Friday, April 17, 2015

More Malayan Miscellany

We got to go to our first local wedding, a Moslem one, of a former colleague of T's at the  school.  The ceremony itself is private, followed by a many hours' long buffet style reception, with guests coming and going.  We happened to be there as the couple arrived.  A lengthy prayer was given and then they stepped through a decorated archway. Here they are just after--sorry pic is so fuzzy.

They made their way to the front of the room (think rec hall) and up onto the stage, to an elaborate seating area.  A couple of people appeared on each side, with large fans and started fanning them. Someone translated for us:  "this is the only time in their lives that they will be treated like kings and queens."

party favor

Everyone was given a party favor--a little basket with a small hand towel in it.

Street scene--do you think the property is available?

Visiting a friend in the hospital. In the lobby, this sign:

And her room is in this wing...

T enjoying an iced Milo moment:
Ah, but he might have chosen one of these...

We went with some friends to a "6D" ride on the Great Wall--at a local shopping mall--all 7 minutes of it...  Fun anyway!
and afterwards a drink overlooking the sea, also at the mall
K got to sing with a chorus at the Penang  Performing Arts Centre

At the market, fab fruits

and happy cats--can you see them?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Perhentian island getaway

I confess to having been worried that five days on a remote island with nothing to do but snorkel, read and play Scrabble would get BO-RING.   It is certainly not our normal travel style. But it was all lovely and wonderfully relaaaaaaaxing.

T pondering next move

Besides, there was unexpected entertainment: cool looking monkeys (black with white around the eyes) in the morning, and flying foxes in the evening.  Flying foxes! [sorry no pix]. Apparently they are squirrels. Heck, flying squirrels! They are very oddly shaped--tiny heads and seemingly huge lower legs with a tiny tail they like to stick up/out.  Very odd.  In flight, previously hidden "wings" expand to 2 feet, allowing for graceful drops of 15 - 20 feet between trees.  Here are the monkeys, who passed by on a regular route through several trees and chalet tops each morning.

But the best entertainment was under water.  Last year I managed to forget the camera, which we bought specifically for it's ability to take underwater photos...  These from just steps off the shore to 100 yards/meters:

some coral is returning to a colorful state

Sea creature

The Perhentian islands are in a marine sanctuary, and we were glad to know of the "no flipper" rule to protect the coral.  Sadly, this year we noticed a number of people wearing flippers, even boat operators.

We stayed at the Reef Chalets, basic, convenient, and set in a lovely garden right on the beach

Beach bum?

Beach bum 2

On the way to the best snorkeling spot, a sign for the boat taxi to different beaches and the other island.Second line of the sign reads "under coconut tree".

We took a snorkeling day trip to the uninhabited Rawa islands.

Loads of fab fish!

And coral
Rawa is known for its Bumphead Parrot fish, aka Napoleon.  A yard/meter long!

I love the patterns sunlight makes in the water from underneath
And the colors of the giant clams

We saw lots of sea slugs, mostly grey with black bits but in one area they were all pink--very penis-y.

Under the boat:

Back at our island (Perhentian Besar), some fishing boats:

To reach them, a nice jungle walk along the coast

Back home, snorkel burn!