Batik in Balik Pulau and Home-cooked Malay Food

Trip Start Feb 18, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  , Pulau Pinang,
Saturday, July 10, 2010

A few days ago at the Georgetown Heritage Festival, we met a man named Fadzil who is a Batik artist here in Penang.  Batik is a traditional craft in Malaysia and he was kind enough to let me try it out.  I liked it so much that he invited us to come work in his studio in Balik Pulau. 

A few days later we hopped on a bus and rode on over.  He had pre-dyed 2 pieces of fabric for Jon and I (one yard for Jon and 2 yards for me).  We spent all day drawing, waxing, and coloring. 

We took a break for lunch with his assistant Amir (aka Bob) at an authentic Malaysian buffet style restaurant. 
For dinner, Fadzil invited us back to his home to have dinner with his wife Zamzita and their 2 year old son Faris.  Zamzita, or Ita, made us a delicious home-cooked meal (the first in 4 months!) accompanied by the pink drink "Bandung" which is a very sweet mixture of soda, milk, vanilla ice cream, and rose colored syrup.  A perfect partner for the spicy food.  We tried eating with our hands (the way the Malays do), they taught us a couple tricks and we did pretty well.  It was a bit difficult for Jon because he had to use his right hand.  Even though he is left handed it is "very strange" to see someone eating with their left hand (think no toilet paper and just a hose...).

We returned a few days after that to finish our batiks and make a couple new (and smaller) ones.
We had bought the adorable Faris a couple toys that he absolutely loved.  By the end of the day he had totally warmed up to us and let Jon run him around the property like an airplane.

Zamzita the chef cooked an enormous seafood lunch right there in the Batik studio using only a tiny sink and one wok.  She really is amazing!

They have been so great to get to know and it is safe to say that they are our favorite people we have met so far while traveling.

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Aunt Eileen on

I need far more info about this process - and a picture of Jon's 1-yard piece. I thought you had to do each color separately, then wax over it and do the next color, but it looks like you only waxed the outlines, then painted the rest. What kind of paint/dye did you use?

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