Rest stop sebelah bukit gantang

20130410-105104.jpg

We’re headed back to Kuala Lumpur to visit the American Embassy again. Now that we have the baby’s Malaysian birth certificate and passport photos. We can make our appointment and apply for a US Passport and a Consular Report of Birth Abroad. We find that we would rather drive the Malaysian highway system than use the air transport that is available to us in Penang.  We break up the long car trip with a stop at a rest stop along the way.  We’ve decided that this particular Rest Stop at Bukit Gantang is probably our favorite.

20130410-105119.jpg

As you pull into the parking lot you are greeted by several of these fruit stands. Fresh tropical fruit is available at reasonable prices. For sure, you can get a better price at your wet market, but you aren’t at your wet market. You’re on a road trip.

This particular trip, buah jambu air, these pink nose shaped fruit are plentiful.  A quick google search revealed that these things are called ‘wax apples’ in English, but I’ve never heard of them before a trip to Taiwan. I seem to be the only one in our family that likes these.  But then again, my oldest daughter did steal some from me.  So maybe I’m not completely alone.

The sellers are very friendly and ready to weigh and bag your purchases.  I really enjoy practicing my Bahasa Melayu with them.

Fresh fruit cut and chilled in the cooler

Fresh fruit cut and chilled in the cooler

Besides the fresh mangos, buah jambu air, these stalls sell fresh cut fruit. They’re kept in little plastic bags with their own serving stick. Each bag costs about a ringgit or two, depending on the fruit. My kids can down two bags of these things before we need to get back on the road. Not a bad lunch.

As a family we got two watermelon, three mangoes, one buah jambu air and a pineapple.  In the past we’ve also had the honeydew, papaya and star fruit.  All of it good.

One more tip, in little squirt bottles next to the chillers is something called bumbu asam manis, or sweet and sour spice.  In the US, we’ve found it called plum powder.  You sprinkle it into the bags and it draws out the flavor.  Awesome stuff.

Boiled peanuts or garbanzo beans are an awesome high protein snack for the car

Boiled peanuts or garbanzo beans are an awesome high protein snack for the car

Before we leave the rest stop, we also pick up a couple bags of boiled peanuts and bags of boiled garbanzo beans. These are great car snacks. A quarter kilo bag of garbanzo beans costs RM 2.  Peanuts are RM 3.

Food stalls in the middle between the toilets and the surau, prayer room

Food stalls in the middle between the toilets and the surau, prayer room

Of course, we can’t leave before we made sure everyone’s gone to the toilet. I might get myself a cup of coffee to keep me awake for the next 3 hours. And then we’re off.

If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, there are food stalls and tables to eat at. There’s the typical Malaysian food court type food, nasi lemak and nasi kandar.

We’re almost to Kuala Lumpur. In a future post I’ll share about getting our son an American passport.