America, dessert, entrees, Malaysia, mysterious ingredients, Penang, travel

Double Negative

02.03.10 | 5 Comments

Life is hard when you’re on vacation in Malaysia.

First, you cannot find the motivation to put up another blog post. You also cannot live up to the one that preceded it.

z_trishaw line

There are a lot of other restrictions on what you can do in Penang.

z_courthouse storn

Even in the winter, it’s too hot to wear a lot of clothes. Therefore, you cannot help but get a tan.

In the eating capital of Malaysia, you must go to street-side food courts peppered with stalls selling all sorts of noodle soups and stir-fries. You cannot not try the famed Hokkien Mee, a noodle soup with shrimp and hard boiled egg that is surprisingly not a bit spicy and a tad sweet.

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You cannot not order a tamarind icee to go along with your meal.

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You cannot not delight in runny yolks…

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…as they run over your claypot chicken rice. Which you cannot eat all of by yourself–you are on vacation, the time for self-restraint.

z_claypot chicken rice

You cannot not eat the whole bowl of hot and sour Tom Yam noodles.

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You cannot order a plate of char kaey teow (fried noodles with shrimp)…

z_snake char kae teow

…and not also share another plate of fried chicken and fried tofu.

z_snake fried tofu

Although you can lament that at many times, it’s like you never left China at all, since these are dishes that are served widely in the Middle Kingdom.

You cannot eat a light meal—there are too many wonderful fried delicacies, especially at the night hawker central Gurney Street.


You cannot not go to the McTucky fried stall, filled with skewers of things once fried, which are re-fried when you choose them.

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You cannot resist things like fried shrimp poppers in sweet and spicy chili sauce that makes ketchup seem as bland as mayo.

z_gurney fried ball chili sauce

You cannot say no to the voice that says, “Do I really need the fried noodles?”

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You cannot leave some of the fried oysters and eggs because you are full. You also cannot be full.

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You cannot just try one of the sweets on the dessert cart.

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You cannot pass by the Nasi Lemak stands, or roadside curry dens where you get a plate of rice and scoop on as many Indian-style curries and vegetables as you can.


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