Penang has the best of both worlds. Modern Buildings and Malls and the simple lifestyle of the local folks. On my trip there, instead of hitting the malls as we usually do in the past decades, we now head more for the heartlands area. Heartlands meaning, local markets, shop houses, coffee shops, hawker fare and just taking in the smell and sights of Penang like they were in the old days.
Of course the kids complained every now and then because these places are void of air-conditioning and there's bound to be some kind of weird smell or stench, I still enjoyed every moment of it. This is what aging is all about. Grasping on to whatever childhood memories I had here and also to ground me and realize how much times have changed.
Compared with Singapore, you can see much rubbish strewn all around the roads, exhaust fumes and cigarette pollution and rubbish dump alleys but this is an education for my children that I don't want them to miss. I had to explain to them that this is the norm as MANY other countries are bigger and have more population, hence take time to develop and clean up, compared with a small country like Singapore. Many buildings in Penang are not maintained, looks forlorn and diapidated and is in need of a new coat of paint.
As a matter of fact, Penang looks much cleaner now, except for her congested looking roads and messy directions.
I consider these part of life lessons for Rae and Lea and hope that someday, when they do travel or go to other parts of the world, they will learn to appreciate the beauty of the local lifestyle and their friendliness of the people.
We drove to many parts of town and even got down for the kids to relieve themselves. Ah Boy remembered a public toilet at the old esplanade when the girls were screaming urgent and true enough, the toilet is still around and looks very enchantingly retro, to me. I can't help taking shots of it. I even took shots of an old car because in Singapore, we hardly get to see cars that are older than 10 years.
We even took a wrong turn to the Chowrasta Market on one morning only to get caught in the massive human traffic market along the streets... Embarrasing situation as we slowly edge our way out while the locals looked and stared at a car in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Where the goods are most expensive..sigh
Ah Boy must have used this many times!! He knew this place!
I love this type of pure sugar cane juice!
lucky we finally cleared *embarrassed to look back*
It was exciting driving around Penang. The familiar sights, the familiar buildings and the names of the roads. And most importantly the best place for FOOD!
Read about my Food Hunt
Char Koay Teow