Tag Archives: malaysia

Penang Funicular

In 1994 I was stranded in Penang, Malaysia. The magazine for which I had been writing a series of stories about SE Asia had folded without buying my return ticket to the States. I had enough money to stay at the Swiss Hotel $3/night, eat at the Chinese and Indian restaurants on Chulia Street, and […]

Penang Gone

Sumatra was a lost world in 1990. Tigers prowled the western jungles of Indonesia largest island. Volcanoes glowed in the night. I drank Bintang beer with the ancestors of headhunters. Inside their long houses skull adorned the main beam. Cutting off heads for the Bataks was an ancient tradition, forbidden by the central government in […]

Drunk in Moscow, Not Idaho

In 1994 I traveled from Malaysia to Paris on Aeroflot. The Kuala Lumpur-Karachi-Dubai-Moscow-Paris flight time to Moscow totaled about 24 hours. None of them were comfortable in the flimsy chairs of the Soviet era jetliner. Disembarking at Moscow, I discovered that my connecting flight to Charles De Gaulle was delayed until the next morning. A […]

Malay Ban on Smiling Pigs

This weekend The New York Times published a small fluff story about how Switzerland has banned ownership of one guinea pig since they suffer from loneliness. This law is very protective of porkers, however not everyone loves pigs. Seal Beach in Orange Country has banned household pigs, which was directed at the one pet-owner in […]

THE BLESSING OF THE LIZARD KING by Peter Nolan Smith

Monitor lizards are native to SE Asia. These carnivorous predators are related to the famous Komodo Dragon and varanid lizards are cooperative hunters like raptors in JURASSIC PARK. According to the Bangkok Post monitor lizards cluster in the city’s secluded water pipes and up to two hundred of the two-meter long beasts reside in each […]