Katja and Arne's travel stories

30.06.15 Last day in Penang

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A few to-do things on the list for today. Last day in Penang is upon us.
We go out and move over to one of the many malls around here. We think we’ll be able to terminate the deal we have on the pocket Wi-Fi. Right, if it only was that easy.

We ask around and finally find a stall that represent U Mobile. After a little research the guy tells us we need to go to another mall to the U Mobile store there. It’s about half an hour in bus on the other side of town. We call the operator to verify this and yes, we have to go there.

Mini Petronas towers as seen from the bus

Mini Petronas towers as seen from the bus

Right, Aone

Right, Aone

The bus system in George Town is quite good. It has frequent departures on all lines and everyone seem to know what bus we should take. We get on board 401E and around thirty minutes later we get off at Queensbay Mall. Another round of questions leads us finally to the U Mobile store. The cancellation is done in just over a minute and we’re of the hook. It is immediately dead, the pocket Wi-Fi, so now it’s just too hope it will work as expected when we arrive in Singapore and buy a new SIM card.

We find a nice food court in the mall and have lunch before we go out to wait for the bus. Another thirty minutes and we get off the bus at the jetties.

There are several jetties out in the water, side by side here. From around 1920’s these jetties houses Chinese people only. There’s one “mixed” one, the rest are based on clans defined by their last name. It’s cool to walk out and take a look. There’s signs on some of the houses identifying them as private residence and not accessible to the public. Other than that it’s the same t-shirts and ice creams to be had here as everywhere else.

We walk back up on Armenia street where there’s a lot of street art. Some of it is quite good. We’ve dedicated another gallery just for these pictures today also.

Back up on the market street where we thought we’d see some action, but no. Ramadan has the store owners close shop as early as five so there’s little action here. We walk the street to the end and go up to what’s called upper Penang street.

We find a Irish pub there. Ever heard off a town without an Irish pub? Me neither. We enjoy a cold beer there and talk of all and nothing. Just across the street is a food court and we decide to go there for dinner. It’s decent, but nothing extreme. We get crispy pork, something our faithful readers should know is high on our yummy list. But the pork was glazed with something sweet. A lot of the Asians are sweet-teeth. I don’t know if that’s the correct plural form of sweet tooth, but it’s probably close enough.

After dinner we wait for another bus. We contemplate on taking a rickshaw, but decide to wait for the bus. It arrives and takes us almost to the hotel.

On the short walk from the bus station to the hotel we pass a vegetable stall and see a veggie we don’t know. Katja asks a man passing by and suddenly do we get a lecture on Malaysia. He’s second generation Chinese here, don’t believe in religion and claim that the nation is undemocratic. We know of the three main groups here with the Malays, Chinese and Indian. It looks like it’s a nice and democratic country, he says, but look when people are standing together in two or more. Then you’ll see that there are no mixing of the three groups. He also gives a lecture on the fact that the Malays are Muslims and that it’s the officials religion of the land. That is used to discriminate against the non-Muslims. It even say on the Id card of the Malays that they are Muslims. Up to four wives is legal and the woman cannot inherit anything. If your husband dies everything is inherited by another male in the family. If there’s no son then his father get it, or an uncle or nephew. That is not good of course and a part of women’s rights that needs to be addressed. We’re finally let go and walk the short way back to the hotel.

Malaysia has been a very nice land to visit. People are all over polite and helpful. There loads of English knowledge in the population and from the outside it looks like a tolerant and decent society. I’ve seen more Christians in the street mission for their beliefs than I’ve seen Muslims trying to push Islam. There’s old churches, synagogues and mosques side by side. Malaysia has shown itself as a much more mature country than I would have thought. There was an incident where a gold winner in the South East Asia Games were criticised for showing too much skin. The president of sports, the minister of culture and several other high ranking members in the government asked the dark men to shove it and respect the athletes of the country. That’s a completely different story than was written in Australian media that I found shared on Facebook. I think too many people uses terms like “Muslim country” in a rather wrong and to wide a group. To place Malaysia and Indonesia in with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan is just wrong. Worth thinking over the next time you wanna talk of a complete group of people.

We enjoy the last night in this room watching tv and gnawing on the last of the fruit. Tomorrow is moving day again.

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.”

―Banksy, Wall and Piece

Author: arnber

Humongen! The big guy! The man, the myth, the legend! And then theres' me. The nice guy in the house. The man without cooking skills, but with five stars on the Playstation. Boss at work, relaxed at home. What you see is what you get. Life is good. I choose it to be.

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