#5 – Reggae Bar – Penang, Malaysia


At Batu Ferringhi Beach, Penang with Michael (Florida), Tom (Florida), Paulina (Poland), and Xiaoyou (Beijing) holding the camera.



The above picture of the bar would be the beginning of an interesting night.  I will try my best to recall what I can but from my hazy memory, it was quite a mess.  Good times though.

While staying at a hostel, anyone and everyone finds themselves crossing paths with travellers of all races, ages, and goals.  Whether or not you partake in the social aspect of the “hostel”, whatever you do is entirely on you.  I am often a solo traveller so when I do find myself wanting company or wanting complete solidarity, it is up to me to do that.  Being the only person to make decisions makes it quick and easy to make any choices that approach.  For example with food, I can eat what I want, when I want, as much as I want for as long as I want.  The “as long as I want” part is to my advantage due to my superior skill in the slow eating department.  HAh.  With the social side of travelling, I have no wingman/woman to start any conversations, nor do I have any notion of topics to talk about.  I always just say ‘hi’ and go from there.  The results from travelling and actively being comfortable to socialize have always been so rewarding and almost always been surprising.  I will use this blog (at times) to highlight some of the people that I have met and had the pleasure to chat, chill, and share moments with.

On this night in Penang, I overheard one guy in the common area of the hostel talking about snow.  Best topic ever as the heat in Malaysia often hits 40+C with humidity daily and at this moment, no rain in sight.  I starting talking to Lucas, found out he was from Calgary.  He had made friends with Charlotte and Elida from Norway.  I thought I had a picture with this group, but I guess I didn’t.  Anyways, after getting to briefly know each other the 4 of us did the usual eat, chill, drink at a hawker centre.  We decided to go to a nearby hostel called the Reggae Hostel which had a popular outdoor patio to continue the night.  There, they knew a couple more people and we all sat down in a mid sized group and just talked about random travelling stories and what is the reason that brought you there.  It was fun.

I found out that in Norway, there is a month in which seniors in high school party for a month straight, before graduating.  Out of tradition, (not sure what it’s called) must pick out a set of clothes to wear for an entire month without changing.  From what I am aware, is that you can shower, but you absolutely cannot wash your clothes.  It usually costs them about 2-4 K Canadian to party the entire month which includes a bus that drives them around the country/city going to bars everyday.  They literally drink and party everyday.  The thing about the clothes is that after a while, the puke stains, sweat and just randomness starts to smell real bad.  Charlotte told me that some of the guys prank other people to make them stink so much worse (ie: piss on another person).  The kicker of the whole story was that, this month took place DURING school and DURING the exam period.  So while in class, the entire senior grade smells like crap.  That whole story was pretty damn cool.

So the night continued on with several stories like that when the girls decided to go the indoor bar while me and a few other guys just chilled outside.  About an hour passed and the girls still didn’t come out.  I think at this time one of the guys took a look and they were just inside talking to other people.  All good.  While out on the patio, an extremely high and messed up blond girl came up to our table and started talking to us.  Well, it was a first for me seeing someone SO messed up, yet still able to walk and talk.  I can’t recall a fraction of the things she said merely because the none of the things she said made sense.  For 10 minutes she would go on about how worried she was about getting arrested but she couldn’t because she had a dentist appointment the next day.  She had a heavy heavy European accent and continually changed the topic.  She would be in the middle of saying something then would be silent, stare into the air and talk about the spirits then run to the other side of the table and crouch down to hide.  She also stole smokes from my friend and started to drink other peoples’ drinks.  She continued to wander to everyone’s table and talk to everyone for the next 2 hours.  We found out her name was Anna-Maria from Russia.  The funniest thing all night was when someone tried to get her to say “I am going to kill you Mr. Bond”.  I laughed when she did say it. HAHa.  The only worrisome thing about her was that she was so wasted AND alone that nobody knew where she was staying nor did she have any sense on telling out.  The hostel staff was worried as well.  In the end, I never found out what happened to Anna-Maria.  I hope she’s ok from that night, lol.

I have no idea why we stayed so long at that bar but it was getting late.  Me and Lucas wanted to get the other girls and leave so we went inside to fetch them.  The girls looked like they were held onto by these 2 big guys.  1 was English, the other was Swedish.  They were obviously trying to pick them up.  The problem was they were probably in their mid 30s while the girls were just 19.  Gross.  They were all pretty drunk.  The 2 guys started doing inappropriate things and being more aggressive in getting them to “stay” with them when we were all trying to leave.  The English guy started bashing Canadians which me and Lucas didn’t appreciate but we both weren’t getting into any fights or arguments as we just wanted to leave.  The Swedish guy held one of the girls and wouldn’t let go and when she turn away, he would be smelling her hair.  Gross.  He actually grabbed her ponytail and put it up to his nose for a visual picture.  Gross.  The Swedish guy was also saying to his English friend “I win this round”, of which I’m not sure what, but have a gooooood clue.  After about 30 minutes of rejecting those guys and saying that the girls have boyfriends, we finally left.  Only to find that the 2 guys followed us, ALL the way back to our hostel.  Luckily with hostels, the main doors usually close at about midnight and needs a keycard or have a security guard to let you in.  The 2 guys only left (back to Reggae Hostel where they were staying) only when we went inside our hostel.  As they were following us, they obviously threw a lot of profanity especially towards the girls and just generally being disrespectful.  What a night.

Although I met several other people,  this night was pretty memorable and thought it was interesting to bring up.  I tried to piece it together as best I can in a short story and hope it wasn’t too boring, but sorry for the run-ons and the grammar and lack of proofing.  This night brings up some things to keep in mind when travelling about the people you meet and people to be wary of sometimes, especially if you are a girl and plan to party.  LOL.

Anyways, next up, KL.

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Posted in Travel
9 comments on “#5 – Reggae Bar – Penang, Malaysia
  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

    • kel says:

      Thanks for the feedback! I will definitely try to have more pictures in future posts. It seems that you often forget to take pictures when you are caught up in the moment sometimes.

  2. twu says:

    see? its hard to be a girl! always gotta be careful and not be alone…men are sleazy :p

    that story about the dirty clothes and school is SO GROSS. i would not want to teach them.. haha i’d go on strike. “i refuse to teach you guys until you wash your clothes”

  3. Jeff Wong says:

    gg, don’t fight and get deported lol. that would be

  4. toemailer says:

    We would love to post the top picture at toemail if you do not mind? http://toemail.wordpress.com

  5. […] train station of Hualamphong.  I’ve been here many times this year (to Pai, Chiang Rai, Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore were all started from here), and all too […]

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