Friday, June 02, 2017

penang: kk

I say Bali. KK said, “Huh it’s a terrorist hotspot.” I suppose that rules out the whole of Indonesia. I've tried Philippines in the past, he's ruled that out too.

I try to think of a nice, safe, familiar, nearby spot we can venture to for a budget June do.

“Penang?” I hazard hopefully. “OK,” he says.

I’ve been with the kids at least twice, for Ying Ying and then Wen's wedding. Both times, KK never went. He’s only been to Penang once, when he was very young.

We're there six days, two nights at Georgetown, three at Batu Ferringhi. We flew.

Post-trip, I get everyone to write down their fave moments, fave foods and dislikes.

KK’s fave spot: Penang Hill.

I’ve always liked Penang Hill, and decided to bring everyone back again. The ride up the mountain in the fast funicular, the emergence into air which feels a degree or two cooler than the blistering heat below, the trees, the chill-out vibe.

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* The funicular

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I’ve noticed that KK just likes going up, up, up.

Every place we go, if there’s a chance to ascend, he grabs it - from the Petronas Tower in KL, to the Skytree and Metropolitan Government Building in Japan. Of course, he must have solid ground under his feet. Going up doesn’t include flying.

He likes looking down, from high up, with panoramic vistas beneath him, identifying little buildings and bridges and whatnot.

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He also likes the cooler air of Penang Hill, and just sitting down doing nothing, enjoying the breeze and the greenery.

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* The Girl Who Doesn't Want To Get Dark using my trusty Nepal brolly

Some of us got our portraits done for RM10 (about S$3 at today's exchange rate) and that was fun.

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* The crowd, mostly viewers

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* KK loves Lu's portrait, hated his own which he felt was so far off it was absurd

While KK liked the chilling out, It is for this same reason that Gong Gong does not like Penang Hill. He finds it frightfully boring.

(Note to self: Next time, we should just get some mountain cottage and stay put for a few days so KK can chill out in nature in a high-up place)

KK’s fave food: Chendol.

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To all the Penang street food greats – and we ate a lot of it - he was not particularly impressed.

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* Joo Hooi Cafe, I could not believe we got a seat


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* Kimberley Street 

He found it all tasty, but nothing which clicked with him. Like, he preferred Singapore’s char kway teow to Penang's version.

Perhaps it also didn’t help when he saw the hawkers handle raw food, money and garbage all at once. It didn’t bother me, but it bothered him.

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But if he had to pick, he’d pick the chendol.

We were near what is reputedly one of the best chendol roadside stalls in Penang, God knows it’s been there since I was a girl, at Penang Road. The Saturday noon queue was insane, but upon another visit at 3pm on a weekday, there was no one.

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* Saturday noon. I was in another queue, for char kway teow with duck egg

He didn’t like this one. Instead, the chendol he preferred was from the stall facing it, which has much shorter queues.

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* The chendol from the other stall which we had twice

Dislike: (this is what he wrote) “Public drains – always choked, always smelly”.

KK knows and works on drains. He’s bothered by something I never even noticed. To the extent that he won’t even walk out on the streets with slippers, but only in track shoes.

I ask, “So if you had to choose between Ipoh and Penang to go next time, where would you go?”

He says, “Maybe Penang. More things to see.”

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* Having some fun with Lu's squishy

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