We were invited to visit customers in Penang, Malaysia in April. As you'd expect,
the language barrier made for some interesting signs and a pretty fun trip.
Added Joe Yi's pictures at the bottom!


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From Portland, I flew to SF, and then over to Taipei on China Airlines. Thanks to Joe for telling
me after the fact that China Airlines has a REALLY bad safety record and some companies don't even
let their employees fly on it. More information on China Airlines safety record HERE
. Anyway, this sign was in the shuttle train in Taipei airport. I thought it funny since I'm not sure what
the handrail could possibly do to me.


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I'm not sure washing will remove the avian flu, but this guy seems pretty happy about it.


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Political escalation in Taiwan.


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If I wasn't convinced of it before, smuggling drugs in East Asia is a REALLY bad idea. Don't do it.


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I had no idea what Hawthorn berry juice was, so it was a good time to try it out. This is from
the China Airlines lounge in Taipei and it actually wasn't bad. Sort of like cranberries but not.


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Since the trip was so long, I was able to fly business class. This is the menu from Taipei to Penang.
I read this as the reason why more people aren't on diets.


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Most airlines have free slippers in business class. I would've brought these home, but Jeff Hemphill
gives me a rough time for my booties, so purple slippers might be a tough one to live down.


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Penang is an islang off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It's about 5 degrees north of the
equator so it was pretty warm (~ 35 deg C and 90 % humidity every day). This is the view from my
hotel room. More information on Penang can be found HERE . The bridge in the background is called Penang bridge and it
is officially 13.5 km, making it the seventh longest bridge in the world. I call bullshit on the
official figures since the bridge only seemed like ~ 7-8 km. I guess they count a lot of the highway approach
on either side. More on bridge lengths HERE


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Nice look at some of the hotel plant life. Our hotel had a cool garden with caves, ponds, and big fish.


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Check out the colour on this building. This is across from Soho in Georgetown on Penang Island.


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The bottom left corner of this sign is what caught my attention. I have no idea what a built-in eel
is, but I'm quite sure I don't want one.


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I tried to get a shot of the sky. Because of the humidity, most afternoons see thunder and lightning with
pretty serious rain.


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As we caught a cab back to the hotel, we encountered an ad-hoc "Chinese concert". This is what the cab driver
called this, but I would've called it a hoochy show. Note the almost exclusively male audience.


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I just about fell over when I saw this sign. Not only are these sunglasses called eye condoms but
it also says, "No hanky panky" and "No bullshit"! Too funny.

There was an outstanding array of counterfeit watches, fake perfume, ripped off DVDs and CDs, as well
as a few weird things like this: VIDEO CLIP . This is from the Batu Ferringhi
night market on the north side of the island and it was a total blast.


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After we finished our work stuff, we took some time to tour around Penang. This is the snake
temple in the south part of the island. Yes, mom, there were snakes here.


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Cool shot of the corners of the Snake Temple building.


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Joe loves big bugs! When I was waiting in Tokyo Narita on the way home, I was writing in my log book
and actually found a small one of these bugs crushed in my log book. I think I've now infected Japan
as I threw out the bug there.


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Yes, there were actually snakes in the temple.


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I didn't see any mediums (media?), but if I had, I would have snapped a shot of that too.


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These are green Temple Pit Vipers and are poisonous. So, of course, what would you do with poisonous snakes?
How about placing them on hat racks and putting them in the middle of a temple with no guard rail or
anything? Yeah, that seems like a good idea to me too.


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Information on the Pit Vipers.


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Imagine being the first executive at Osram to have to tell the boss that he wanted the company
to invest in building a factory in Malaysia across from an ancient snake temple. Yeah, that
would have been my thought too.


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We spent a lot of our Friday afternoon at Kek Lok Si Temple in the center of the island. Anything with
an entrance like this is pretty awesome.


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This isn't even the main temple. Pretty impressive though.


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Part of the temple complex. We had to take off our shoes to go into the temple.


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The view from Kek Lok Si gets the Paul Perrault stamp of approval.


