Holiday in Penang Part 1

And so, I took a Holiday.

Yep, you heard me. I took a Holiday.

Under the extreme advice of the Home Ministry, of course.

I was not so keen on taking one because there was so much work to do and this year, its a very difficult year for me, mentally and... well, let's just stop at the mental part. Anyway, there are a lot of reasons for this Holiday. For one, I need to deliver some stuff to a certain person. Two, I need to relax. And three, the girls need a break from disturbing everyone and screaming in the house.

On the night before, we have packed everything and made sure that its all in the car and not in the house. Not only that, for a normal drive up to Penang, it would take us about four hours. But for us, with the girls, the trip took a little longer.....

The Drive Up There
Driving long distance used to be one of my favourite past times (heh) due to my work but now, its even more fun. The only difference is that this time, I had the whole family to keep me occupied so that I do not fall asleep. Even the thumbdrive full of MP3s were of no help until Barney came in and they sang along. And this is one of those drives which I really did not need to speed or hurry along.

So, this is the package which I must hand over to a
secret person within a certain hour. Very cloak and
dagger stuff but I was assured there would be no
suspicious substances in there. And he did not even
give me a Cyanide pill either.

Barely an hour into the journey, we stopped by the
Sg. Buloh Overhead Bridge rest stop. If I am not
mistaken, this would be the girls's second visit.

For their sake, we went to KFC for breakfast. Again,
we were fooled by the posters because when the
chickens were being served, well, I have no words
to describe it, except for the usual "WTF?"

Luckily for me, both girls do not want the mashed
potatoes, which I accepted with relish. These are
the best treats because once you add in a dollop of
those Thai Chili sauce, its heaven. OK, pink heaven.

Although its a weekday morning, the mood in the
restaurant feels very empty. Its like as if we're
the last persons on Earth.
(You can see Kristine running in the background)

And for some inexplicable reason, I wanted to leave
the place as soon as possible. OK, if you must know,
under the chair/s I was sitting on, there were some
very suspicious oily patches and other yellow stuff
which I accidentally happen to come into contact
with when I was moving the chair closer. Yucks.

Further on, there was an accident where a lorry
overturned. I am not sure what those big white
bundles were but at least the girls were not bored.

And not only that, the Police were having a field
day catching those speed freaks who overtook
us earlier on. Was I happy? No. Because it has
nothing to do with us. Yeah, time has changed.

Next stop, Tapah (or is it?) where as usual, I am
mesmerised by this decor. You can click on this
image for a bigger view as I took it with the Nokia
n8's Panorama.

Its almost lunchtime and so, we stopped for some
fruits and bits of snack so that the girls won't make
any noises or complains about being hungry.

As usual, I took the Nasi Lemak.
This is something I do from my
previous job where when we did
an outstation trip, we would stop
for some food which usually ends
up being Nasi Lemak.

And so, without much problems, we continued on
our journey. The reason I had these stops, apart
from making sure their bowels are empty, is to
make sure they do not fall asleep at the wrong time.

Yes, I wanted them to see and experience the Penang
Bridge. Alas, Kaelynn fell asleep as we crossed the
bridge. It was a magnificent sight for Kristine, though.

Finally, we arrived at the Hotel, which was called
Paradise Sandy Beach located in Tanjung Bungah.
We actually booked this room via Internet and I
also made a boo-boo due to the dates. Luckily,
they were happy to amend my error without
any extra charges. Again, you might want to
click on the image as its a n8 Panorama.

And this is the bedroom, which after this shot,
we moved the beds. Oh, another reason why
the girls loved Hotels were that they can fill
the bathtub to the full and slosh around

Uncle Aaron
Aaron was my sort of replacement best friend in work. During the late 90's where the economy went south, everyone was very demotivated. But we kept our wits up by challenging each other who is the first to piss the Boss off everyday. Yep, that was fun and not only that, in a weird sense, it made the work bearable. We went almost everywhere, from Night Markets to late night dinners and, well, other places which was a bit crazy now that I think of it. But I can tell you, he was the fun guy and the most rambunctious (vocally) to boot. There was no fear in his statement or syllables. Yeah, he was there when Kristine was a baby and held her too.

