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A days walk up the street

Article Submitted By: BashkaJacobs
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 Time: 2:34 PM

A days walk up the street in Penang

In this part of Malaysia

on the verdant island

of Penang

Live hundreds of Tamil


With their cultures

Lilting cadences

Their saris and brilliant


Hindu and Catholic shrines


Here you can eat on banana leaves

With your hands

Or at elegant north Indian

Kashmir restaurants

but the streets are

peppered with kiosks

or tiled floored

little restaurants

 and my

favorite is at

a corner


Open Cafe'

where i order

my morning lassie

Delicately flavored

with rose water

and I sit and talk with

a Catholic Tamil owner

and watch as his squeaky clean

Image remains unruffled as the

Riff raff fills his store

He smiles and beams

I sit and talk with him and

he offers me a rich


spiced tea

He calls a woman out from

Behind the curtain

where she has

been watching

and introduces me

to his beautiful

young wife

whose arms are

 covered with bracelets

and an amazing

 amount of hair

She smiles she

only knows a few words

In English but manages

 to say

I cook for you

The merchant laughs and says

Yes another day

Then whispers that she is

a wonderful cook

and arrange a time when I

Will eat with them


I leave the shop and walk along

The cement streets colored with

Chalk good luck mandalas

that Hindus have done

in an early morning

Propitiating the gods

The music saturating

the street is

From harmoniums\and sitars

and as i

I pass near a Chinese

temple where

Girls in short skirts

Eye the handsome

huge eyes

of the

Black skinned

Tamil boys

I smell the fragrance

 of India mixed

with the heady

aromas south Asia

I watch as a frail

Indian beggar child

cleans out

The votive sands at

The Chinese





are set off


the Indian

child is thrilled

and admires him

I watch him as

glee covers

his face as

they explode into

The air

Oh the joy in the

child's eye fills me

up to as i slip

some coins into

his shirt and he looks up


radiantly smiles


and i smile back


Satisfied I walk

towards Chula Street

Then on to the market

to buy food


to watch

the never ending

circus of

Foreigners getting

drunk or stoned

at the local

reggae club

I watch while the

Indian guys hit on the

Swedish girls

Hoping for some

lessons in sexual aerobics

or maybe just a chance

to stroke

all  that golden hair

The Swedish girls sit

smiling in tight

tank tops considering

the possibility

I watch the Chinese boys grow

Red in the face

as they drink more beer

Than they can manage

This at the same time

the call to

Prayer resounds

from the mosque

And Faisel  and Chmed

Answer the calls to prayer

From the minaret

right next to the bar

And I am filled with joy

Yet again at all the


And I celebrate

My self a Brooklyn

 Jewess poet

Enjoying the nuances of

The salty hot

delicious flavors

of this days

simple journey

up the street

About the Author

Penang has always been where

the cultures almost collide but slip

seamlessly aside each other

like giant tactonic plates. The crow

went often sat in kitchens

cemetaries, gardens until she

was perfumed with the aromas

and stuffed with

recipes  and then

returned to work in Bangkok.

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Submitted: Thu, 6 Oct 2011 Time: 2:34 PM