No motorbike, No cry

So, with my bike safely (?) aboard a wooden vegetable boat, it was time to get me to Malaysia.  In this day an age in Indonesia it involved going to the airport, walking up to the check-in counter and buying a ticket for the next flight.  That’s it- no ‘you-didn’t-buy-it-on-the-internet-and-print-your-own-ticket-so-we’ll-charge-you-all-sorts-of-handling-fees’ silliness.  As it turns out, my flight was delayed, so since the departure terminal in Medan is rather spartan, the immigration guys just let back outside without any additional paperwork- just a ‘don’t miss your flight’.  Ahhh….  when was the last time you actually interacted with normal human workers at an international airport?  *note: I was screened through security each time I entered or left the building and I had to get the guy who let me out vouch for me to get back in.*

Back in the terminal I was able to enjoy some of the English translations that Asia is notorious for.  They usually run along the lines of ‘Please remove your feet before entering the temple’ or some other amusing, yet harmless fun.  This one though, well…

Arriving in George TownPenang was painless and I was quickly able to get a hotel, meet the shipper, arrange my bike pick-up for the next day when the boat arrived, and play normal tourist for a while.  It was all so, well, normal.  People answered phones and e-mails.  When they said they’d be somewhere in 15 minutes- they were!  Needless to say, it all made me very suspicious- tomorrow, I was sure, would not  be a good day.

George Town is a great place to spend a day or so, dive into the food, experience the strong Chinese and Indian cultural influences, and just explore since the interesting parts of town are all within easy walking distance.  The local little temples in Little China where wonderful since they weren’t monuments to an older age- they were living, breathing examples of current faith.  They exuded a life that you never seem to see around Abrahamic places of worship.


I forgot my camera when I wandered Little India, but trust me- The Hindus are just as vibrant and alive with their faith as the Chinese.

When I was in the old colonial area, this clock tower brought back memories from Syria, but I couldn’t quite place them…

Then I remembered!  Aleppo!  I actually hadn’t posted any pics of the clock tower, but a quick search through my old pics revealed this-

Considering the current situation in Syria is was a bit of a bitter/sweet memory.  How many of the friendly people that I met there have suffered extreme personal loss?  What scenes from that country now only exist in the photos of myself and others?


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