Malaysia Trip 05 / 06

Monday, January 09, 2006

Off To The Beach

It was an early start today as we set off on our little adventure to Penang - food capital of Malaysia. Doug went to pick up our hire car and then we loaded up before getting some breakfast in Hartamas and meeting up with Shirley and Carl. We had hired a big comfortable executive car for the journey but Rich, Nim and I decided to sacrifice comfort for the four hour journey in order to have a ride in Carl's BMW M3 instead.

The trip up to Penang flew by and was almost without incident. Unfortunately about two hours in we went through a police check and Doug, who was following Carl, got pulled over for speeding. We were a bit bemused as to how he had managed to get pulled over and we hadn't but Carl explained that a lot of the time people in faster, more expensive cars just get ignored. He also quickly assured us that the second the policeman saw that there were three English girls in the back of Doug's car he was going to regret pulling them over.

The police are a little corrupt over here to say the least and when you get stopped for speeding you have two choices

a) Get a ticket and receive a 200 RM fine in the post
b) Offer to settle the fine there and then, give the policeman 50 RM and no more is said or done.

The reason the policeman was going to have regrets about pulling Doug over is that they don't like to be seen to be corrupt in front of tourists and so when Doug asked if he had received a fine he was told it was OK and that he could go. Crazy!

We arrived at the hotel around late afternoon and grabbed a quick snack at a roadside cafe and then relaxed for a while before dinner. Everyone was feeling pretty tired after the early start and I had a nasty headache so after curried Stingray for dinner I went back to the hotel while the others went to check out the night market in Batu Ferringhi. They returned a couple of hours later with bags full of clothes, more bags and DVDs and still talking about doing more shopping the next day.


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