Malaysia Posts

Ciao, Italia: What We Will Miss

Those of you who have followed this blog (You will be rewarded in heaven.) know of our insatiable passion for travel.  Since moving to Italy, we have been to such places as Dubrovnik, Amsterdam, Paris, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Barcelona, and many other intellect-stimulating, tummy-satisfying, eye candy places.  In yet another life-changing decision, Jessica and I have decided to spend less time in Italy and more of it in pursuit of quenching our thirst for worldwide experiences.  That pursuit will begin with a month in Thailand followed by some time in Malaysia and travel around southeast Asia.

Puglia is trulli beautiful

Puglia is trulli beautiful

While we will certainly be returning to our little olive farm in Puglia for the summer season, most of the year will find us moving around, taking in the sensations of the globe and sharing with you our experiences through the launch of a not-yet-but-soon-to-be-online blog called “World-Wide-Eyed.”  This blog will be a joint effort of Jessica and me, featuring her amazing photographs and my quirky, sometimes cynical, always twisted take on what I see.  We hope you’ll check it out.  Just don’t do it yet.

Farmer Scott

Farmer Scott

As we prepare to take our extended holiday and a pausa from Italy, I can’t help but think about the things we’ll miss.  First and foremost, we will have a hole in our heart for our friends and will miss their company, their support and their smiles.  We will surely yearn, from time to time, for authentic pizza, the robust wines of the Salento and having olives with every meal.  We will regret no longer having the roadway company of the jagoff drivers who tailgate close enough to lick our bumper and take their half of the road out of the middle.

Tasting the wines of Puglia

Tasting the wines of Puglia

And then there is the vaunted Italian bureaucracy with which we have spent so much of our time since moving to Italy.  Difficult though it will be to leave their dour faces, sour dispositions, lackadaisical attitudes, nicotine-dependent disappearances and minimal competence, we will just have to cope with the loss of their company for a while.

We are used to taking a short drive to one of the white-sand beaches of the Adriatic and getting lost in the white towns of the Valle d’Itria, treats that we will be giving up with our new approach to life.  In Kuala Lumpur, we will have to park our car in a designated space, no longer able to simply leave the car wherever it’s most convenient, as people do here in Puglia.  We will miss the multi-hour opportunities to get to know our neighbors while waiting to be abused at the post office and to be treated with the warmth with which one invites an itchy rash into his drawers by the post office staff once it was our turn to be “served.”

Cruisin' in Bangkok

Cruisin’ in Bangkok

And, though we will occasionally lament the loss of these things, we are looking forward to cilantro and sushi, to Thai massages and temples, to kimchi and curry.  And, we look forward to eventually sharing all of it with you, our readers, at www.worldwideeyed.com.  Soon, but not until I tell you.

The blessing of a Buddhist monk

The blessing of a Buddhist monk

Chillin' at the Grand Palace, Bangkok

Chillin’ at the Grand Palace, Bangkok

In the meantime, there are stories yet to be told about our incredible life in the heel of the boot like the one about when we went to pay our 2015 rubbish tax on December 1, only to be told that the amount we owed would not be calculated until sometime in 2016, so stay tuned.  I will also be using this blog to shamelessly and unabashedly promote my new book (as if I had an old book) that will be available before you go to the beach this coming summer.  It will make you laugh (at the stupid things I’ve done), cry (especially if you paid for the book), and slobber (because there’s a lot of stuff about food in it).

Sawadee

Sawadee

Ciao!

People of Penang

First, to all of you (well, both of you) who have been asking for a new post to Soul of the Heel, I apologize for the dereliction of duty.  My excuse is that I have been dedicating the bulk of my writing energies to the book version of our Italian experience.  (The book would have made a great holiday gift but for the fact that it won’t be finished in time.  Put it on your summer beach read list, though.)

Now, those of you who have been following along are very familiar with Jessica’s photos.  Since taking up photography in a serious way, her skills have begun to catch up with her innate talent and her perceptive eye.  Her photographs have been displayed at some places here in Puglia and have received rave reviews.

Next week, a new exhibition of Jessica’s photographs opens at Le Capase, a relatively new and smartly innovative restaurants in Cisternino.  The theme of the exhibit is People of Penang and features photos she took during our month-long visit to the Malaysian island earlier this year.  The subjects of the photographs are the Chinese, Indians and Malays who make up the population of the island.  They practice their respective religions–Buddhism, Hinduism and Muslim–with joy and reverence in a palpable sense of peace and harmony.  Jessica has beautifully captured these warm and welcoming people as they go about their daily routines in this series.

If you are around the Cisternino area between November 5 and December 7, stop by Le Capase.  Treat yourself to some of the amazing Pugliese “food with flair” that the restaurant is known for and be welcomed by the friendly and accommodating staff eager to help you select just the right meal for your mood.  And, before and/or after your dinner, or even between courses, stroll around the gorgeous stone interior of Le Capase and visit Jessica’s photographs of People of Penang.

People of Penang: An Exhibition of the Photographs of Jessica Coup

People of Penang: An Exhibition of the Photographs of Jessica Coup

But, if you can’t be in Cisternino to see the exhibition in person, you can always check it out at Jessica’s website: www.jessicacoup.com.