Malaysia – Penang

Going on vacation in a place where the State’s religion is Islam has always blocked me for various reasons. First, the security and fear of a terrorist attack, the freedom to drink a mojito on the beach when you want (a vacation isn’t vacation without alcohol!), the freedom to wear a bikini without feeling uncomfortable and finally, my ignorance on the subject. I admit I did not know the difference between a Hijab and a Chador, what they meant and in which states they are used. If Malaysia is an Islamic State with all the pros and cons of the aforementioned, Penang Island is the exception. Here, despite a clear majority of the population being Muslim (45%), there are also

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Hong Kong: Food, A Beautiful Story

One of the pleasures of expat life is having international friends. Finding common ground with people physically, culturally and ethnically different from us. Which then are not just small things in common but tons. A bond is created and the friendship magic begins. People are chosen for affinity and not by culture or race. Language makes the difference. If you come to speak the same language, whatever it is, then you can establish a contact, you can really get to know the person and become acquainted with a person’s depth, not just what we seem to be. Communication is all. To learn something about other cultures there are various methods: go to the museum and it gets on your nerves.

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More Bananas For Everyone

I like fruit very much, but I never eat it. It is uncomfortable to peel and carry around: it warms, crushes, dribbles and stains. To eat an orange you have to have a knife, remove the skin, open it with your fingers with the result that your hands will smell like oranges for two days, slip on the floor or on the desk if you are in the office. If you do not have a knife even underneath the nails become orange and you can say goodbye to your polish. In China you have to peel the apples if you do not want get liver cancer. If you are not in China and trust the local farmers, you can bite

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Beauty And The Beast

It was 1987, I was 13 and I was completely kidnapped by the TV series Beauty and the Beast, a modern version of the fairy tale set in New York. Catherine and Vincent. Vincent and Catherine. Vincent, who appeared at night on Catherine’s terrace. Vincent always came when he was needed. Vincent with the deep voice reading the books. Vincent with his huge hands caressing her hair. Vincent with his animal-like roar. Vincent, with agility and aggressiveness, a sweet and dark look, powerful body and fragile soul. It was 1991, I was 18 and had a terrible crush on my physiotherapist. He was 23 and was about to leave for Germany or Switzerland (I do not remember exactly). He was

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