Day 39, Year 5: . . . and Lower
Date: Friday, December 4, 2009
Weather: Beautiful Day; ENE Winds 15 Knots
Location: Kuah, Langkawi, Malaysia

The waterline just gets lower and lower as we pack all of this food into Windbird. This morning we walked to town and then got a taxi from there to what is called the ‘wet market’ on the outskirts of town. This is a huge building where fresh seafood, chicken, and lamb are sold as well as fruits and vegetables of all kinds. This morning the fresh lamb was a little too fresh for me. The baby was still baa’ing. This is why we don’t eat lamb much to the chagrin of our Australian friends. But we just can’t do it. We stocked up on veggies for the trip north to Thailand and then walked down to the a little Indian store that has the cheapest olive oil in town. A 5 liter container cost only 68 Malaysian ringgits which is about $22 US. Everywhere else the cost is almost double that. We also bought feta cheese and brie there as it is half the cost of the same thing in other stores. We walked back toward town for about half a mile to get to Plaza Langkawi where we knew we could get a taxi for only 8 ringgits back to the jetty where we leave our dinghy. Mark dropped me off to start putting food away and he zipped away in the dinghy to the Langkawi Yacht Club to buy a 24 hour internet pass. He came back and worked for more than an hour, but finally got us connected to the internet using the new wifi booster. The signal is not great and we are off and on, but at least we were successful in using the new device. We then headed back to shore and walked to the shopping complex known as Billion. We walked in and were immediately stunned with the new Christmas decorations and Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra singing Christmas carols. Most of the people here are Muslim, some Chinese, but the glittering Christmas decorations and music were almost more than we could take. The Muslims certainly do not celebrate Christmas, but they know the hype makes people buy. So I guess anything goes if you can make a sale. I went to the second floor of the mall to check out the factory outlet there, and again I was a little stunned. You can buy Carter’s and Old Navy children’s clothing here for much less than in a US factory outlet. That’s probably because the clothing is manufactured here, but I had never noticed this before.

We did our grocery shopping at Billion and had way more than we could walk back to the jetty with, so we took another taxi. Once the 48 rolls of toilet paper, 24 rolls of paper towels, and a huge plastic bin filled with canned goods were loaded in the dinghy, Mark and I got in with our backpacks full of other goodies. We stopped by Safina to tell them that we are not going to make the air show tomorrow. It is expensive, and we decided that it is just not something that we need to be spending money on. We then went over to say hello to Ed and Lynne on Constance to ask them when we could get together to pick their brains on just how much food one needs to take when heading to the Chagos for a couple of months. They have sailed there for two different seasons and have loads of knowledge. They invited us to come back for Happy Hour after we put everything we had bought away. We spent a lovely couple of hours with them learning that we have really not bought as much as we will need. Yikes! I usually over provision, but this coming year is a whole new ballgame-months on end with no place to shop. So they are going to go into to town with us tomorrow morning and show us some of the places they have used for provisioning that we didn’t know about. In order to get some of the things we need, we might have to take a taxi back across the island close to the Rebak ferry terminal. Evidently there was good shopping on that side of the island that we never knew about. So with the extra shopping tomorrow, it looks like we might not make it out of here until Monday. We really can’t wait to get out and hopefully have some time to read about the places we will be sailing to this season. With our sudden change in direction, we really need to do a few days of intense research and we are hoping the trip north to Thailand will provide that time.

091204 Day 39 Malaysia–Shop 'Til You Drop