I'd been looking forward to trying a Durian fruit ever since i saw them on Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here. How bad can it be, it's a bloody fruit! The answer is pretty damn bad. First there's the smell, which hits you from about 100 feet away. In Tesco (yep you can't go anywhere can you) where they were selling them, all the fruit and veg department smelt of Durian. The smell is like strong cheese, mingled with beef, that's been left in the sun for a fortnight. The texture is like dairylea. The taste is like creamy puried onion custard, with a hint of vomit. Or maybe that was mine.
Apart from this unfortunate fruit episode i've been having a lovely western food week this week and i've managed to avoid McDonalds. I'm all for trying new stuff when i'm holiday, but Malaysia has been a bit of a struggle i must admit. About 75% of the population is chinese, and they seem to have an incredible ability to eat the same meal for breakfast lunch and dinner. They're never happier than eating something dead, and if it once swam as well so much the better. Squid and noodles at 8am, you betcha! Not to be beaten i headed for the Cameron Highlands which is where they grow all their tea here. It was like a little slice of england; green, pretty, cloudy, cold, rainy, but with nice tea. All the buildings were strangely georgian, and my hostel looked like Fawlty Towers. My room was in what looked like a silver tubular airaid shelter outside the main building. The guidebook described them as 'funky', i'd probably go for dumpy. Anyway, to go with your freshly picked tea you could eat scones and cream yey! And as they grow strawberries and cream as well it seemed a shame not to indulge. In Penang where i am now i have finally found somewhere that does fruit, yoghurt and muesli for breakfast as well. Beat that squid breath.
Prior to the Cameron Highlands i headed to Taman Negara national park this week, where a 3 hour boat ride lead to a beautiful little village with restaurants by the river side, river taxis, and all the trees you could eat. It was here that i traversed a 40metre high canopy walk suspended between huge trees, whilst getting away with as little looking down as i could. I also did a couple of short jungle walks, and was happy not to see anything that slithered or anything with more legs than me. I also treat myself to some red wine here which is my first since i came away on celebration of the sale of my house. Thanks mum and dad!
Today is going to be my last day in Malaysia, tomorrow i head straight up to Bangkok on the overnight sleeper train, where one of my major but thoroughly necessary expenses will be some new pearly white teeth. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos are the biggies i've got left. Oh, but not forgetting the sneaky week i've just booked in Hong Kong in December for some shopping. Seemed a shame not to when you're in the neighbourhood! I'm two months in now and with a much better idea of what i want to be doing whilst i'm away. Some of the beaches in Malaysia have been undeniably beautiful, but i find i'm bored out my head in as quicker time as it gets for me to feel a bit hot. Like beaches, cities start to look the same after a while. What i've enjoyed most since being here is the stuff that you can't do or see anywhere else. The volcano climbing, the surfing, yomping through jungle and the temples. I can't wait for Thailand where i've discovered that there's a whole host of courses 1 day to several months long in yoga, meditation, massage, cooking, and many of them are on Ko Phangan where the full moon rave takes place. November the 12th is a right big full moon if you can make it :-)