22.3.09

Day 1

The following takes place between 6:00am and 12:00am. Events occur in real time. [Tribute to "24"]

0600 – I wake up. Pre-run meal: part of a PowerBar and a banana. Goal: A long run by myself and avoid as much traffic as possible.

0620 – On the road running. No cars or trucks whizzing by for the first 13 minutes – just me and Coldplay. Glorious! [although most of that time was running around the parking lot – but that doesn’t make it any less of a miracle]

0625 – The early birds are beginning to emerge from the blackness and gather for the earliest morning gossip at the local kedai kopi (coffee shop). The Indian eatery has yet to receive its first customer as I run by.

0640 – Some punk at the Tanjung Bungah Beach Hotel terrorizes me with a green laser pen for about 100 meters. I spot the perpetrator from the his (I'm assuming it's a he) hotel window. Isn't that more of a late-night activity?

0700 – I catch my first glimpse of the glorious horizon and the sea as I approach the Seri Tanjung Bungah boardwalk.

0710 – I pass the multi-million dollar houses into the migrant-worker housing. Since last week, they have caged in (such a bad way to term it, but it’s exactly how it sounds) their ‘housing’ (aka shipping crates), so they are no longer visible. No more public tooth-brushing or shameless bathing beauties. A few of them are out enjoying the sunrise also. I stop to eat my Jelly Belly Sport Beans....mmmm yummy.

0730 – I drink the last of my Gatorade and trudge up the most daunting of the hills. I make it to the top, thanks to Celine Dion. Early morning calm is over, and traffic chokes the streets (and me). I notice that I get more beep-beeps from the motorbikes when I'm alone.

0750 – I spot a rather large monitor lizard in the creek/sludge. One more hill, then I'm finished! I take some time to stretch on the playground equipment and hobble back to my place to make breakfast - which I'm not particularly hungry for; but I gotta eat!

1000 – Church.

1200 – We get dropped off at the mall. Didn’t actually want to go here, but that’s as far as our ride went. We don't even go inside - instead we take the bus the rest of the way home.

1300 – I try to take a nap, but to no avail. I was engrossed by a National Geographic article about the origin of blue eyes in humans. A mutation of just one letter in the entire human genome, the blue eyed beauties apparently emerged just 6-10,000 years ago, in some Neolithic farmer somewhere around the Black Sea. In Typical Darwinian fashion, they say that blue eyes is associated with paler skin, which admits more sunlight needed to synthesize vitamin D - hence blue eyes help people survive. Or, our blue-eyed friends may have been more attractive to the opposite sex - thus propagating the trait faster than boring old brown eyes.

1500 – Sea kayaking. My first time taking out a kayak in Penang, we go along the Tanjung Bungah beach coast-line. The wild-life was plentiful: jelly-fish, swarms of squid, and the ubiquitous Tiger beer bottle.

2000 – ESL classes with the Nepalis. My beginner class (the middle of the 3 classes) has 4 faithful students. Thank God I’m not teaching; I think my brain would explode. In the state I'm in right now, my English is about the same level as theirs. “Mother, father, son, daughter, grandmother, grandfather, sister, brother, wife, husband”! Good job guys!

2200 – Late night snack with my fellow teacher volunteers in little India - fresh tosai and naan bread...it doesn't get any better than this!

2300 – Finally, the day is done! I stay up for an extra hour watching some ridiculous Kelsea Grammar sitcom on TV, and writing this.

2400 - I crawl wearily into bed. Peculiarly, I'm not as tired as I should be.

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