Visa Run to Penang, Malaysia

Well shit it has taken waaaaaayyyy longer than I expected to finally send out some good ol’ ruminations. It seems like just fucking yesterday when it was my birthday and I was gonna sit down and spit it out and drop that Top Rankin Hi-Fi pon di ears. But alas, its been six weeks or so since then and I’m just now getting’ round to it. Whateva. Not sure where all that time went, and I’m still tryin to get a handle on weekly routines and shit like dat.

Let’s get into the ruminations bank that has been slowly accruing over the course of time. Just gonna run through this mofo with aimless pathwork. First up on the docket, my trip to Penang, Malaysia. Oh damn, this shows how long I had been dropping shit in the rummy bank.

I went down to Malaysia via bus back right around St. Patty’s day to do some visa shit. Good experience all around, but damn, I have little desire to go back to Penang. This was a healthy taste of people who just have no desire to talk to foreigners. I wrote down a bit of a daily log, so I’ll just run through some of them highlights or lowlights.

The trip started off with me grabbing seat 6A at about 10 o’clock at night on a somewhat empty bus, maybe 50% full. I was thinking this was gonna be super relaxed for the whole ride over to Haad Yai in Southern Thailand. Little did I know that we were gonna stop no less than five more times and fill this damn bus to the brim. So, my actual seat was 6B, so when the person who owned the other seat came I had to move over and sure enough this had to be the only seat where the seat in front of it was broken and permanently stuck in reclining position. Tallest person on the bus and I get this fucking seat. Then, to top it off, we stop again, and who grabs the two seats in front of me. Two ten-year-old kids who had every intention of making a shit load of noise. Fuck me.

So my attempt at reading lasted for three pages and then I moved on to listening to Sizzla’s “Burnin up di chalice inna Buckingham Palace – Roots Vibration Mix”. Time to fall asleep after staring at what looked to be some beautiful areas around the Krabi province. Tons and tons of stars out the window which was very nice to see. I fall asleep (I’m cracking up right now cuz I forgot about this) and proceed to dream about shoving the hell out of the chair in front of me in a massively angry fashion, eating sunflower seeds, and listening to “Jimmy Mack” by Martha and the Vandellas. Huh?

Anywho, I get into Had Yai around 4 AM and sit outside at some food stalls drinking chai tea, reading “God of Small Things”, smoking rollies, watching the news on TV where for some odd reason they are showing the Branch Davidians massacring the ATF unit in Waco, Texas. Well, I waited until 9 or so when a minibus arrived to take me across the border and into Malaysia. Once again, I get on and there is only one other person. Having not learned a damn thing from the night before, I think this is gonna be a VIP trip down south. Hell no, we make another pitstop and onboard comes ten more people to fill the whole bus up. Oh well, no worries.

Off we go, and we reach the border where we are all shoved out to pass through the turnstyles and get our stamps. Here comes yours truly and the officer yells “Overstay and tells me to fuck off and go to some office nearby.” Okay, what?, I’m asking. I go into the office which is for people who have stayed over the date on their visa and I’m as equally confused as the Thai officer working there who tells me to go directly back to the guy who told me to fuck off. Uhhhh….so I do. And the first guy proceeds to apologize profusely to me since he misread my May stamp as March and thought I was an overstay. I was wholly confused by the proceedings but thankful I didn’t fuck something up as I usually do.

Anyways, we head on down south to Penang which is an island off of Malaysia’s west coast and as was Phuket when I arrived here, Penang was way more massive than I imagined. I was talking with a resident on the bus there, and he told me that area is one of the biggest micropchip producers throughout Asia and the World. Whoda thunk it? Well, we make it to Chulia St. which is backpackers central and the place you need to be if you are trying to get visa stuff sorted out. I had teamed up with a British guy named Anthony and his Thai girlfriend Rada who both live outside of Bangkok and were on the bus as well. In some massively sweltering heat, we hunt down a place to sleep for our stay.

