Shake it Off

Two posts in a span of a weekkk?!?! You must be thinking either, "we're so #blessed to be graced by the ramblings of a crazy person" OR "whattttt... dre, are you even leaving your bed?" i'm assuming most people are in the latter, soOooo the answer is "yahhh..." but so much has happened in a week, plus I'm heading to Myanmar for 28 days (thats how long the visa is for.. not that i've planned much other than getting my moneys worth cus im a #cheapskate) where the internet is supposed to be dreadful so i'm gonna take advantage of good WiFi and overshare NOWwWW cus otherwise i will explode from keeping all my stories in. so ha... there's/those are my explanation(s)/excuse(s)

soOo anywhose, after leaving KL, I headed to Langkawi where i was planning on relaxing and soaking up the sun and drinking cheap booze cus its duty free... (Malaysia is a majority Muslim country, alcohol is quite expensive.. unless its ladies night).. unfortunately i didn't get a chance to drink cus I got hit by a car and got prescribed meds that were not supposed to be taken with alcohol (even though i just think it makes me a cheaper drunk but i guess i'll take my doctors advice wompwomp).. on the brightside, i did get to lay by the pool for hours and hours and soak up the sun... because i couldn't really move. 

i should probably rewiind a bit and explain cus you are all probably thinking that i crashed into a parked car or something dumb like that cus that would be classic wangsanata, but NOPEEeEEe.. i got REAR ENDED.. and not in the good way (HAHAHA JUST KIDDING LOSL I CANT HELP BUT TO MAKE TERRIBLE TERRIBLE JOKES)... since Langkawi has no public transport system, you either have to take a cab everywhere, which gets pricey, or rent a scooter or ebike.. i chose to do the latter cus like i said, i'm a cheapskate, plus i have dreams of being a rad motorcycle chick, which i realize now that i will never fulfill.. anywhose, i spent one afternoon riding all the way to the north of the island which took about 2 hours.. i spent time at a really pretty and secluded beach before it started to get a bit cloudy and i thought it would be best to head back.

as i'm riding down the road, i come to a roundabout. i stop to check that there are no cars coming. all of a sudden, i hear a screech. i turn my head around and see a bright green car coming right at me me. a split second later, i'm flying off my bike.

i land on my back, right in the middle of the street. i'm in total shock. i quickly prop myself up but then think.. holy shit, maybe i shouldn't move so i lie back on the street... in the same exact spot where i landed (because that's how it works, right? if you go back to the same spot, its like you actually didn't *really*  move) and then i start wiggling my toes and moving my legs around to make sure i can feel them. luckily, they were all there and they did as i commanded.

the family who hit me drove me to the hospital, which was about 30 minutes away. i was grimacing in pain the whole time and telling the driver to slow down because the last thing i want is to get into another accident.. they were pretty nice and paid for all my bills.. which totaled to $20 (ahhh.. health care abroad.. why can't it be this cheap in the US) even though i tried to explain i had insurance and that they didn't need to pay because $20 for a Malaysian is quite a hefty sum but they did it nonetheless. they dropped me back at my hotel, which i didn't leave for the remaining 2 days (Thank goodness for family & luxury!) other than to go to the beach with some guys and watch a fire show.... 

(alas i can't take credit for the wonderful paint work... if u havne't watched the dane cook sketch, hit by a car, please do yourself a favor and do so below.. hysterical.)

anywhose.. i finallly left Langkawi for Penang, because I have to catch a flight outta George Town to meet my mom in Myanmar. luckily my back was feeling a lot better, so i was able to move around. i've been in George Town, which is the capital of Penang, for the past 36 hours... i've probably spent the majority of the time eating.. and when i'm not eating, i've been walking around, searching for cool street art, getting lost in the nooks and crannies of various streets, admiring the facades of random homes, and visiting beautiful buildings. so i guess all that walking compensates for the loads of eating.. riiight?!?

