Penang at Last

Trip Start Jun 04, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  , Pulau Pinang,
Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Only Tim, Alex and I had the same flight to Penang; we managed to rendez-vous ok ready for the train/subway out to the airport.

I spotted some cook-books and a few language books I don't yet have in the airport bookshop. I kept a rough total of how much they were all costing but it was a bit spooky to find at the cash-resister that they came to $152.20 and I had to go through all my pockets to come up with it... and only have about 30 cents left over. Spooky!

Luckily I'd left my Koran t-shirt in Australia as 'cloth with verses from the Koran' was amongst the bizarre list of imports indicated as banned at the baggage claim.

We had a bit of a wait for Ivy to come and pick us up but eventually David came loping over to grab us and show us to the van.  It turns out that Ivy's car in Malaysia is a van for 7.

After check-in we headed over to Autocity for some food.  

We had a couple of scary moments though as just as we were about to turn into Autocity Ivy found she was in the wrong lane and we were back on the highway to the bridge and one thing we knew for sure - there'd be no u-turns on the 13.5 km Penang Bridge.  Luckily Ivy found a way off the highway at the toll booth.  Perhaps this wasn't the first time this had happened to her...

I'd spotted the Laotian restaurant there a couple of years ago when I was here so I was happy to
finally get to eat there.  The boss was a bit... bossy but the staff were all Philipino and Burmese
so that was interesting enough.  I'll certaily be dusting off my copy of Beginning Burmese as I can see it will come in handy again.  There's nothing worse than not being able to order the right
number of beers due to a Burmese/English language barrier when you're at a restaurant in Malaysia.

James has a new camera so you might notice a significant improvement in the photos in today's
blog... in fact, they're probably worth clicking through at a higher resolution.

Looks like David just quoted some fact that Alex has corrected him on...

All of us should be able to take our own hair-stylists with us on our travels...  well, those that need one anyway...

Notice the concentration...

A very pleasant start to the trip...

We spent a fair amount of time at the Golden Triangle restaurant and finally went for a drive back across the Bridge. Inevitably there were some jokes about whether we'd actually get onto to the bridge or would we some how finish back at Autocity.

Back on the island we managed to catch up with Stephanie and Andrew who had arrived by now. 

Heavy discussion in Esperanto...

And finally we got our wish of a karaoke session...

Quite an interesting set-up.  We went for a 5 person deal with add-ons for the stragglers which
meant that for the cost of the karaoke we ended up with 35 beers thrown in.  This greatly improved Tim and my average for the trip as we had quite a bit more than our share.

Alex looking the part...

Andrew's looking confused...  probably trying to work out whether I'm just making up the Cantonese pronunciation...

No trains running this late I hope...

Alex turned out to be karaoke-king so I just had to include another pic of him...

Now there are two people that really know how to enjoy karaoke...

His hair's starting to look a bit dishevelled...

Perhaps he shouldn't have given his hair-stylist the evening off...

Yes, they were certainly getting into it.

I think Tim and I had a couple of buckets each...

James and Ivy had to leave at midnight to make another trip to the airport but the rest of us stayed till closing - 3 p.m.

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spesbona on

You've pinned the mainland and not the island - was that deliberate or did Ivy do the pinning?

budz888 on

Pinning Bukit Mertajam would hardly be an accident...

Not everyone that comes to Penang hangs out at those generic backpacker-trail bars in Georgetown staring at other back-packers.

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