I drop my stuff and then decide I need to make my way through the streets to get this money exchange, visa, and work permit shit sorted out. I was thinking this was gonna take the whole damn day, and when I asked the front desk guy the best place to go to do it all, he said “Right here”. I gave him all the paper work and the problem was solved with ten minutes. No shit, that was easier than expected.

Well, to not let his continually drag on and on, I’ll sum up the happenings. First, the people of Georgetown, Penang are a mix of mostly Indian, Chinese, and Malaysians. They also are the complete opposite of Thai people because they walk down the street in an eyes straight fashion, no expression, no acknowledgement, and no desire to interact with you in any form or fashion. Oh well, I’ll just check out what is a beautiful little city and avoid the people roaming it I suppose. Tons of tiny streets that are woven together in a huge non-gridlike fashion. Very fun to get lost in some random ass alley. It was Sunday and the temples and mosques were carrying on with their rituals and prayers. I saw some of the biggest sticks of incense that I’ve ever seen at one of the Buddhist temples. Smoke stacks outta those things. Fragrant and beautiful surroundings. I carried on throughout the day and after getting bored sick, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to go check out 300 which had just come out about a week or so before.

I made my way down to this massive tower in Penang. Maybe about 60-70 stories tall. Where they had a cinema in a building adjacent to the tower. I’m chomping at the bit at this point for the feature to start rolling. I had been wanting to see 300 since last fall when I saw the trailer for. I requested a ticket and oddly enough in Malaysia you have assigned seating at the theater. So, after some confusion when the girl was asking me which seat in particular I would like, I got the ticket. Made my way on in, and sat down to witness what is surely one of the sickest movies I had seen in quite some time. Fuckin sick!!! Gladiators? A-Roo! A-Roo! A-Roo!

I’ve been reading the Frank Miller original series on my computer and I love the mix of stories between the screen adaptation and the original script. Regardless of the words, the artwork in the graphic novel aka comic book is beyond filthy. Aight, so I actually wanted to go see it again here in Phuket, but just never got around to it. Looks like I’ll have to pick it up on bootleg DVD in the future.

Let me wrap up this Malaysia trip shit now, Monday morning came and believe it or not I felt like I was back at 1041 Williams Mill Rd in the ATL cause someone was roasting some coffee beans somewhere and the JavaVino shop across from 1041 used to always roast coffee on Monday mornings.

Well, I make my way around and figure out a few things such as the burrito shop around there apparently only serves burritos between 3 and 4 in the afternoon. I asked every time I passed when I could come indulge and the answer was always that the guy who makes them is not to be found but he is usually around in the late afternoon. What? Man, I was really wanting to dine on some Mexican goodness. Thai food is fantastic, but there isn’t Mexican to be food anywhere around Phuket Town.

Later on, I made my way to the Snake Temple and held a 30-foot reticulated python. By held I mean, I was quaking in my Chucks as only the snake’s head and upper body were drapped over my forearms. Holy shitballs, I wasn’t really sure that snakes could truly reach that size…..massive! Well, things wound down that day, and I spent some time in Little India in the evening where I ate with Tony and Rada at a really good Indian restaurant who had some of the best chai tea I’ve every had. We then made our way back to the hotel where Tony offered me some herb he had brought with him. We got a laugh out of the fact that he smuggled it in despite the arrival card blatantly stating that there would be “Death via Hanging” to all drug traffickers. Well, I hadn’t smoked any herb since I departed the ATL, so I was looking forward to tokin’ and jokin’. Sat around with Tony talking about who knows what at this point and then proceeded to zone out on the mattress and rock out to some Pressure Sounds vibrations. This concluded my trip down to Penang, and as of now, it looks like I’m probably not gonna be heading back down there anytime soon. Check some of the photos from the trip when I post them….whenever that may be.

Liquid Swords
Judge Fudge

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