I have forgotten completely what day of the week it is. It could be monday or wednesday or anyday. I couldn’t care less. In the morning, Su and I leave Ko Lipe on a slow long tail boat.
It goes tak-tak-tak-tak. Like a Bangkok tuk-tuk, but the water version of it.
What a wonderful time we spent on that island! Alas, it’s over now. Time flies when you are happy, indeed.
After a speedy 70-minute speed boat trip to Pakbara with a stop at National Park Tarutao I take a minivan to Hatyai. The city is packed with people and cars. Third time here, and every time concrete jungle takes some time adjusting to. This time is more intense than ever. Takes some hardening within to fit in. Or some opening-up to it,maybe? Well, maybe both, depending on circumstances. I dunno. I am not discontent to be here. I get some good vegetarian food and listen to the other backpackers. I don’t say a single word, though. I am still in the trance of the island I come from. Their talk seems irrelevant to me, a rather shallow presentation of their respective language abilities.
I take another bus to Penang. A family from Butterworth goes with me. They spent their holydays at Bangkok and Hatyai.
In the evening, at around 10 p.m. we arrive. Drizzle. I call Julian to tell him I am in Georgetown, he tells me Jordan and himself are near the jetties. I can’t find them there. I don’t know where to go next. So I stroll around Little India. Maybe get a taxi to Bodhi Heart? Maybe get something to eat? The latter option seems more appropriate given the place I am at. In Penang it’s all about the food. It is 11 p.m. and as good a time to have a meal as 11 a.m. I order something at Kapitan restoran and go to wash my hands. And who comes along? Right…
We have an extended welcome feast and fun at Raggae Club before heading to a street corner to drink cheap beer and talk existentialism haha 😉
At around 2 or 3 in the morning we get a ride home from one of the guys we just befriended.
I get up at around 11 a.m. and find my friends in the kitchen. Lunch is already prepared for me. I learn that the monk who stays at Bodhi Heart ordered a van with driver. He arrives at 1 p.m. and off we go to explore Pulau Pinang.
We stop at a store that offers local produce. Then we go to the jetties (see blog post ‘Expect the Unexpected…’). I meet the fruit vendor again. We have a chat. And enjoy some fresh icy watermelon.
Through dense traffic we move. Our next stops on Penang island:
Little India and Chinese temple…
drinking sugar cane and practising generosity with the downtrodden…
offering incense and flowers and crashing coconuts for good luck…
freeing birds for merit and happiness…
Mural Art on Armenian Street
Very big Kuan Yin statue at Kek Lok Si Temple
Free buffet @ Annalakshmi
Best Indian food, ever! There is a buffet where you please ‘take what you want and eat what you take’. They serve manto lassi, samosas and masala chai cuz we’re quite a big group of people. The Mahayana monk takes care of the bill and thus, practises generosity (dāna paramitā) for the benefit of many. We are there at the evening. Noush tells me that for lunch it is like at the Wiener Deewan: take as little as you like and pay as much as you wish 🙂
When we leave it is dark already, but this day ain’t over yet.
After going to the Straights Quay to marvel at the speed boats and yachts half of the group goes back to Bodhi Heart. Five of us, we are picked up by Amelia, a friend of Julian. She invites us to have dinner with friends… so once we arrive we meet three dogs and we meet Janie&Jerry (married for 3 months) and Rachel and Pamela and Rudy and some others whose names I forgot. We pray thanks to the Lord and have dinner, Round 2. I can’t eat anymore but still do. I just have to try the vegan nutcake with avocado-spinach cream. Later we have some Kahlua on ice and learn Malay-Thai-Hokkien-Menglish. We laugh a lot. At midnight we leave. Amelia drives us home to the Sanctuary. Thank you! Terimah Kasi! Samma samma…
Good night, and sweat … um sweet dreams!