On my first Saturday in Malaysia, in a hotel room about the streets of Kota Baru, I was struck down by a miserable cold.
On my first Sunday in Malaysia, I was feverish and coughing. By nightfall, I had lost my voice. Most of the day was an indistinct blur.
But a pleasant and interesting blur at that. From noon until midnight, I traveled by car from Kota Bharu, Kelantan, back to the big city of Kuala Lumpur. I'm sure I saw many novel sights from my seat, though I can't for the life of me remember what they might have been.
Still, there were two images - both related to the day's meals - that sent me scrambling through my bag to dig out my phone for a photograph and they serve as beacons of light in my virus-induced fog.
^ Before setting out on our travels, we ate breakfast in Kota Bharu. Spicy and rice-y, my meal was delicious but what really captured my attention was the fruit hanging from this nearby tree.
No, it is not durian. Given the soft bumps, large oblong shape, and proximity to the trunk of the tree, this is definitely jackfruit, an urelated but equally funky-looking local delicacy. Heaven help the poor soul who is standing underneath one of these babies when they decide to fall.
^ As evening fell, we drew near to KL and the massive traffic jams that surrounded our destination. Time to stop for dinner. As I stumbled from the car, my eyes fell along this sight line of color and shape. I couldn't help but be charmed by this modest decor, and the resourceful designer who made it happen.