The most interesting man in the world.
A couple of days in Penang, Malaysia.
I forced myself out of Kuala Lumpur. I was having an amazing time with some awesome people. But kind of doing shit. And if I was going to do shit it should be in a much nicer place. Like with a beach. And cheaper booze.
I said goodbye to the unnamed traveler, to Steven and Ben, and got to the bus station. I arrived at 12:40 and managed to get myself on the 12:30 bus to Penang, a town I was really only going to because it was a place other people had mentioned.
Of the three boys I had drunkenly convinced to come with me the night before two of them said no and the third was MIA. So I hopped on the bus, alone again.
At times I think that I would have been better off going straight to Thailand. Immediately upon arriving I wasn’t really feeling Penang. It just didn’t really have the vibe I was after. And it seemed like somewhere that’s popular with backpackers but only because there was a Thai embassy to get visas from. I suck at choosing places.
So I got to the hostel and settled myself in. I got dinner and sat with my computer until midnight.
The next morning I explored a little of the town and walked through Little India.
When I got back to the hostel I ran into Marcus, a guy from Norway, who was one of the boys I had drunkenly convinced to come with me. Apparently I had left without him.
And so we spent the afternoon together failing to get Thai visas (they only allow you to apply in the morning and we wouldn’t have been able to pick them up over the weekend anyways, and I didn’t want to stay that long – so 15 days in Thailand it is), visiting a huge Chinese temple, eating noodles, and taking a train up a giant hill.
We got back to the hostel and ran into some Canadians and another American and an older man all sitting around, so we joined them and then got Indian food and sang the Canadian national anthem and talked about my job as a hooker* and drank illegal beers and listened to the older man tell stories.
And boy did he have stories.
He was either the most interesting man in the world or completely senile.
Or maybe both.
For example. He travels the world via his yacht full time. In the 1980s he was caught up in some gunfire in the middle of the ocean and was detained for espionage in China or Korea (I know they were both somehow involved but forgot which). While escaping he burned down a village.
I wish I could tell this story as captivatingly as he did but I’m bad for details and, anyways, it isn’t my story to tell.
So there you go.
We called it a night around 1 or 2 in the morning.
The next day I spent mostly behind my computer, determined to come up with some sort of plan for the next 2 weeks and book some transportation. It was a fairly productive day
I ran into the man of mystery again later that day and we went out again for Indian food.
And so maybe it wasn’t the most interesting place in the world to spend a few days. But it I met some of the most interesting people there. And, sometimes, that is what travel is about.
*I am not a hooker.