Armenian Street in Penang - 30th April 2015

Our Friends Ellen and Jim (expat Canadians Living in Penang) and Planet Boomer partners, took us to dinner last night to Jawi House Café and Gallery in Armenian Street just near our hotel. They are both great company and we got talking and the bottle of wine was almost gone before our attention turned to ordering. The local food was very tasty. We got talking about food and company and agreed that with good company all food tastes good as the people become the focus not the food. With bad company even the most exotic food can cause non enjoyment of the evening.

Jim suggested that maybe a cleansing ale might be in order and we journeyed down the street to the charming Edelweiss Café. Ellen had a glass of white wine, Erica a Gin and Tonic and Jim and I had a great German Pilsener each. Many good stories were exchanged and we had a great evening.

This morning we were awakened by the Muslim call to prayer at 5.49am which seemed to be just outside our window. Our response was to roll over and go back to sleep!

Tickets needed to be purchased for the Penang to Langkawi Fast Ferry for this Sunday so we walked to the Swettenham Pier to buy them. The lady at the Tourist Centre where we purchased our tickets explained that Labour Day here is a Public Holiday and that Buddha’s Birthday falls on the Sunday and that we should cross our fingers whilst she tried for 2 tickets. She came through with 2 tickets at RM68.10 each or $24.30 Australian each.

When we told her we needed Transnasional Bus tickets from Kuala Lumpur Airport to Melaka on the 8th May she was unable to help so we needed to go to the Sungai Nibong Express Terminal to purchase them. She suggested we visit Queens Bay Mall while we were out that way. We mounted the 303 Penang Transit Bus at The Jetty and commenced a 40 minute journey to the terminal. The bus drivers in Penang are remarkable. The bus accelerates rapidly and brakes heavily late and weaves in and out of the traffic often whilst the driver is on the phone! Erica’s and my legs got a work out trying to stay upright as we stood up both ways. Got our bus tickets at 24.30RM each or $8.70 Australian for a 2.5 hour trip from KLIA to Melaka.

The Queens Bay Mall is the largest in Penang and has everything an expat would ever need; even a Harvey Norman Store. We succumbed to a food court shop called Puff and Pie and ordered 2 Hot Pot Chicken Pies. Were as yummy as they looked! The Mall is probably as big as any in Australia and as we walked around for a couple of hours we noticed that we were the only white foreigners in the whole complex and it was packed. I purchase a 32GB SanDisk USB stick for RM51 or $18.20 Australian. Like all Malaysian large shopping centres the condominium sales people were there selling up a storm. This centre had the most we had seen.

Two hot pot chicken pies

Two hot pot chicken pies

Crowded food court

Crowded food court

On the bus ride we passed through lots of very poor areas with cell block like sterile apartment towers rather like some that were built in Melbourne for the Housing Commission in the 1960’s. As we got further south and some trees appeared the bigger houses and more up market apartments emerged. Most of the better condominium towers such as Putra Resort face the ocean.

As we patiently waited for our bus back to Georgetown a young man seated next us struck up a conversation. It turns out he works in a seafood place on Langkawi and is travelling back on Sunday on the same ferry as us. He gave us some great pointers to help us enjoy our stay there and we will catch up with him on Sunday. There are so many nice people in this world! You just need to get out there to meet them. Erica bought 6 custard tarts on the way back to the hotel. Yummy!