Meandering Malaysia

I ventured across another border this morning — my sixteenth country in less than two months! I am spending the afternoon and evening in Malacca, before heading to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow. In case you didn’t know, I am fascinated by maps and the history of trade. In particular, I have been intrigued by the spice trade and how it affected the spread of Islam. Malacca was probably the world’s most important trade hub during parts of the 16th and 17th centuries. Thus, despite its pathetically deteriorated state, I felt a sincere obligation to at least pass through. It is incredible how ephemeral civilization can be — Malacca is a complete dump.

I have many thoughts on Singapore, but I am going to keep most of them to myself for now. A common theme that has persisted throughout my travels is a shocking level of consumerism. I was expecting it in Singapore, but it is surprising how much junk gets pawned off the streets.

My tentative itinerary for the next few days is: 1 night in Malacca, 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur, 2 nights in Cameron Highlands (tea plantations and strawberry farms abound!), 1 night in Georgetown, train to Hat Yai, Thailand, quickly make my way to Ko Pha-Ngan for its legendary full-moon party on March 10th. I am sure the rave is commercialized crap at this point, but I can’t resist this opportunity to people watch. I am expecting humanity at its finest (sarcasm.)

Thus far, the food in SE Asia has been incredible. I ate exquisite Hainanese Chicken Rice at a hawker stand for 2 bucks in Singapore. I got my ass kicked by the intense spice of my lunch of the day in Singapore’s Little India. I have also had my fix of Char Kway Teow.

Oh yeah, I am on pace to make it through today having spent less than $15 — including $6 in transportation.

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