Asia For Beginners

November 11, 2010

Wow, about 3 years since my last post. I think this officially qualifies as a defunct blog. Actually fossilized might be more appropriate.  Thought it would be good to jot down a few notes for posterity.  While in Sydney, I realized that I barely remember a thing from the last time I was here in 2001 so it might be a good idea to write some things down to reflect upon at some later date. I definitely had a good time but I can’t really say I did anything totally off the beaten path hence the Asia For Beginners title (yes, Australia counts as part of Asia at least as far as FIFA goes).

Unfortunately, I am too lazy to write these up into coherent posts. Some memorable things from my sabbatical trip to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia (both good and bad) in no particular order:

  • Seeing a dead body lying in a ditch alongside the highway while heading to Chang Saen. Scooter + Car + No helmet 🙁
  • Dealing with squat toilet logistics with an upset stomach.
  • Watching EPL games at 1AM and enjoying rabid Asian fans cheering teams on from thousands of miles away.
  • Relishing the confused look on people’s faces when the following sequence of events occurred many times over:
    1. Thai person speaks Thai to me.
    2. I give person a blank stare.
    3. My white friend responds in Thai.
    4. I ask white friend in American accented English what is going on.
    5. Hilarity ensues!
  • Taking up cute Singaporean chick’s offer to visit Singapore and have her show me around. It finally paid off not to plan my trips out in advance. Also, who knew you could buy durians at 11pm there?
  • Seeing mosques, Hindi temples, Buddhist temples, and even churches all right next to each other in Singapore. Sometimes even on the same block.
  • Watching a police raid on tables go down on Jalan Alor in KL right in front of me as I was eating. I guess the various street food vendors are not allowed to set their tables down past a certain point on the street. There was a mad scramble as police were snatching up tables while the vendors were frantically trying to collapse them and move them back into their stalls.
  • Nasi Lemak
  • Pak khana moo grob (must find this in States. Too bad my Thai pronunciation is dreadful). Crispy pork with stir fry vegetables. I think they put some sort of crack into the fish sauce as well.
  • Chendol. Upon asking the Indian hawker what this drink was, he simply shrugged and said, “Chendol” like it was the dumbest question he had ever heard.
  • Being above-average height in Thailand.
  • Sadie!
  • The feeling of being unable to breathe because of the humidity while standing at line at the Singapore Zoo. At night.
  • Being the only person under the age of 70 on the Indian Pacific train and being trapped with them for 3 days. To be fair however, old people tend to accumulate lots of interesting stories over the years.
  • Lord Nelson’s Three Sheets Ale
  • View of the downtown Sydney skyline from The Glenmore rooftop deck.
  • I really like Sydney. Definitely important to make a note of this in case I forget in 2019.