Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Malaysia highlights part 1

Highlights of Malaysia

The Cameron highlands:
The British, who occupied Malaysia during the 19th and 20th centuries went up into the hills to escape the intense Malay heat. They found their haven in the Cameron highlands. It's a densely forested area that, because of it's position on the equator, has very consistent temps in the low 20's. Which is heaven after sweating it out in the beaches and jungles. I even had to wear pants at night!
Due to the rich soil and the consistent temps it is an ideal farming location as well. The highlands are known for their tea and strawberry farms in particular. Tea plantations are gorgeous. Hills and valleys of bright leafy green evenly cropped plants spread throughout as far as you can see, with narrow roads snaking through. I went on a half day tour through the plantations that also included a short hike in the forest. I was accompanied by a couple from Saudi Arabia. When it came time for the hiking the wife was totally cursing her husband in Arabic. I had no idea what she was saying, but you could tell she wasn't happy about it! To end it all a tour of a strawberry farm, which wasn't that great. But guess what they have for you to eat in big heaping baskets? Strawberries! The day became how many strawberry related foods can Clarissa eat in one day? It's a lot, if you're wondering. It was glorious. Chocolate and strawberries (which I had to buy extra berries for, wouldn't want all that chocolate going to waste!). Strawberry and cream pancakes. A strawberry shake. The list was long and yummy and strawberry filled.
Kaula Lumpur:
I haven't been in a big city like this since Bangkok and it's definitely a shock to the senses again. I'm staying at a YWCA right in Chinatown, which is interesting, certainly lively. Since I only have one whole day I did the hop-on/off bus and spent the day cruising around the city. I even went into a museum and learned something! Shocking, I know! Haven't done that in a while. It was nice to actually learn something about a culture instead of walking blindly around, like I usually do these days.
For dinner I got a smoothie. At the booth that I wandered up to they listed the different health benefits of each fruit. I couldn't decide (as usual), so I asked. I told the woman behind the counter that I had a sore throat, I was tired a lot, and had an upset tummy. She paused to think and then replied apple and starfruit. Sounds good! And ERUEKA! I was all better....haha...no! But it sure was tasty! I may even get one tomorrow. The other portion of my dinner consisted of roti. Ok, let me explain, it's like a crepe (or thin pancake), but BETTER! Why? Because it's crispy and the Indian kind come with a delicious cumin-spice laced curry sauce that I lather my roti with. You can also get sweet roti, which are equally as yummy. I'm particular to banana and chocolate myself. I love roti so much that I eat it at least every other day, sometimes as a meal, sometimes as a snack. Hey, the banana one has fruit so it can't be that bad for me right? I want roti and nothing else, except maybe smoothies and that literally is just fruit so I get all the smoothies I want!

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