And cus I'm feeling super lazy, I'm copying and pasting a blurb from this site and this one that raves about Penang's food culture because my fatness cannot be eloquently be put into words.. "Penang is pretty renowned as a food paradise mainly due to its diversity in ethnicity, culture and religion. Its multi-ethnicity brings forth such celebrated variety in Penang’s street and hawker food. There is no lack of food options here, and is difficult to find a store that fall short of a rating lower than “delicious”. Penang is truly a food paradise. It has a good mix of traditional Malay, Chinese, Indian and Peranakan dishes and many of them can be found in hawker stalls throughout George Town.  On a plate, skewered on sticks or in a bowl, street food is ultra popular in Penang that will rock your world." 

Groan.. travel bloggers.... the most basic of basics... my two cents on the whole food situation... if i like it, i eat it. and i've been eating a lottt here. Here's a list of basically all of the greasy, yummy, fattening food I've eaten (again.. i'm too lazy to jot it all down, plus this entry would go on forever) But yeah.. obviously i knew there would be really good food in Penang.. what surprised me the most was the awesome street art that was all over the city. 

Again, because I'm really fucking lazy, below is an outline of all the major street art projects you can find in George Town from the website, The Occasional Traveler.  It's only fair to give credit when credit is due because there was absolutely no way i knew anything about all the art work until I googled "street art in George Town, Penang" not to be confused with Georgetown, D.C. (which still sucks)

  • Ernest Zacharevic works: this Lithuanian artist is probably the reason why street art became such a big deal to Penang in the first place, after his commissioned work ‘Mirrors George Town’ for the George Town Festival back in 2012 became a big hit. His works are by far the most popular out of all the street art I saw, with queues forming to take pictures with these works and appearing on souvenirs quite prominently. He recently had a solo exhibition in early 2014 titled Art is Rubbish is Art, and now has works that can be found in various part of Malaysia, Singapore and Europe.
  • 101 Lost Kittens: This collection of 12 cat-related street artworks is a project by Thai artist
    Natthapon Muangkliang and Malaysian artists Louise Low and Tang Yeok Khang aimed at creating awareness towards stray animals. Here’s a quite detailed blogpost about where you can find all the 101 Lost Kittens artworks.
  • Marking George Town: these 52 iron structures can be found in abundance throughout George Town, and were actually commissioned by the Penang Tourism Board to provide a fun pictoral anecdote about the history of the street it is located on, and is a rather fun way to learn a little bit about Penang’s heritage

i absolutely loved the pieces not only because they were they super playful and interactive (you could hop on the bikes and swings, as seen in my photos!) ANDDD included kittens (one of the projects was created to bring attention to stray animals in Malaysia) but also because they felt distinctly Asian. Because Asia is modernizing so quickly, there are often moments where i feel people equate "being modern" with "being Western" and therefore disregard their own cultural heritage. i loooooooove the fact that there are Asian faces and Chinese symbols interwoven into the murals, and that the scenes portrayed by one of the leading artists, Ernest Zacharevic, who is not Asian but Lithuanian, highlight the every day life in Asia, like riding on the motorcycle, playing games, etc.. plus he also incorporates Bruce Lee into one of his murals, which is pretty legendaryyyy... 

On top of roaming around George Town, I also took a short bus ride to explore Kek Lok Si which is apparently the largest temple in Southeast Asia. Since it's the first temple I've visited on this trip, i was pretty fascinated with my surroundings... but temples are to Southeast asia what churches are in Europe, so i'm sure i'll get bored of them soon. but for now, i'm still awed by their beauty. here are some pretty pictures that don't do the place justice... i

 also bought a few "wishing ribbons," which reminded me of the ribbons i tied to the gates of Senhor do Bonfim and which i have also been wearing around my wrist since Carnaval..  i bought three: one for "constant happiness", another for the "health of my family" plus a "safe journey" ribbon cus after this week, i figured it couldn't hurt.  there were some hilarious ones like "listening to my mother" and "finding a partner" which i sadly did not buy (sorry mom... #foreveralone)

ANYWHOSE.. as i mentioned, i'm off to Myanmar/Burma manana. to see my mama.. like all good moms, she has that spidey sense of when i need her and she always comes through :) soo hopefully this won't be the last update for a while, but i promise to come back with even more good stories xoxo