Back To The Future

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 13, 2005

DAY 481:  “So I’ll see you in about a month,” Noelle said before boarding a shared songthaew that would take her back to Krabi Town so she could get to her morning northbound flight back to Bangkok to continue her travels with with her backpacking hippie mother.

“Yeah, see you on Five Oh Three,” I said, remaining on the sidewalk in Ao Nang.  My transport southbound to Malaysia wouldn’t come for another hour. 

Noelle and I parted ways, thus ending her appearance on “The Trinidad Show” — at least until the upcoming “one big night” back in New York City on March 5th (save the date and R.S.V.P.!).  It wasn’t just the end of my travels with her, but with my travels in Thailand for that matter, for I would end my day on Penang Island, the island off the northwest coast of the continental Malaysia.

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From All Over The World

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 13, 2005

DAY 482:  Samuel L. Jackson once said in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, “Personality goes a long way.”  Although the Olive Spring Hotel where I stayed for my first night in Georgetown, Penang’s main city, was colorful and clean, it had no personality — probably because most of the staff was off for the Chinese New Year long weekend like most of the businesses in town.  After shopping around for a new place that morning, I found a place that, although not as colorful, had personality.  Personality goes a long way (and so did my money since it was cheaper).

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Like A Frog With No Limbs

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 15, 2005

DAY 483:  On a world map, the island of Penang off the coast of mainland Malaysia at roughly 6° N latitude, 100° E longitude is a mere speck, if it’s even there at all.  However, when you zoom in on that little speck (by Googling for a better map), you see that not only is the shape of Penang Island that of a frog laid out on its belly with its limbs torn off, but that it is an island with an area of over 90 square miles, a formidable area of land that can’t exactly all be covered on foot.

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V Day in K.L.

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 16, 2005

DAY 484:  Huh?  Where are we? I wondered, all groggy-eyed when I woke up on a motionless train in my sleeper berth.  Everyone was getting off the Kuala Lumpur-bound train at 6:40 in the morning.  Are we there yet?  We’re not supposed to get there for another half hour.  The train continued its state of inertia, and so I just disembarked.  We had in fact arrived at KL Sentral [sic] station ahead of schedule.

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In-Flight Entertainment

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 17, 2005

DAY 485:  “When you go to Los Angeles, you go to Universal Studios or Disneyland,” Geow the CalPoly-grad told me in the truck as we drove in the pre-dawn darkness of 6:30 a.m.  “When you go to K.L., you go to Genting Highlands.”

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Where It All Began

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 19, 2005

DAY 486:  “Visit Historic Melaka means Visit Malaysia,” says one of the tourism slogans for the former capital of Malaysia.  As another tourism slogan goes, Melaka is “Where It All Began.”

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The Freeloaders

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 21, 2005

DAY 487:  If you’re like me, you’ve probably read through the past couple of entries in the category “Malaysia” and are thinking (in italics of course), Is this all there is to Malaysia?  Old colonial port towns, a big modern metropolis, and an amusement park?  What the hell?  Isn’t this supposed to be a developing southeast Asian country with like, villagers and stuff? 

The answers to these ponderings came to me like a ton of bricks when I was sitting on the toilet bowl taking a dump at the Travellers Inn in Melaka.  No, it wasn’t another mind dump like when I contemplating Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in the Galapagos; conveniently placed on the door in front of me was a wordy but catchy flyer for an eco bike tour to the outer villages for those wishing to see a more authentic Malaysia in the countryside away from the standard tourist sites of the city.

And so, I washed my hands, booked the tour, and wiped my ass — not necessarily in that order.

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A Fine City

From the trip blog: "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World"
Posted February 22, 2005

DAY 488:  Singapore, the island off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, was once a part of Malaysia.  However, the former English colonial port seceded from Malaysia in 1965 and went their own way due to “creative differences;” apparently the Singaporeans were a lot more uptight than the rest of the country.  They soon developed a modern city state with a reputation for being boring, clean-cut, and above all, very anal retentive, so much that locals, ex-pats and tourists alike jokingly started calling it “a fine city,” a pun pertaining to the many steep fines imposed for really benign offenses:  littering, jaywalking, spitting, carrying durian fruit, and even chewing gum.  (Concurrently, less benign offenses result in the death penalty; everyone knows the story of the Australian backpacker who was executed for possession of marijuana a couple of years back.)

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When he’s not making a living as an interactive/motion designer or playing with fast food, Erik R. Trinidad is a travel writer, blogger, video host and producer focusing on adventure and culinary content. His work has been featured on National Geographic Intelligent Travel, Adventure.com, Discovery.com, Saveur, Condé Nast Traveler, and Hyenas Laughed at Me and Now I Know Why, which also includes the work of Tim Cahill, Doug Lansky, Jennifer Leo and Rolf Potts. He has also referenced his travel experiences in his solo book, Fancy Fast Food: Ironic Recipes with No Bun Intended.

For over ten years, Erik has traveled to the seven continents of the world — from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo — with a curiosity for exotic foods and a thirst for adventure (and writing material).  In his travels, he has been mugged at knifepoint in Cape Town, extorted by corrupt Russian police on the Trans-Siberian Railway, stranded in tornadic storms in the American midwest, and air-lifted off the Everest Trail by a helicopter that was thankfully paid for by his travel insurance.  But it hasn’t been all fun; he has also donned a tuxedo amidst the penguins of Antarctica, paraded with Carnival-winning samba school Beija Flor in Rio, run for his life at Pamplona’s “Running of the Bulls,” cage-dived with great white sharks, gotten shot point-blank in the stomach in Colombia (while wearing a bulletproof jacket), and above all, encountered many people around the world, including some Peruvian musicians in Cuzco who learned and played “Y.M.C.A.” at his request. He loves the irony that, after everywhere he’s been, he has never been to Mexico.

Erik writes stories and news articles when he’s at his base camp in New York City, and continues his blog when he is on the road — provided he’s not occupied tracking down lost luggage.

Additional news/article clippings at ErikTrinidad.com.

See Erik talk about travel in an American Express ad:

Read about Erik in this feature article from Filipinas magazine by National Geographic Traveler Associate Editor Amy Alipio.

The views and opinions written on The Global Trip blog are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the official views and opinions of the any affiliated publications.
All written and photographic content is copyright 2002-2014 by Erik R. Trinidad (unless otherwise noted). "The Global Trip" and "swirl ball" logos are service marks of Erik R. Trinidad.
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