I think T thought he was off the hook for Valentine’s day, given we had the best present of travel and freedom from Boston blizzard #452. It was another travel day, and getting to Phnom Penh Airport was a bit like frogger as the car darted around dogs, motorcycles, tuk-tuks and trucks. I saw what looked like a ten year old boy out cruising on a motorscooter with his six year old bro hanging on. And a lot of trucks with chickens and pigs headed to market.
At Phnom Penh airport, I had a small DQ blizzard. That or the number of juices could explain my weight gain. Hopefully Malaysia would be healthier, but one of the main attractions is food!
We had our fastest transit time yet. From landing at Kuala Lumpur airport to walking into our hotel room was an hour. We were getting more efficient, but Malaysia also required no visa and had an express monorail which made it possible. We picked up our fifth currency in almost as many weeks (we did use some Cambodian Riels and not just US dollars, so sixth currency?).
I’d heard a few phrases in Malay from my mom when I was growing up. Had she not abandoned her intended Peace Corps post for my dad before the plane left for Malaysia, I might not be around to see this country! But I think what we found is quite different from Malaysia of the late 1960s.
We hadn’t prebooked dinner, not realizing fully how smitten Malays (or restauranteurs) were with Valentine’s Day. After walking past fast food and 6-8 course prix fixe menus, we landed at a fancier Chinese restaurant already geared up for New Year. An eager hostess regaled us with how the menu could be modified, explained new dishes and gave travel recommendations. She sadly said how pork was not on offer as the restaurant had much business with Muslim government officials. And we got fortune cookies! You will have an adventure, Confucius says.