Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Thursday, March 1, 2012


The first idea in coming here was spending a week. Most people seem to like it in Penang.

But really, for us, there was nothing to see. We checked into what I think was a Star hotel type thing, I grabbed a book from the book exchange downstairs, and started reading. We leave tomorrow, early, but that's enough time to finish the Nora Roberts book.

We rest a while and then head out to see Penang. For a moment it's fantastic to be actually walking, without having to look at a beach. We're actually walking in the same formation we've been walking in for four months, and it's fantastic to get to something somewhat normal. I'm actually skipping down the street as I carry the Nora Roberts book.

This might sound strange until you consider that we have to stop every once in a while— to take pictures, to decide where we're going next, to look around… by the time we reach home I've located a book store and I've read 90 pages.

Penang is an amalgamation of Chinese, Indian, and Malaysians. You can walk down a street listening to Bollywood music, seeing just Indian faces, and then you can turn into another street and suddenly be confronted with Chinese. We manage to locate the restaurant mentioned as 'the best in Penang.'

It's a sort of self-serve one-time-only buffet. It's not Chinese food, exactly, because there is much more seafood than in the traditional Chinese cuisine. It's a bit like a mix of Indian and Chinese— there's curried chicken and a great deal of other foods which we eat because we need to eat something.

We head back to the hotel, shower, pack what we can into our bags so that we have that much less to worry about tomorrow. I stay up late to make a bit more headway into the Nora Roberts book, fall asleep at about midnight, set the alarm for six (because naturally I want to be able to finish another book before we leave so that we can exchange it at the Book Exchange store… full of shelves of books). I wake up at ten, finish the Nora Roberts novel, and we eat very quickly at a Chinese-style buffet in the opposite direction from the book exchange.

With only ten minutes to spare before we have to walk to the bus station, Ileana, Ioan and I head toward the book exchange, spend as little time as possible finding books, and neglect to haggle over the price we should receive for Ice Station, the only book we're actually exchanging.

The reapings?

The Language of Stones, Ioan's choice
Getting Rid of Matthew, Ileana's and my choice, because it's a hilarious title. Not such a good book, though, as Matthew was quite possibly more infuriating than anyone should ever be.

But already, we're on the bus, and we're reading, and life feels much better now that we're leaving Penang behind.

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