After checking in to the Hotel, we
called up Uncle Aaron and he brought
us to the Kek Lok Si Temple. And I am
so amazed and humbled by the 120 feet
bronze Kuan Yin Statue. Unfortunately,
it was under some construction.

And so, he brought us around the temple grounds
instead. Here, the girls went absolutely wild with
all the 12 statues.

You need to click on this image to see better. I love
this scenery. A lot.
(Taken with Nokia n8's Panorama App)

Bridge shot

Bench shot

Later on, the girls followed me to for prayers while
Mommy and Uncle Aaron had some private talks.

A few minutes after this session, the music stopped
and everyone was packing. Yes, the temple closes
closes around 5PM or so.

And now, for some inside jokes which no one would
ever understand except for those who did.

Kristine was not happy when we
returned to find the main door
closed. She was knocking non stop.

Another n8 Panoramic shot. Please click on the
image for a better picture.

Did you still not get the joke?

One more try...
No? OK, its time to go home anyway.

The temple is located at the top of the Hill and so, on
our journey back, it was quite a ride. You can say that
everything went downhill

Not only that, I realised that it is not possible to
capture the mood from the perspective of a camera
lens. So, dear Readers, please put your monitor
screen on the floor and then do the Ostrich pose...

Much later, we had dinner at the Food Court
and since we're early, most of the shops
were not opened yet. Which is strange
because its now past 7PM.

The girls fooled me with this one. I thought it was
a special satay only to discover that they poked
another bamboo skewer...

But its still cute to just look at them doing that. I'll
bet that no one else has thought of this idea.

As the evening wore on, more
and more food were brought in
and it was a thrill for the girls
who had never eaten the good
stuff in Penang.

You can tell that they
loved the food a lot.

And after the initial order, we had to order more.

It was fun to catch up with Uncle Aaron again, after
so many years. I mean, I always hear his voice on
the phone but not his ugly mug. Wah ha ha ha ha!

By now, you would also have
noticed that Kristine is getting
good at holding her chopsticks

Later on, back in the Hotel, I finally found out that
is a high possibility that there would be no
wake-up call service.

OK, with the Kids settling down and Mommy taking
care of them, its time for me to rest up a bit as the
next itinery for the night is...

Yep. Explorin the Hotel's swimming pool

Plus, this would be the girls's first time on a beach.

And boy, are they scared. First, they are scared of
those tiny little crabs that scuttle around and also
digs into the sand. They are so fast, it was not an
easy task to step on them.

And secondly, they were scared of the waves. It
was a
bit funny to see them clinging on to
Mommy and screaming for dear Life

everytime the sea water came in.

For me, it was hard to catch these little buggers
(Not that I wanted to, anyway)

Night Panorama Shot. Click to enlarge, K?

In the end, although it was
exciting and funny, the joke
was on us as we ended up
carrying them all the way
back to the Hotel's Lobby

And now, for the remaining itinery for the night...

Which is to meet up with one Mr. Benny,
who is a fan of Dr. Who/Star Trek/Star Wars/
Green Lantern/Iron Man/Thor/X-men, etc.
It was an inseparable moment, I tell you.
Want to see what got him so fascinated?

An extremely rare Die-cast Star Trek NCC1701 toy,
which, of all places in Malaysia, was being displayed
in front of us as we were both talking. Unfortunately,
there were no one about to sell it to him since it was
very late into the night.

And not only that, a James Bodn Gyrocopter too

And so, after all that, it was now the time for me to
REALLY enjoy myself.

And what better way then to drink all the melted
Mango/Nata de Coco Ice I bought during dinner.

Seriously, after a few hours in front of the TV, it was time to go to sleep. And we had to share the beds, making it very uncomfortable. Note to self: Next time bring my own pillow and blanket...

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