Sunday, March 19, 2006

Butterflies and bedbugs

After Penang the appeal of the cool Cameron Highlands was hard to resist so we went there next. We stayed in a lovely, relaxed place called Father's Guesthouse, surrounded by bizarre condos with faux-tudor or swiss chalet pretenses combined with Malaysian details like clotheslines strung between balconies and piles of rubbish in their parking lots.



We rented a scooter the next day and went exploring. First we rode up to the Boh tea plantation (they produce half the tea in Malaysisa) where we watched how the tea is produced in their factory. The narrow road winds up through thousands of acres of rolling hills all covered with tea. It was at this point that I wobbled off the road trying to negotiate a speed-bump, a corner and an oncoming minibus at the same time. Fortunately we were barely moving by that time, so it was mostly just my pride that was hurt, and after straightening a mirror and pulling some grass off the foot-rest, we were back on our way.



There was another tea plantation on the way back where we stopped for tea.



But then it started raining so we retreated to our guesthouse for a couple of hours before venturing out to the butterfly farm which also housed some other scarier creatures for us to imagine in the jungle around us.







There were also all kinds of beetles, including these fellows - the man-faced beetles (how weird is that? :)



The next day I noticed that the few bites I had seen earlier on my arms were part of a widespread affliction that included a cluster of 100 or so bites on my back. Bedbugs I think, but I'm not sure if they were really at this otherwise pristene guesthouse, or if I had picked them up in one of the seedier places in Penang.

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