|Inside a Penang temple|
|An interesting way to dry clothes - Penang|
|Candle burning inside a Penang temple|
We did lots in those few days (just ask Linda), and whilst the idea of relaxing always seems appealing to me, when I find myself thrown into a different atmosphere and culture, my desire to "suck in" as much information as I can is voracious, and I end up leaving the place, more tired than I arrived there. This is exactly what happened in Penang. We mixed historical sight-seeing with shopping with eating in a manner that even I thought was impressive.
|Fort Cornwallis - Penang|
As a bit of an aside...this is what I am NOT into: shopping overseas for cheap, fake, designer stuff! The reason I don't buy it or pay full-price here in Australia has nothing to do with the monetary value, and everything to do with the fact that I categorically refuse to pay some exorbitant fee because someone, somewhere has deemed that brand "in". So, why would I buy it if it was cheap? So that people back in Australia think that I have an original Gucci and think I am (A) "cool" or (B) well-off enough to afford it? No, no, no! OK, stepping down off my soap box now...
|Food, food and more food!|
Coming to Penang and not trying the multitude of different food available is like going to India and not visiting the Taj Mahal. There are some things
that one just has to do! One of the most famous
dishes is Asam Laksa, or Penang Laksa. Whilst I normally love laksa, this variety was a bit too fishy for me. One of my favourites was Char Koay Teow, which means "stir-fried rice cake strips", and is one of Penang's most popular hawker dishes. And the list goes on...Hokkien Mee, Ice Kacang, Cendol, Curry Mee, Mee Goreng...look some of these up, and tantalise your taste buds.
|Traditional food - Penang|
At the Rainforest Festival, Alex had shared a room with a Malaysian called Azahar. What a great (and intelligent!) man. Whilst he works in Sarawak, his family live in Georgetown, and he was going to be there for a few days, right when
|Fantastic Indian food - thanks Azahar!|
|Pinang Peranakan Mansion - Penang|
|The best food is nearly always street food|
Does returning home merit writing about? Back at the hotel, we slept for a few hours, woke up, caught a taxi to the airport and flew to Kuala Lumpur, before changing flights and flying onto Melbourne. Again, it was an uneventful flight, in as far as all went well. My Dad (who we fondly refer to as Mr Doo Bee, Doobie, or Doobs...long story) was there, as always, to pick us up. How many airport runs have you done in your life Dad? And as you know, I am as grateful as ever.
Another trip down, and a plethora more to go! Where to next?
(NOTE: 2010 proved to be a very busy year; as I write this it's mid January 2011, and in actual fact Alex and I have just come back from two weeks in Thailand).
Dedication: This one is for you Azahar. Thanks for taking Alex, Linda and I out for a day, and showing us the 'real' Penang. These memories will live with us forever. You are an open-hearted and open-minded individual; such admirable traits which so few seem to have. We hope that one day we can offer you the same hospitality in our country, Australia. Terima kasih!
"Let us be grateful to those people who make us happy...they are charming gardeners who make our souls blossom" - Proust (on a card that Alex bought me for my birthday recently)
|Chinese quarter - Penang|
|We have the world in our hands!|
|Taken inside a Chinese temple???|
|Indian quarter - Penang|
|Indian food - Azahar's pick|
|Colonial houses as seen all over Penang|
|Colourful Chinese lanterns - Penang|
|Now THIS is what I call food!|
|A Penang local|