHER blog ready to rescue me from our unexpected alienation. Thanks, TP, that was really awesome.

Posted by marvandmel 02:05 Comments (0)

The sounding of dawn

overcast 21 °C

Having only just recovered from jetlag and waking up unnaturally early every morning, my groggy consciousness struggled to figure out why it was waking to the theme music of Angry Birds. My eyes finally fluttered open to find the sky outside still dark and Marvin's uncoordinately sleepy figure silhouetted against it as he stumbled towards his phone to turn off the animated alarm. As he flopped back into bed for another 9 minutes of undisturbed rest, I remembered - we were going fishing today.

The damage done, but my body still reluctant, I lay awake in bed. If the sun was coming up, it was doing so incrementally. It probably didn't help that I could see it was starting off to be an overcast morning. I savoured the moment. In a house of 10 that was next to another house under construction, both being in a neighbourhood full of dogs and stray cats, and all in a country in the beginning of its rainy season, it was a rare moment of serenity.

An uncertain amount of time passed before I was brought out of my own meditation by someone else's. The voice, low at first, came rising out of the early morning and in through the open windows. His voice was joined by a second one, so faint that it could have been there the entire time. The two climbed and fell together, both filled with devotion and dedication that felt as old as time.

Multicultural as Canada is, I had never had the chance to hear this before. This being my first time in a Muslim country, I had strained my ears for days, hoping to snatch a note of a prayer at any time of the day, and now I had it all to myself. The muezzin's amplified voice did not sound tinny as I had feared, but rather faint but full at the same time. The prayers ended a few moments later, but my sense of awe and wonderment lasted the entire morning.

Posted by marvandmel 02:04 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur religion Comments (1)

The first rain

...though it didn't rain on our parade

rain 28 °C

The rain in the tropics is amazing. I’ve just experienced my first Malaysian rainstorm. As the clouds rolled in, the family went about getting ready for the storm. Windows were closed, electrical outlets were turned off, drying laundry was brought in. And then came the rain.

At first it was the same as any rainstorm I’d experienced at home in Toronto. The rain came down steadily and very slowly began to cut through the humidity of the last 2 days. And then it came down a little harder in a steady downpour of sheets like I’d witnessed in the hardest rains back home. And then the sky opened up and let down everything it had.

Bucketfuls fell and drenched the world outside. Running to and from the cars parked close to awnings was futile as the runners were soaked through anyway. I know my wipers on high wouldn’t have done a thing to clear my windshield if I was driving my Corolla here.

Then the lightning and thunder rolled in—with intensity. It was so intense that after the first few lightning strikes I found I was bracing myself for the explosions of thunder that followed…I’ve never done that before.

The rain fell, the lightning flashed, and the thunder rumbled on and on. Lightning struck nearby more than once and the thunder crashed loud enough to set off car alarms throughout the neighbourhood. I planted myself on the couch by the open front doors and windows to watch the show. While I was in awe, everyone else just took it in stride.

After more than half an hour, the rain began to subside. Just as it had crawled in, it crawled away and left a sopping landscape and cool breeze as a reminder it had been there in the first place. I missed it already.

Posted by marvandmel 17:41 Archived in Malaysia Tagged kuala_lumpur weather Comments (1)

From the horse's mouth

See what I mean?

Marvin: "So, Wai Hung's going to take us out to eat chicken tonight - but he has to eat dinner first so we won't go until 11 o'clock."

He has to eat dinner first before taking us out to eat? Told you.

Posted by marvandmel 18:13 Archived in Malaysia Tagged food goofy Comments (0)

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