On the weekend before Pam left for Canada we stole a couple of days away, rented a car and drove across the Malaysian peninsular to Cherating, a coastal resort on the south China Sea. It is the kind of resort that we have come to call deshi; that is to say, local and a little bit down at the heels (from Bangladeshi).

We don’t mind deshi resorts, and aren’t expecting Western comforts when we stay at such places. At at good one – and this one was reasonably good – you get a clean room with Malaysian only TV, all the noodles and rice you can eat for breakfast, and a decent beach with no chairs.

That doesn’t bother me as I just drag chairs from the poolside down to the beach. The locals freak, but there is nothing that they can do because a) Malaysians just accept whatever you do as the status quo the moment it happens, and even more importantly, b) I’m white. (You can complain all you like about the white man’s burden and the white man’s tax on the cost of goods and services, but I can walk into any hotel lobby just to use the washroom, and no one will ever confront me. At my age, that is a real bonus!)

The beach at Cherating was just flat out gorgeous. It was not Langkawi convenient; that is to say we were not offered all the amenities the moment we parked ourselves in the sand, but the water was clear and the beach was clean and the air was as fresh as a spring morning. We read and swam and chatted the day away, and in the morning did the same again. This is our kind of holiday!

I don’t know if we are mellowing as we age, but we got good and lost several times on the way home and never once argued about the route or how we had both messed up; we just kind of rolled with it, accepting that a lack of signage in this country was a small price to pay for a few more hours together on the metaphorical road we are travelling together. To our credit we didn’t make a single mistake coming into KL, a veritable Gordian’s knot of ramps.

Pam is back in Canada now, reading this web log, and hoping I get it right, so let me say that I am glad we just took a chance on this trip and got some time together. It turned out to be a nice little break, and a decent memory to add to the huge store we have accumulated during our time here. Sorry we didn’t get to see the bioluminescence, but that just means we will have to go again.

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