A new chapter is starting in my life... but I have no idea yet what it will be called, though perhaps this is always the case unless one is blessed with uncommon prescience or cursed with absolute predictability in life. I will be travelling to Latin America (via San Fran) and then back 'home' to Southeast Asia (via Dubai) over the course of 5-6 months. I hope to share (some of) my stories with you as they unfold.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

...ke Pulau Pinang
...a La Isla de Penang

Penang, the island of my birth. I very rarely feel sentimental about any place that I might call 'home' but I will admit to the odd twinge of fondness whenever I return to Penang. What brings it on? It could be the charming old streets of Georgetown, or the (relatively) laid-back pace of life, or the indescribably amazing food, or the dramatic sunsets that draw each day to a close. Or perhaps my memories of raising hell with my cousins around my grandad's old shop in Perak Road and his old house in Mount Erskine (both long since obliterated to make way for new development) with his amazing collection of stuffed beetles and snakes, of trundling down Macalister Road in a rickshaw, of building sand castles at Batu Ferringhi, of mammoth Chinese New Year banquets and kaleidoscopic lantern festivals, of incomprehensibly shrill performances of Beijing opera at makeshift streetside theatres. Much of the Penang I remember is already gone, thanks to rapid and poorly managed development -- beautiful old buildings have disappeared, the popular beaches are much dirtier, the views to the hills now interrupted by mushrooming tower blocks -- but much of it is still as it was and it remains a truly special place.

Someone else's photo of a beach in Penang. I hear that the only good beaches are the ones that are in out-of-the-way places, unsurprisingly, with names (like 'Muka Head') that I don't know because no one ever went there when I was little.


Blogger Fabian T said...

Thanks for this blog..

Rocket Spanish

8:06 AM


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