Holiday in Penang Part 2

After an un-blissful night's worth of sleep, I feel like a person who has just been hit

Anyway, today is the 'last' day of our Holidays and so, we have to get our acts together since there are a lot of things that needs to be done and visit. This time, we're not going to disturb Uncle Aaron because although it is a work day and he is free, its not a nice thing to do. Besides, the OVI Maps on my Nokia n8 was quite good. (Except for the day before where it could not locate any food outlets. either that or I am still clueless about OVI maps as I was thinking of the 'Categories' feature where in Garmin, there is a search option to show you the nearest Hotel, Restaurants, etc.)

And so, everyone woke up very early and changed

Panoramic shot of the morning Sun. Luckily, there
are four buildings and not three... You pantang?

Ah, morning breakfast. Whenever I go to places such
as Hotels and the like, I would expect buffet meals. I
also expect them to be complimentary. Unfortunately,
they are not Kid friendly because we ended up paying
RM18 for the two girls. Its either that or we have to
drive out, which, even if we're using the GPS, we would
have found a place to eat our breakfast by lunchtime.

Anyway, that's just RM18.00, which is worth it for
the peace of mind. Anyway, I have to get them to
'try' almost all the food there even if they do not
like it. I mean, how do you know you don't like it
if you have not tried it?

Me? I just start with salads and all since there are
salmon sashimi. Then again, who eats sushi for
breakfast? Plus, we have to do DBKL duty in case
the girls can't finish their food.

After that, we rest for a while before letting the girls
change and try the swimming pool. Yes, they are
having a lot of fun.

Then I spotted the waterfall which I got the girls
to try. As this is their first experience with one, I
had to tell them what to do.

The aim is to slowly go behind the waterfall and not
let the water splash on you. After a few tries, Kristine
got it right but Kaelynn always ended up edging
the water.

As we're packing up, I discovered the RM10.00 a
Internet connection. You can get a Network
cable from
the front counter. Which is not use to me
since all I had
was my Nokia n8.

One last shot before we check
out of the Hotel. Heck. Now I
noticed my finger...

And also one last look at the beach too. There were
a lot of beach activities such as water-scooters, para
gliding or something. But no horses.

Once everyone is full, we checked out of the hotel
and drove to our first destination, which is the
famous Penang Hill. By now, its raining...

And whoa! Must be some celebration here. This is
most probably BN's work. I was hesistant to go to
this place as it was reported that the trains had
stopped working after it reopened due to a stray
dog causing damage to the lines. Yeah, right.

Anyway, since its a first trips of sorts, I decided to
just let it go. And there was quite a queue at the
lines despite it being a weekday. Oh, and with
the price of the tickets, it'd better be worth it.

On the way to the platform, I could not help but to
take some 'we were there' photos. There were
models but the detailed history should not
be placed
there as everyone would be rushing
through this area
to board the trains instead of
appreciating it. Very
bad planning, I suppose. And there were no proper
lines for you to queue so in the end, everyone just
'rushed' through and onto the trains.

This is the view in the train. And yes, we're at the top,
or rather, in the front. This is quite a
surprise because
although it is a weekday,
there were quite a lot of people.

When we reached the top of the Hill, the weather was
good. And so, with the rain clouds looming, I
decided to take
a few quick shots.

As this is the train that goes up the hill, it was
designed to look like that.

I just had to take this shot, OK?

More Panoramic photos from the Nokia n8

And some trick shots which, I believe,
was very popular during the last Millenium.

And at that time, there was no Photoshop or
even a computer.

By the time we decided to explore the Indian temple,
it was already starting to rain.

The rain was not very heavy, just a few drops here
and there. But because I was so engrossed with this
caterpillar, by the time I finished taking photos of
it, I had to run to the girls as they had the umbrella.

This shot took ages because we had to wait for
some Iranian guy trying to woo a girl by telling
crap stories about the cannon. I know it was a
load of crap even if I failed my History.

I had no idea why I took this shot but at that time,
they looked cute with the umbrella.

Panoramic shot from the Nokia n8.
I like this view because you can literally see the
whole of the Penang Island.

Is it just me or have I slimmed down
the Holidays?
Nah, must be the way I untucked my
shirt under HM's advise.

Once we had finished the Penang Hill, it was time for
to go home. And before that, we need to have some
which is a bit of a problem since most of the
shops we went
were either starting to close or had
very little food since it
was a little after two in the
afternoon. In the end, using the Nokia GPS, we
located eatery at McNair, next to the wet market.
This was also the same place I had visited before,
when I was working in my first job which was
decades ago.

Finally, Wife found an Assam Laksa stall, something
which she wanted to try when we could not find the
famous Assam Laksa stall.

There is a bit of a rivalry here. You are not allowed
to order Ais Kacang or Cendol. A fine of RM1.00
will be imposed if you did.

Finally, we said Goodbye to Penang and now, its
all the way back to Kuala Lumpur. I must say,
DAP is doing a great job.

Oh, and with the girls, we had to stop a few times
here and there too. Boy, it is tiring doing just that.

And so, in a nutshell, I am not sure if its just me or Penang but I do feel that it has changed. It looked less dirty and well, everything looks as if this was an offshoot town of Singapore. Which is great.

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...