Monday: Penang to Kuala Lumpur 2/5/2007br>

Hi all,

I know I haven't finished with Sunday, but there's not enough time this morning as I have an early start going to music schools today. Monday is a pretty short entry, though. :-)

Monday morning, had to say good bye to my old and new friends in Penang. My former student Yumi, who has been so wonderful setting up things for me; her husband Jason, who also has also been so helpful and kind. Jason is a Penang native, so he knows where everything is and how to get there through the crazy winding one-way streets. Victor, another of the piano faculty who spent a lot of time with us during my visit too. But I have to move on.

So, I had decided in advance to take the bus to Kuala Lumpur -- only 4 hours, and nice to get a chance to see some of the countryside. The best buses for the trip are the Nice buses -- pretty amusing, Yumi told me a "who's on first" sort of story about when she was trying to find out which bus to put me on. And it was a very nice bus! Full sized coach bus, but with only 27 seats, very clean and very comfortable. They even provided lunch. I was the only tourist on board, the rest were Malaysians just going to KL, probably for shopping. The countryside was very green, with acres and acres of palm plantations -- mostly for palm oil, I think. I know there are rice fields too, but I think they were all dry at this time of year. And then periodically there were these surreal vertical-sided hills jutting up in the landscape. Most of the homes I could see were simple ones much like I have seen in Thailand, sometimes raised on stilts, usually tin-roofed. We passed by a couple of cities but mostly we were in the countryside. It was very pleasant, and interesting to see.

After I got to KL, I went straight to my hotel and spent the rest of the afternoon working in my room. I had a lot of powerpoint presentations to finish up! (actually, still have one not done, but I don't need it until Wednesday). Then in the evening, my local organizer, a colleague of Yuni and Jason, took me to dinner. U-jin also brought his wife Karen (I don't know the spelling for sure, she's also Malaysian). We went to a lovely Chinese restaurant serving Fujian cuisine -- the only restaurant in KL that features this regional cooking. It was really delicious! Just don't ask me what the dishes were called, because I have no idea! I enjoyed both the food, and the chance to get acquainted with U-jin and Karen. Then rather late back to the hotel.

I don't really have many impressions of KL yet -- except that it's big, full of skyscrapers, bustling, crazy traffic, energetic and shopping-obsessed!

I must go now, not much time to get ready for my day. More later from Kuala Lumpur!

Love to all,


Last updated 12/07. Copyright 2007 by Richard C. Morenus. Questions? Send email to