We just got back from a week in Malaysia. It is one of the most interesting places I have ever been, mainly because of the Muslim culture. On the ceilings of our hotels were arrows pointing the direction to Mecca. All the restaurants posted what dishes were hallal or not. Malaysians themselves don't wear the full burka but the city was full of Arab tourists who did. One of our cab drivers told us that since September 11, it has been difficult for Saudis or other Middle Easterners to get visas to vacation in Europe, so they now come to Malaysia instead. As he put it, "Now you drive down the road and see black, black, black." I even saw a woman in full burka riding a jet ski. She had a neon orange life jacket strapped on over the burka. All very interesting.
My other favorite thing about Malaysia is the food. We ate fantastic Indian food, Middle Eastern food, Italian food, and Western food. We got to eat at Chili's (!!!) and sip Chai Lattes at Starbucks. My friend Beth says that it's impossible not to be happy when you eat at Chili's. It's just a happy place. I couldn't agree more. I'm now convinced that chain restaurants are the best things ever. They all look the same, have the same menus, same food, even the same decorations on the walls. It's like I'm taken back in time to the Chili's on George Bush in College Station where Sally would always order chips & salsa and I'd add way too much salt. Or the Chili's on Burnet Road in Austin where my daddy always orders peppercorn hamburgers. Or the Chili's in Kingwood where we all ate after my marathon. All the same! It's a great feeling when you miss home.
Another favorite thing about Malaysia is that my new best friend got to go with me. Yes, of course Kevin the Permanent Best Friend came. I'm talking about my new best friend. For Christmas, my parents decided to be entirely too generous and buy us a Canon Rebel camera. It's my new best friend. It makes vacations so much more fun. So here are my best & favorite shots from our trip:
This is a cannon ball tree. The name needs no explanation I think! The cannon balls look like coconuts but they're not. To tell the truth, I really have no clue what they are.
This is Kevin doing his Jesus impersonation. It really looks like he's walking on the water, doesn't it?
Can you even believe that I took this picture? That super-zoom lens was certainly a good purchase! If you look at the monkey on the right, you can see a little baby attached to her chest. There were monkeys EVERYWHERE. We saw them almost everyday. All the green & animals of the tropical jungles was quite a welcome relief compared to the concrete jungle we call home.
One morning, we went to a Butterfly Farm. I'm not really sure why they call it a "farm." It's not like the butterflies pick up their hoes every morning and dig potatoes.
The timing of our vacation was perfect because next week we're doing a kid's day camp at our school. So now we're tan and rested up to wrangle these rather rambunctious little friends. I'm not exactly sure how brown thighs will help out with that but I'm sure it can't hurt...