Quieter, clan jetty, return of the street food

Trip Start Dec 12, 2012
Trip End Jan 03, 2013

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Where I stayed
Noordin Mews

Flag of Malaysia  , Pulau Pinang,
Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's tourist day. We go fearfully out onto the streets and it’s actually a little quiet. We can cross Macalister Road with ease. We catch the free shuttle bus and get off in the heritage zone to see Chong Zhee Fat mansion. It’s a lovely building built with great detail and attention paid to the finishings and aligned with many feng shui principles. It’s only spoilt by the officious toru assistant who shuffles us aggressively out into the tourist shop and closes the door behind us "No, no. NO more photos, only one way tour. You want to come back round you buy new tour ticket", as he slams the door shut. Oh, I wish I’d known that, I’d have taken more photos.

Out onto the hot streets and still not much traffic, oh we do like Penang on a lazy Sunday morning. This is much better.

We shortcut through the heritage buildings and it’s really quite stinking hot so we take refuge in the first café we come across, unfortunately it’s a very expensive one. Café Attellier. 90RM for lunch. Ow. Really not that good. But the drinks were nice. And we were out of the sun.

We head off into the heat and make it all of 12 steps where we take avantage of their outdoor tables and have another little rest and photo opp of the charming street frontages.

Down at the clan jetties the nest thing we can say about them is right out the front you can sit on a chair in the cool sea breeze. I guess they have some historical relevance but they really are just a bit shit. They’re peoples houses and some line their porches with tourist crap and cold drinks and others are simply inside watching TV. It’s disconcertingly voyeuristic and quite dull. And it’s hot in the narrow walkways.

We make it back to the hotel and swim in the awesome pool. Oh we love a pool.

We acquaint ourselves with a lovely young couple from Adelaide, Ross and Katey, and within a synchronous minutes we’re chatting like old friends.

We invite them to come freestylin’ with our booked driver tomorrow for an explore around the island.

Out for dinner and back up to our 'local’ for dinner. This time we bravely take the shortcut back streets. A little dark and quiet but certainly much easier than attempting to cross the ever busy main streets. And nothing attacks us at all. (I may not even need my knife anymore)

I peruse the stands again, J-she grabs a seat right behind our favourite soup man. I’m desperately wanting some satay sticks but the line is 10 deep. I watch an old man and his wife frenetically churning out bbq’d fish and stingray, he’s so busy he neglects to offer me any service, so I miss out.

I avoid the char keow teay from the night before, it may be a delicacy, but this guy has perhaps lost his touch.

I get myself a simplistic duck and rice dish. It’s nothing to write home about.

J-she takes the soup option and is pleasantly surprised, she foolishly takes my advice to add fresh cut chillis, which ruins the experience for her. I get to eat the rest, a cunning ploy.

Still desperate for satay I return, there is no queue but now the poor guy has a list of orders easily reaching 140 sticks. I order and wait..and wait..and wait. Eventually he apologetically delivers my dish and all is good. Again, I’m left a little disappointed. The satay sticks are nothing more than good carriers for a lovely sweet and spicey sauce.

Rather full now we mosey back to our hotel and relax. Tomorrow is Xmas eve and we better take it easy.

No Durian. No shopping malls. Average street food.
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