Thursday, September 25, 2008

TBA Day 13: Exploring Penang

So, my first impression of Penang is that I really dig this place. It's a nice size, people are friendly, and the terrain is super-flat... I don’t know if it’s getting cooler as I move north or if I’m just adapting to the heat, but I think I’ve finally been able to transition from “sweating” to “glistening” when I’m outside…
I went out and did a bit of exploring this morning on my way to find a travel agent to book my trip to Ko Phangan for Sunday (it was the one part of my trip I hadn’t been able to book in advance online, which was sort of stressing me out in the way that things that aren’t locked down in advance tend to…). As I mentioned above, this city is completely flat, which makes it a lot easier for a kid like me to get around a bit. The travel agent lady was really nice, and when I must have seemed like I was hesitating for a moment she asked where I was from. I told her and she said “Wow. You’re so very pretty! And nice!” Apparently (according to Stef) this is a common sales technique in Malaysia. Maybe it works (if only on a subconscious level), since I ended up booking the trip with her…

I’d noticed this morning and again when I went out to look at old buildings this afternoon that all these guys on scooters kept saying “hi” to me and trying to get my attention. On my way home this afternoon one of them actually pulled over ahead of me on the road so he could talk to me as I walked past. I’m not good at being a bitch (well, I suppose that’s not true… but I’m not good at being a bitch to strangers…) so I actually stopped to hear him out. He explained that he knows it sounds crazy, but he is looking for friends, and maybe I could spend some time with him and we could be friends. He clarified “I’m not going to make love to you, just spend the time,” which I honestly appreciated because I did feel less uncomfortable once I knew we were both aware that there would be no-love-making. In the end, when “no thank you” didn’t work I went with “I have to go now…” and walked away… but felt sort of like a jerk… Poor lonely Penang scooter-boys…
So, I ended up in Little India this afternoon around 4pm, and as the aromas started to waft around me I realized that (having missed lunch) I was definitely ready for some linner (or lupper, as some people call the lunch-dinner/supper version of brunch). I stopped at Restoran Kassim Mustafa for… chicken of some sort? (pictured below) and a really delicious mango lassi (with banana in it, which isn’t something I’d had before in a lassi…) for a grand total of US$2. The chicken curry thingy was really good and turned out to be pretty much exactly what I was feeling like eating today, so that worked out nicely. They do a pretty hopping business there with people pulling up on scooters and taking away baggies filled with delicious curry from the vats in front of the guy by the street. Good stuff…
I was hoping to take a tour around the island this afternoon, but they apparently have a 2-person minimums on everything so that didn’t work out… I’ll have to see if I can track down a tour that doesn’t discriminate against single people tomorrow… All in all a really nice day, though, which I will now cap off by sitting around with my book for a while. In conclusion: Yay, Penang!

2 comments:

Jadyn Mia Beverley said...

emily, i want to ask: how many books did you bring altogether? your backpack seems to be heavy enough already........hmm... ;P

n' OH!! you know in hong kong when you go to markets where hawkers compete for customers, EVERYONE is generalized or de-named into "Mr. Pretty Boy" and "Miss Pretty Lady". n' every time works! lol

by the way, the luckily-not-going-to-make-love scene was BIZARRE & hilarious!!

:)

emmo said...

I only brought 5 novels, plus 3 Lonely Planet travel books (those are pretty heavy)... My pack only weighs 15kg fully loaded with those books, so it's not too bad... but, yeah... I probably could have packed fewer. ;-D

I noticed the vendors yelling "hey pretty lady" in KL, too... An interesting approach. I guess it assumes that you're vain enough to believe they're referring to you when they say "pretty lady"... ;-D