PENANG, MALAYSIA — Our train pulled into Butterworth at dusk, two hours behind schedule. We walked with the other passengers (half without masks, at least one or two coughing lustily) to the ferry launch across the water from George Town. Although there couldn’t have been more than twenty people waiting to board, there was somehow a crush at the gate. Once on deck, however, social distance was restored. The strait was calm and sunset pink. On our port side was Jerejak Island, where they tore down the old leprosarium to build a beachside resort.
C and I had spent February in Malaysia’s rainforests, visiting outposts of hunter-gatherers and autonomous Temiar villages.… Seguir leyendo »