Friday, November 07, 2008

I l Penang.

With our time in Southeast Asia drawing to a close in just over a month, Bordeaux and I had to make one quick visa run. We had been planning on just crossing the border for a night, but a good friend in Bangkok who recently visited Kuala Lumpur convinced us we should try to see more of Malaysia. I'm grateful she did, because so far Penang has been incredible-- rows of beautiful pastel shopfronts, offbeat mid-century style, and an incredible mix of cultures and religions. I can't remember the last time I felt so enamored of a city-- perhaps when I first saw Bangkok or Hanoi. To be honest, I'd been starting to feel a little 'travelled out' lately-- and Penang has totally reignited my drive.

Of course, the fact that food and coffee in Georgetown are fantastic helps-- we spent much of today eating, sampling (among other things) roti, chicken rice, and Indian sweets. More on all of that to come...

8 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Delicious looking street food.
The banana picture in the side bar is a delight too.

Nik Daum said...

I'm looking forward to more photos of Penang, particularly of the pastel buildings. Those skewers look delicious.

Ange said...

I love Penang! I haven't been in ages... will have to get back there soon. Looking forward seeing and hearing more...

Pecos Blue said...

Looks wonderful and I love Ganesha.

jess gonacha said...

I can't wait to visit southeast asia one day. i've always been intrigued by malaysia-- glad to know it's wonderful!

coolwaterworks said...

Good thing you were able to visit Penang... I hope you were able to visit the butterfly farm... :)

Anonymous said...

You take very nice pictures and share important information. Why use the words "primitive" and "savage?" Both are so archaic and condescending and ruin the otherwise positive feel you've got going.

Xander said...

Hey anonymous-

Both terms are meant with more than a little irony. The idea behind the blog came from my background studying anthropology-- the terms 'savage' and 'primitive' both refer to outdated concepts in anthropology, which I liked as a contrast with the modern media of blogging.

As a second meaning, I use 'primitive culture' to contrast with the idea of 'high culture'. I'm not writing about haute cuisine and high end design, but simple street food and everyday design. Again, the term is not used as judgment, but to draw attention to the contrast with a little sense of humor.

Lastly, I'd point out that the only culture that really makes it onto this blog-- the photos, the writing, and sometimes the art-- is mine. And I will admit that my writing is often very primitive.

Thanks for reading.