Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving
Each day in Ipoh we walked back and forth from our hotel past a popular roadside Indian eatery with a large hot plate in the open doorway and a friendly Tamil man frying egg parathas. I was tempted each time but tried to stick to my wheat free diet until this morning I succumbed and ordered parathas for my children and me. We wrapped theirs around sweet bananas and they were simply delicious. Our whole breakfast cost only MYR 15! Whereas a smoothie alone at Happy 8 on Friday cost that much.
Fortunately our hotel was very near the interstate bus station so it was only a short walk along the side of busy roads with our luggage and children. While we waited at the bus station the snack vendor enjoyed teasing our son and I was struck again by the friendliness of Malaysian people.
During the bus trip to Lumut the other passengers didn’t complain as my son loudly chatted and played. Once when getting my daughter’s hearing checked the audiometry nurse remarked that my son is so loud that she would like to check his hearing too but when she did check everything was fine. I try not to be too embarrassed by his unwillingness to use an inside voice. We passed by palm oil, coconut, and banana palm plantations and many rambutan trees loaded with fruit. We also passed many cars with children climbing around the driving car without any restraints and scooters with toddlers standing holding the handle bars while a man rides, and a woman sits behind holding a baby. This particularly bothers me considering that 63% of road deaths in Malaysia are on motorcycles and Malaysia in 2010 was ranked among 33 countries which had the highest road deaths at 23.8 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants.
(Read more: http://www.cbt.com.my/2013/07/20/upsurge-of-deaths-on-the-road-jan-to-may-2013/ and http://www.alertdriving.com/home/fleet-alert-magazine/international/malaysia-road-fatalities-alarming-level).
In Lumut we found a festival like ambience as mostly Malaysians ambled around sampling street food, buying ferry tickets or headed off back to their normal lives. Lumut is the setting off point for Pulau Pangkor which is reputedly a favourite holiday destination for Malaysians. Sometimes transit towns can be depressing, like Invercargill in New Zealand (for the ferry to Stewart Island), but Lumut has a nice feeling to it and we had a tasty meal of laksa, nasi lemak, and cendol and it was cheap and a clean eatery.
The ferry to our resort on Pulau Pangkor had many life jackets, perhaps as many as passengers but all of them were individually tied into plastic bags and I wondered how difficult it would be to access them in time if a calamity struck us and whether it would be allowed in Australia to store them in that way.
We are staying at Teluk Dalam resort and we were delighted this afternoon to see rhinoceros hornbills feeding from trees and also chewing on the roof of the resort. I’m hoping to snap a useful photo of one of those cheeky birds while we are here.