“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” ~ Thomas Merton
Journal, 16 December 2011. Pulau Penang, Malaysia.
MEET ME AT THE RED GARDEN.
Once at the base of Penang Hill, we get a taxi back to the hostel. Really cool taxi driver – another Indian chap who’s never actually been to India. He’s been to Europe though, spent several years overseas travelling and working and can comfortably converse in five different languages – English, Malaysian, Mandarin (Chinese), Tamil (Indian) and Japanese.
What on Earth is such a smart guy doing driving a taxi? Life is strange…
Hotel. Quick shower. There’s a CouchSurfer meeting taking place tonight so I’ve convinced the gang to join them for dinner and have their first introduction to the CS community.
The CSers arrived early. Lots of interesting characters. Kelley, the organizer, is already here.
A cute couple, Pierre the Frenchman and the Czech Zuzana, who are also travelling the World for a year. Instant “bromance” with Pierre, we excitedly begin discussing travel destinations and budget wizardry. What a pity him and Zuzana only stayed for half-an-hour, I felt a really good vibe from those two.
Catherine, a friend of Kelley, joins us after dinner for a few drinks. Chinese but born and bread in Penang, she seems very strong-willed and spirited, I like her immediately… She loves Christmas although she’s a buddhist, and hopes one day to celebrate Christmas in Paris, her family doesn’t celebrate the occasion… which kinda makes sense since they’re buddhists?
Buddhism. Christmas. Why are we talking about Christmas?
How many beers have I had already? Two? Really? Jesus, what a light-weight.
Sabin, a half-German-half-Brit girl who spent the last seven years in Barcelona. I think my whole idea of an evening networking backfired on me at this point: Sabin is going to Pulau Pangkor and I’ve somehow talked Agnes into making the most of the opportunity and tag along with Sabin for her last days in Malaysia. My mind keeps pulling tricks on me: now I’ve literally sent away a travel mate. Oh well…
On the other side – Kelley has invited me to stay at her place tomorrow and Sunday. And tomorrow she’s organizing a small dinner party at her place. Sweet!
I call my grandparents back in Portugal to give them a kiss, today is their 60th wedding aniversary although the official party is only this coming Sunday. They’re on the car going somewhere, Grandpa is driving so I just talk very briefly with Grandma… These two are so cool, over 80 years old either one of them and still madly inlove with each other.
Back to the hostel. Sandra and Laurens are at the lounge writing on their blog. Apparently on our way to the Red Garden they stumbled on some people they had travelled with recently in China and lost track of Agnes and I.
Damn. Very tipsy. Stomach not yet fully recovered, one Tiger beer too many…
• An evening among beautiful people.
• My grandparents, for constantly remininding that love can last a lifetime.
• As soon as the bedroom stops spinning, I’ll be grateful for that too.