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Thursday, March 30, 2006

A LAZY DAY IN THE TROPICAL SUN

March 30/06

Our last day on Langkawi. The pool was open today (at last!) and the sun was shining except for a brief time in the morning when there was a sudden strong wind blowing up white-caps on the lagoon, and sending the flocks of birds flapping out of the palms. Big black storm clouds were scudding across the sky but fortunately the wind blew them right over and the sun broke through again so our pool day wasn't spoiled after all.

In the morning, first thing, we took a cab into Kuah to the bank and Praise the Lord! that nice little ATM machine spit out all kinds of ringits for me, replacing what we'd spent the other night on that extravagent lobster dinner!

So this evening, after our pool day, own personal taxi driver, Hasbullah, picked us up promptly at seven to take us for dinner. We had asked him to suggest a good place to eat. He suggested either Chinese or Malay but of course we chose Malay. He drove us to this beautiful traditional style restaraunt called the Matahari Malay Restaurant. It's like a little compound of traditional Malay buildings with gardens, palms, flowering shrubs, cobbled pathways lit by little lamps,
and bird baths full of flowers and tiny frogs. Just charming! We were greeted at the entrance by a bevy of lovely young Malay women who escorted us in with the usual happy smiles.

It looks to be a very expensive place but is actually quite reasonable. For our dinner we chose
Sayur Masaic Loder which was vegetables cooked in coconut milk, vermicelli and bean curb. (5 ringits = $2.50) Ayam Gulai Kampung: chicken cooked in a clay pot with shallots, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry leaf, lemon leaf, tumeric and coconut milk (15 ringits= $5.) a plate of rice ( 5R), cocktails were 10 R = $3.50 and beer 6 R = $2. Each dish was attractively garnished with a darling little red pepper cut into flower petals with green leaves. I took some photos it was so beautiful so I hope they turn out!

Traditional Malay music played while we ate and the service was superb. (Unlike the other restaraunt where we had to infamous lobster dinner, there were NO bugs flying around at all even though there were lily ponds and little fountains splashing around us.)

After dinner we looked around. I was amazed when I went into the washroom which not only had Malay decor but sprays of fragrant white egg-flowers (like plumeria) and there were even some floating in the toilets!

There's another restaurant that is part of the complex called The Sun Village Sea Food. (We should have had our lobster there!) and little individual dining rooms decorated with Malay furnishings, cushions etc. So attractive!

We were very grateful to our driver to taking us there and I must say he was the most gracious fellow, so kind, gentle and considerate, waiting for us each time he drove us out for dinner. And the cab drivers here don't rip you off like elsewhere. In fact tonight he charged us less than usual. Of course we have been tipping him generously for his kindness.

As this was our last night here. After we got back we went to the Beach Bistro but there was no music tonight. So we had a beer (the boys put on the salsa music for us) and then ordered a Hennessy brandy to take up to our room. (Expensive at 24 ringits for a hefty shot: $7.50)
But worth it for our last celebration.

Up early tomorrow for our 55 minute flight into Kuala Lumpur. Then we'll spend the day lounging at the pool in the sky and browsing around that fabulous shopping mall. There's a pirate T-shirt there I am determined to buy and fortunately I am still rich enough to do so!

It's been a memorable holiday. There will be many more stories to tell once I've processed it all. And hopefully the photos will all turn out (in particular the rolls of slide film).

See you all next week in Vancouver!

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