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Pretty tough to tell that this is a Buddhist temple, what with the multiple thousand little Buddhas
all over the temple. The main item of reverence here is actually up on the hill and is a 120 foot
copper statue of Guan Yin Bodhisattva.


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View of a Buddha.


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The roof in here was really impressive and detailed. Click on the full size shot to look at this
better.


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If you think you recognize this Buddhist symbol, you'd be right. You could say that Hitler's Nazis
were 180 degrees different from Buddhism... More on this shortly.


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Cool view of some of the inner temple areas.


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I think you'd call this a pagoda, but I'm not sure.


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View of the gorgeous clay roofs with Georgetown visible below.


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There were these statues all around this courtyard. Note their logo.


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Explanation of the word. It means auspiciousness, purity, and perfect accomplishment.


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One of the fattest (and happiest) Buddhas I've ever seen.


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I'm not sure what this guy's story is, but he seemed REALLY angry!


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Here is the 120 foot copper Bodhisattva that has a group of stone columns being built all around it
to eventually support a canopy and building here.


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My number 1 favourite statue in Penang.


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My number 2 favourite statue in Penang.


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View of Bodhisattva from the front.


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You can see the massive stone rings hanging out waiting to be assembled. Even in Malaysia, the
stone had tags that said "Made in China". I like the big woman on the top of the cable car
building.


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A better view of guy number 2.


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Rain spouts and clay tiles.


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Guy number 1 with Georgetown visible behind him. I always like pictures with ancient and new
intermingled together


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Me and my buddy Bodhi.


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This is a fruit called durian. It smells REALLY strong, but doesn't taste that bad. We had our
personal tour guide (actually we got a dedicated driver for 3 hours for ~ $30) stop and show us
durian. This is what Wiki says about it WIKI .
Wiki puts it lightly when it says, "unique odour".


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Joe, at a durian stand.


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Here is our driver at the durian stand. While the taste was actually not bad, I couldn't get the smell
out of my system for awhile. I burped about 6 hours later and still tasted the durian.


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Don't be a victim of snatch.


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Apparently, "Too inch" is quite the thing in Malaysian music right now. Looking at him, you'd think
two inch indeed.


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This was a store at a large mall in downtown Georgetown. I thought it was more than a little odd.


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Joe and I grabbed a form of a rickshaw to go for a drink. If I hadn't mentioned it already, Malaysian
drivers drive on the left, so we're on the wrong side of the road here, but I suppose that's what you're
supposed to do here.


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One of the streets we went down in the rickshaw.


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Joe and I having a blast in the rickshaw.


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This is what's called an Asian squat toilet. Apparently, you squat the opposite direction that
you'd normally think and then, let 'er rip. This was at a seemingly nice bar in Georgetown.
I'd hate to see what the seedy ones are.

Joe Yi sent me some of the pictures he took in Malaysia and Japan


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This is a guy selling bananas on the side of the road in Penang.


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Joe, out for a walk in Penang.


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I thought Penang was pretty cool, although I wouldn't want to live here.


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This picture isn't touched up at all. This was the colour of this building.


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I also didn't think giant insects were very cool.


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This was at the Snake Temple. I felt like Indiana Jones.


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Inside Kek Lok Si Temple. That's an awful lot of Buddhas.


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Joe caught a good shot of "The Word".


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It's strange to me that someone would carve statues that are standing on creatures.


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Same thing. Just strange.


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THIS is durian. Looks appetizing, doesn't it? Now, imagine that it smells like your bathroom after
someone dropped a major deuce. Still want some?


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Yeah, check these things out. Just ridiculous.


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I know the World Health Organization is promoting the use of condoms, but really?


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I've never felt like my life was totally in someone else's hands as I did when Joe and I rode around
with this guy. Hooray for rickshaws!

In Japan with Joe Yi


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Playing Pachinko in Tokyo. I think I won, but I don't know.


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Testing out a Nissan Skyline.


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Paul Perrault, eternal tourist.


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Wondering where to put my feet in a BMW M5 at the Sony store.

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