Mini-Post: Not Gaga for Gaga

Fun story about our trip to Lombok, the island directly east of Bali, known for its surfer beaches and referred to as an “unspoiled Bali.” Most go to summit monstrous Mt. Rinjani, but we opted for an easier hike to a jungle waterfall.

Our guide, a 17-year-old boy from Senaru, did his best to communicate his interest in America by mentioning a few of his favorite artists. After taking a picture with us at one waterfall, he exclaimed, “Me with Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne!”

Continuing with the pop star theme, I asked him if he liked Lady Gaga. Rebecca and I were shocked when he replied, “No, she is too sexy,” and said he liked Selena Gomez. We decided teen-dom would be better off if more hyper-hormonal teens had this attitude.

We sang pop songs all the way back to Senaru, and now we’re Facebook friends. Thumbs up for friends in faraway places!

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The Penang World Music Festival

The Malaysian Tourism Board has declared 2014 as “Visit Malaysia Year.” They adopted a motto for the nation – “Truly Asia” (so take that, Thailand, China, Vietnam, and everyone else) – and started planning parties and festivals across the country for tourists to explore and enjoy. If we needed another reason to go to Penang besides the food, culture, history and atmosphere, the Tourism Board gave us one: the 2014 Penang World Music Festival. The experience, though strange and unexpected, did not disappoint.
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