Month: May 2019

Avoiding mosquito bites

Avoiding mosquito bites should be part of your life in the tropics.

By the way, this is a refresh of an article I posted in 2012, with new content added.

Where we live in Penang we used to have mosquitoes year round. Neighbours in our street have been afflicted with dengue. However, they took no precautions at all. Malaysian rarely take any precautions to avoid bites. But every year mosquitoes have become less of a problem. I will expound on this later.

The danger of mosquitoes

The main danger with mosquitoes is that they are a vector (I’ve always wanted to use that word) for malaria and dengue fever. And other diseases, but these are the main ones in Malaysia.

If a mosquito of a certain type  bites someone who has either of these they will become a carrier.  Then if the mosquito bites someone else the person bitten may contract the disease.

Most carriers are apparently illegal immigrants. They bring it with them to Malaysia and naturally do no have their health checked. It’s actually quite unlikely you will stay or go to the same places as them. A possible exception is construction workers building a condo near where you are. Nevertheless, mosquitoes do not travel very far.

Currently, in 2019, we can go days or even weeks without seeing a mosquito outside our home. When we first moved to our house, almost nine years ago, they were constantly outside, and thus sometimes got inside as well, despite carefully following all the correct procedures. Thus mosquitoes bit us all too frequently.

Avoiding mosquito bites in general

Penang is cooling

Yes, Penang is cooling. I’ve lived in the same house for almost nine years now. And I have a thermometer. I have written on this before, of course. So anyway, I’ve taken to wearing a jacket or a long sleeved shirt over a t-shirt when inside. Now, this is not to say that it’s cold here. But because it is cooler, the air-cons don’t dehumidify the air any more. Therefore I must make the temperature setting lower for them to work, and thus it’s too cool inside. If you open the windows you get dust and bad air inside. Well, I live in an urban area.

Penang is cooling

Penang is cooling – so I have to wear more clothes to keep warm inside

Tropical Expat has moved to Tropical I have moved the blog and now pay for web hosting so I could have more control. At the same time I gave the blog a new look. And a few more features, like auto-translation.  The old blog remains. That is, this blog. And it contains the bulk of older blogs. This is because I could not successfully migrate all the blogs to the new site. Some blogs are just as relevant now as when I wrote them. On the new site I have updated some blogs, and am in the process of updating more.

Wesak Day parade 2019

The Wesak day parade 2019 took place yesterday evening.

“Wesak Day is held to commemorate the Thrice Blessed Day of Gautama Buddha’s birth, his supreme enlightenment and his attainment of mahaparinirvana. ” From an article in the Star on Friday.

It had been raining on and off all day. So late in the day I rang to check if it was still on. But no one answered. However, it was on. And the rain held off apart from sprinkling lightly a couple of times. There was a similar problem in 2016, but it went ahead then, too.

Wesak Day parade 2019 -

Arriving at Butterworth by train

Arriving at Butterworth by train you’ll end your journey at Penang Sentral. Penang Sentral is a hub from which you can catch the train, bus or ferry.

If you have been heading north on the train you can continue going north. If going south, you can continue south. Butterworth is on a branch line off the main line. It is also possible if you do not want to visit Penang to go directly to or from the Thai border from or to Kuala Lumpur.

From Penang Sentral there is a train service north to Padang Besar on the Thai border. You can cross the border to Thailand at the station. From there you can transfer to trains travelling north through Thailand. Or you can cross the border at the road crossing and catch buses to other parts of Thailand.

As for the train service south: it stops at cities such as Taiping and Ipoh on the way to Kuala Lumpur, and on towards Singapore.

Alternatively, arriving at Butterworth by bus, you can catch other buses to various parts of Malaysia from Penang Sentral. Finally, there is a ferry service four times an hour, across to Penang Island, a 15 minute journey.

If you are in no hurry, there are plenty of food outlets in Penang Sentral. And coffee shops etc.

So here are some photos and video of what it’s like to arrive in Penang Sentral. And thus moving on the catch the ferry to George Town.

Out of action

I was out of action due to a dental infection. Couldn’t concentrate enough to do anything but watch films. Reading was too taxing. Listening to podcasts was too taxing. Writing was certainly too taxing. So no blogging. My jaw had swollen so much that I couldn’t eat, and could, in fact, hardly even put in pills.

Out of action due to dental problems

It’s difficult to decide at what point self-care is no longer best and having to choose to go to a professional. When does some minor tooth pain become something that requires antibiotics? Mostly I can deal with minor tooth pain with clove oil. Available online in Malaysia.

out of action but clove oil helped