Thailand 1

March 4, 2010 - Penang, Malaysia

Well, I haven't updated in a long time, but that's becuase nothing that's exciting to "most people" has been going on. Things that have been exciting to us have been going on, like God working miracles in our life, but those aren't really photographable things anyway, and I am of the opinion that blogs must have pictures.

So, anyway, Kamala has been an interesting adventure. We've learned to love it here, and the people here even more. John's divemaster program is treating him good, and the locals here are some of the most loveable people on earth.

After our month-on-arrival visa was up, we made a quick visa run to Penang, Malaysia, in order to get a "grown up" tourist visa for 60 days, extendable to 90. It proved to be a huge blessing and just what we needed to step out of the Thai world for a few days and relax. A bus to Hat Yai, Thailand, leaves us standing on hot Thai pavement in front of several travel agencies, and 200 baht buys us a room with a fan and a bed. We're stoked.

The next morning we hopped on a mini-bus to Penang, crossed the Malay border, and were whisked away to a quiet concrete jungle on an island just off of the mainland. Georgetown, where we stayed in Penang, boasts of heavy influence from the British East-India Trading Company, Chinatown, where everything's laid back and quiet, and a Little India. All this means that you can stay in a quiet hostel in Chinatown that's nestled into a tall, ancient building, walk to a cheap Indian restaurant, and wander through fabric markets filled with Malay Muslim women, taxi drivers speak English and there are Christian churches in plain view on the street. One thing unique about Malaysia that we found was little stands on the side of the road crushing sugar cane into juice and selling it in a bag filled with ice as a cold, sweet break from SE Asian heat. We felt like this was a vacation sent from Heaven, complete with blessings like a tub full of ice cream and a hot shower. It sure is good to serve a God who bothers with little things. Walking for 4 hours total, we obtained a proper Thai visa from the consulate and stopped to enjoy some cold sugary sweetness.

Back in tuk tuk land, we arrive with a better attitude and thankful hearts for all the reassurance and the break that we've been given. We ended up moving into another, bigger place, with a sink and a fridge. Needless to say, we're stoked. We've been so blessed we can't even begin to write up a list, even though we try, of just what happens in a week.


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