This past weekend, my brown-knee sidekick and I took our first visa run to Penang, Malaysia. A visa run basically consists of 12 hours in a van with strangers who must also jump the border to a neighboring country in order to prolong their stay in this tropical paradise. Through a visa run company the border jumper in question pays a set price, which includes transport, hotel accommodation and (clearly the most anticipated inclusion) food. After drugging ourselves into a comatose state compliments of the local pharmacy, doing the border cross shuffle at 4 am required effort equivalent to a triathlon in Antarctica. I’m not sure whom I handed my passport to, where it was taken or how I managed to wake up in a completely different (yet the correct) van in Malaysia. Regardless my passport returned to my possession in the morning unscathed.
We arrived at our hotel around 8 am and were immediately funneled to the dining area and fed. We decided to explore Penang a bit, walked 5 blocks to get on a bus that took us basically four feet from where we started. Still delirious from our trek, we somehow wandered into a random mosque, where the women were instructed to put on graduation gowns as to not scorch the eye sockets of any Muslim men with our temptress ways.
I’d never been to a mosque before, so the fact that we were 1. Allowed inside during prayer and 2. Given endless information pamphlets and an impromptu tour courtesy of an overzealously talkative Muslim man was something new and different. In his lengthy sermon, which bordered on a fervent Islamic conversion attempt, the man explained any and every question I could’ve possibly conjured regarding the practice of Islam. Within the course of an hour, I learned every possible scenario in which Islam could and should be considered the paramount outlet for religious vigor.
At about minute 95 and Quran passage 12 my stomach begins an attempt to consume the rest of my inner organs and I fight the urge to disrobe and bolt to the “Best Naan Around!” place down the road during the listing of each of the 130 some Islamic prophets. Luckily, we wrapped up the discussion before transitioning to the overaggressive Jihad pamphlet and made our way to the accurately marketed Indian place, consuming a hungry man portion at warped speed.
After less than 24 hours in Malaysia, we all itched to return to the island ecstasy we call home and back to a place where women have the opportunity to grace the streets after nine pm without risking legal ramifictaions. It was a nice change of scenery, but I’m glad to be back.
I'll try and keep this as updated as possible. Due to discontinued use of the amphetamine cheat code for life known as Adderall that's been my (prescriiiiibed) crutch for the past decade, the completion of projects has fallen by the wayside and my blogging has suffered. I'd apologize for de-medicating myself, but I sweat in this hotbox enough as is without consuming small doses of speed in a futile effort to keep my room orderly and not creep people out.