Tuesday, August 31, 2010


September 1st. Traditional back to school date for most and if I was at home I'd be heading back to work myself. As it is I'm spending my last day in Malaysia and - border crossing hassles nothwithstanding - should be in Thailand this evening. I've booked a hostel bus transfer thingie from here in Georgetown to Koh Tao and, all going to plan, I should be on the island at around 9am. I've had 2 days here in Georgetown and it's beautiful, quite different to Malysia's other UNESCO status city Melaka where I've just come from. Metaphorically speaking, if Melaka is the city which refuses to leave the house without its make-up on, Georgetown is the love child of Keith Richards and Shane McGowan - a wonderfully evocative old city, all crumbling edifices and a wonderfully unhinged appearance to it.
There's history everywhere you look and on every tiny backstreet you walk down. There's little need for a map here - you just wander aimlessly through the Chinese and Indian parts of town eating all the while from hawker stalls by the side of the road. If 2 days was excessive in Melaka it just hasn't been long enough here.
I'm staying in a place called Red Inn on Love Lane which is central to all of what happens here. My dorm is filled with people who'd rather stare at their Macs than chat but it's a wonderful place to spend a couple of nights nonetheless. My trip takes on a more hectic feel from here. I fly to Bangkok on September 14th which leaves me with 2 weeks to explore southern Thailand and once I'm there it'll be another swift hop skip and jump around the highlights of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos before returning to Bangkok and onward.
Yesterday was Independence Day here - not that you'd notice - and everything was pretty low key. There was a parade of sorts which had a slightly apologetic feel to it. The Chinese and Indians kept their businesses open regardless - which is most business in this city - and it felt just like an ordinary day.

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