Friday, January 11, 2013

A Penangite's Thoughts About Frozen Food and Crime

While walking around George Town in Penang, Malaysia, I paused for a moment to consider where I should head after discovering the hawker stall where I had planned to pick up lunch would not be open until later. As I looked around, a man working at a nearby hotel came out offering his assistance. I appreciated his helpfulness, and I now see that some guests of the Red Rock Hotel have singled him out online for his excellent service.

After I asked to take his photo,
he deliberately positioned himself in front of the hotel sign.

During the resulting conversation, he asked where I was from. I told him I'm from the U.S. and asked him the same question. He proudly said, "Malaysia!"

When I later praised Penang's food, he commented it was a shame so much of it is now frozen at some point. In that way he said, "We're becoming more like America." He then added that the similarities between Malaysia and the U.S. did not end with frozen food or the design of their national flags.

For example, "America has too many weapons, and more and more people in Malaysia now have weapons too." When I asked if many people walking nearby were likely carrying weapons, he looked off into the distance and replied, "No, but more people who commit crimes like robbery have weapons."

He then had to return to assisting the hotel's guests. As we bid farewell he asked me to give his blessings to Barack Obama. He's definitely a fan.

I'm familiar with neither crime nor frozen food in Malaysia, so I will refrain from commenting on the man's statements. But I can say that after I walked away I soon discovered he had pointed me in the right direction.

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