Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Last day in Penang.

I start my 48 hour trek home tomorrow morning. Air travel is crazy. My taxi (or Teksi, as it is spelled here) comes at 5:30 tomorrow morning, then I catch a 7:40 flight to Hong Kong where I will spend the majority of Thursday. My flight leaves Hong Kong at 24:30, which gives me 12 full hours in the Hong Kong airport. I am flying business again, so I intend to sprawl in the business lounge eating noodles and drinking free alcohol. I will also probably sleep a lot in anticipation of losing a day somewhere in here. I get two 5ths of August and two 6th, apparently. Then we fly to Vancouver, where I don't think I get off the plane, and then on to JFK. Then I have five hours to get to LaGuardia, and from there it is four hours to home.

I cannot wait.

Today, we did not get dosai for breakfast. This is a big deal since we have gotten dosai for breakfast the last three days. I suppose, technically, I had roti bom for breakfast yesterday, but we did walk across the street to S.A.B. and my dad got dosai so it counts. Dosai is maybe my current favorite thing. I am going to miss it.

An explanation!
Here, at least, there are essentially two different options for Indian breakfasts. Roti and dosai. Roti is a wheat flat cake and dosai is a flat cake made of rice and/or fermented lentils. Think of it as sourdough. If you've ever had Ethiopian sourdough then you are thinking of the right sort of thing. It's crispy though, not spongy. Both are cooked on a large, flat grill-like surface. You can, of course, get them lots of different ways. Roti canai (pronounced CHa-nai, in Malaysia C = CH) is the basic flat cake. We usually get roti celur (which may or may not be spelled like that) which is roti with egg. They're sort of scrambled together usually and it is amazing. At S.A.B. the egg seems to be poached in the middle of the roti, which is strange. I only recently discovered roti bom, which saddens me. Somehow, they make the roti and then, as it cooks on the grill they fill it with sweetened condensed milk so that it sort of puffs up. The insides are sticky and gooey and the outsides are fried crispy and the whole thing makes me want to die. It is incredible.
Dosai is larger, usually just fried on one side and then looped over in a delicious cylindrical shape. I enjoy dosai made with ghee, which is clarified butter and tastes amazing. Both dosai and roti are served with dahl which, depending on the place, can be the best part.

Ah, breakfast.

Today is rained outrageously. I went to the pool and swam my half mile before the heavens opened up and the earth was soaked. I was supposed to go get some major henna done this evening, in expectation of my departure (and to come home looking like an Indian bride, apparently. They were quite taken with that idea), but they've had to cancel so I will have to do without. Goodbye Indian friends! All in all, this last day isn't looking like I thought it would However, all said and done and told, a good last day.


Donnell said...

We've missed you.

Davie said...

Buen viaje! I've enjoyed reading about your Malaysian summer so muchly.