What a Weekend!

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First I'd like to say that yes, there are new photos posted, so go check out the gallery. There you'll find a shot of the Kickapoo bottle and the koala that sits on my temporary desk.

As I'm sure you're wondering, Kickapoo Joy Juice is a local soda I was convinced to try while out to dinner at a local hawker store/stand/plaza/open air food mart (yes, I originally thought they were called hakka, but that was a misunderstanding of the local flavor of English spoken here). For more about the hawker marts and the koala check out the old post, She Lives. The Kickapoo tasted a bit like a pineapple soda, but there was more to it than just pineapple, hard to describe, but quite tasty if you want something sweet and fizzy to drink.

Friday was a big day food-wise. We had Thai for lunch, and thanks to our kind hostess were thoroughly stuffed. Then it was off for Indian later that night. Quite tasty, and we got to eat on banana leaves.

Saturday Michael and I decided to take in as much of Penang as we could, since Sunday he was going to Hong Kong for a last minute business trip. Yes, he had a second business trip within the first business trip. Very odd, but what can you do? So we only had one day together to see the sights. Yes, I am capable of sightseeing alone, and I will do so in Singapore next weekend, but it is nice to have company when it's available.

We started our day by taking a cab over to Penang Hill and taking the cable car/tram/train up the hill. This hill is about 2100 ft. above sea level. Had the entire island not been shrouded in a mist of humidity, the views would have been amazing. As it was we had a very hot and sweaty ride up in these little boxes they call train cars, way too full of bodies for my taste. Once up there we were treated to cooler weather.

So we wandered around the top of the hill for a bit and took in the local temple, I believe it was Hindu, but I do not have confirmation on that, so don't hold it against me if I'm wrong.

After visiting the temple we went for a nature walk into the jungle/forest. This was very beautiful and we took lots of pictures. There are a few flower shots from there I'm sure Mom & Mom G. will both love. On the foolish side, neither of us packed bug repellant, so I'm now covered in bites and have been itching all day.

Back down Penang Hill and another taxi ride took us downtown, back to the infamous Komtar tower, site of last weekend's terrible excursion to Starbucks. This time I was feeling much better, so we had a great time wandering the shops. It was then time for lunch, so we braved the hawker plaza on the roof of one of the buildings. I say braved, because this was the first time we were at one of these things without a local, so we had to figure out how to order for ourselves. I recognized a local noodle dish I knew we'd eaten and enjoyed, Char Koay Teow, and managed to succeed in ordering two of those and two drinks.

We then checked the handy dandy map and decided that we were within walking distance of the Khoo Kongsi, the clanhouse of the Khoos. My colleague in San Jose belongs to this family through her father, so this visit held some personal interest as well as historical. It's the largest and most ornate clanhouse in Malaysia.

Turns out it was quite a walk, though tiny little neighborhoods with no sidewalks and no other westerners. Michael and I drew quite a few looks wandering the streets of Chinatown alone. But we made it to the Khoo Kongsi and were rewarded for our diligence. It was an amazing building. One of the men working there was kind enough to take our picture, and pointed out that the Buddhas at the bottom of the stairs are a set, one is laughing and one is crying. There is a gold coin embedded under the laughing Buddha and a nail embedded under the crying Buddha. There's even a picture of Michael and I rubbing the Buddha's head for luck.

After the Khoo Kongsi it was off to Batu Feringgi, the beach town. We wandered up and down the beach for a while, but got tired of all the peddlers trying to get us to go parasailing or jet skiing or horseback riding. So we went into the Golden Sands and had a few rounds of iced tea to cool off and wait for the night market.

The night market is a long swap meet all along the road that runs at night selling fake name brand goods and local handcrafts. I had such fun with the Buddha at Khoo Kongsi that I was talked into buying a happy Buddha from one of the local merchants. So I now have a red happy Buddha for my desk at the office. Sadly, there were none with clocks in their bellies.

After all of this walking, picture taking and shopping Michael and I were beat and decided to call it a night, so we cabbed it back to the hotel. I happily went to sleep knowing I'd get to sleep in all morning. Poor Michael had to meet Chew at 6:20 am to catch the flight to Hong Kong. All of a sudden I wasn't so sad about not being needed on that business trip.

Today was a nice lazy day; I did a little shopping at the mall, though all I bought was a refill for my cell, and lounged by the pool. Tomorrow it's back to the grind.



Well there are other, more radical approaches but to keep things safe and everyone within certain limits of content let's leave it as is.

Dad said:

Just back from Corpus Christi and glad to hear (and see) you are having a memorable time! Great pictures and commentary. The sights do look familiar!

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This page contains a single entry by published on February 27, 2005 7:15 AM.

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