#KualaLumpur #Penang #Malaysia: It was Chinatown, Jake…

Chinatown, Georgetown, Peneng, Malaysia

Chinatown, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Malaysia is generic Asia, composite Asia, Malaysia Inc more a country than a nation, a piece of land—God’s palette—and composed mostly of ethnic Malays, Chinese, and Indians, united more by rice and noodles, aunts and uncles, than English laws or legalisms, but they don’t call it ‘diaspora’ unless it’s bad news—Africans or Jews; that doesn’t include Europeans with money, Thai females with domestic skills, Indian merchants with cloth or Chinese mom and pop with family back home Hokkien or Fukien their way up the food chain to a better life, the more money the more kids the better…

Chinatown, KL, Malaysia

Chinatown, KL, Malaysia

China towns of the world should unite—San Fran, New York, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Paris and London calling—then form their own government, forget about any ties to a motherland which only wants them for their connections to world domination, instead form connections with each other, could even speak English or Spanish if they need a common language, write it in Chinese characters for flavor…

It’s always been this way, Chinese managing Asian economies simply by managing their money, saving it up and dribbling it out; they invented it after all, simultaneous with playing cards, go figure, none dare call it capitalism, invented by Chinese as print-on-demand paper money and improved by Indians as interest on principal, before being perfected by Europeans as a weapon of war, but don’t worry the meek will inherit the earth, yeah right…

Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Even in China they have China towns, mock-jobs with upturned roof-lines and upturned smiles, Suzie Wong dressed in cheongsam and silk, winking from billboards and tourist brochures, nodding and winking while getting her fingers in your wallet, but on Petaling Street in Kuala Lmpur she’s real, working the street’s one massage parlor, a different sort of reflexology, doing everything but Ayurvedic, guess that’s too kinky with all those pressure points and energy fields, at 9 a.m. in the morning there’s only one kind of stress that needs relief, the stress of un-chopped wood……

No, Suzie Wong goes for the jugular, pressing just close enough to feel the heat, then grabbing and pulling, clicking and dragging, cutting and pasting, quoting half-hour rates right off the massage price-list, but that doesn’t include extras, catching you with your pants down no doubt always an advantageous bargaining position, haven’t seen girls this hungry since Thailand in the early days, I barely escaping unscathed…

Campbell Street, Chinatown, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Campbell Street, Chinatown, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Georgetown, Penang is a UNESCO World Heritage site now so there goes the neighborhood, now safe for democracy and capitalism, open the flood gates for money and other unsavory influences, Chinese taking over Chinatown with their edifice complex, massive Chinese erections for fun and profit, demolition developers racing against remodeling gentrifiers to see who gets there first, fix it up or tear it down, nothing stands still without decaying, there’s a word for that decay been there done that it’s called ‘communism’ and it sucks even worse than capitalism, like death gift-wrapped and sold as life to unsuspecting newborns, Hollywood day for night…

Buddhist Shrine in Penang, Malaysia

Buddhist Shrine in Penang, Malaysia

There is no empty space in Chinatown, Jake, every square inch comes with a price tag and a rental agreement, new Mandarins are the old Mandarins, so old malls become flea markets, and new malls encroach on old historic districts, Chinese herbal medicine shops become foot massage parlors, warehouses become boutiques and soup kitchens get turned into over-priced coffee clubs, certain symmetry there and everyone is happy, right? Well, not everybody…

What they do to sidewalks in this part of the world is a crime against humanity, and language, too, the sidewalk no such thing, walking impossible with the previous paradigm shift from feet to wheels, space once trod by the well-heeled now driven given over to dining space, parking space, work space, anything but walking, nobody walks now but the poor downtrodden and tourists, now forced into the streets to fend with the fenders, bump against the bumpers of vehicles going too fast, but if you make the sidewalks an inch wider, then there will be a motorbike lane there, too, no joke…

Sidewalk in Penang, malaysia

Sidewalk in Penang, malaysia

 

But the Chinese are maybe doing it without crossing t’s and dotting i’s with Islam, prostitution round-ups on night-spots frequent, one well-placed bomb could shut this country down for tourism, one special signal from Mullah Abdullah, seems doubtful but you never know, most Muslim societies being weird about alcohol or sex, here allowing it as long as you feel guilty about it and pay dearly, as long as the girls are Chinese and the beer is cold…

No, Malaysia’s not weird about alcohol or sex, Malaysia’s weird about food, curry stalls operating on a DIY system in which they give you a serving of rice, and you do the rest, everything except adding up the bill, of course, everyone on the honor system, I guess, assuming you’ll serve a reasonable portion and they’ll charge you a reasonable rate, such things known to old-timers, naturally, but intimidating to newbies off the street and just off the bus, took me a while to get up my nerve to dive in, Suzie Wong notwithstanding, seems ample opportunity for abuse, but no, not really, that’s not the problem, that’s the solution…

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