30th Mar 2017
Pris and I headed into Georgetown to do some exploring. We negotiated our way through the labyrinth of one-way roads, finding our way to a car park on the north east corner of the island, next to the Queen Victoria diamond jubilee memorial. Abandoning the car, we headed to a coffee shop for some refreshment, and to get our bearings. The lady serving us was incredibly helpful and directed us to the tourist information office so we could find a map listing some of the main attractions, and from there we found a food court and enjoyed a yummy local breakfast while we put together a plan.
Georgetown is famous for it’s street art (amongst other things) so we plotted a winding route through the streets to track down some of the more popular murals, and sculptures, enjoying the colonial style architecture and small winding streets en route to the upside down museum. The whole museum is literally upside down, based on a house. It’s really good fun and well done. Back out on to the streets, we headed back across town as I was keen to see the time tunnel museum to learn a little more about the history of Penang (and Malaysia) as my knowledge is woefully lacking. This area of the world wasn’t covered in my school history lessons so it was interesting to follow the timeline and the different influences that have moved in an influenced the development of the country over the years. The upstairs section also had a fun photography section so I found myself fighting Darth Vadar, riding a bike with Batman, and heading into space.
On our way to the museum Pris was distracted by a palm reader, and went in to have her palm read. I will admit to a high level of cynicism on palm reading, but the lady was surprisingly accurate and mentioned a couple of things that were right about Pris that she had no way of knowing, and weren’t an obvious guess so I was persuaded to have a go. I’m not sure that I’d say that she was as accurate for me, but then I don’t really fit a ‘normal’ box in any path of life so why should I be different in the world of palm reading. I was sent away being told that I am happy go lucky, should be a teacher, and that I have until 49 to find a man, he must be older than me as a younger man won’t ‘work’ and his birthday must be in double figures but preferably born on the 19, 21, 23 or 25 of the month… There is nothing quite like limiting my options!
From the museum we stopped for a snack on the sea front, before completing our loop back to the car park via the memorial cenotaph for the first and second world wars and other losses. Pris had never even realised it was there, so I am now teasing her that I’m giving her a guided tour of Malaysia and not the other way around. We continued to the Cornwallis Fort, a defence point on the corner of Georgetown. The fort has a fantastic collection of cannons that were confiscated from pirates, including the Sri Rambai cannon that was casted in the 1600’s, and supposedly lost to sea when the boat it was being transported on (the Sri Rambai) was sunk after conflict with pirates. The cannon is meant to have risen by itself in 1880 after a prince made a curse on the cannon by tying a thread to his finger and commanding the cannon to come out of the sea. It is now believed that the cannon possesses magical powers whereby if an infertile lady places flowers on the cannon she will then be able to conceive a child.
Sightseeing over, we made our way out of Georgetown and back to our guesthouse to watch the sunset. The sun had gone down, but there was a great lightening storm out over the sea which I was trying (unsuccessfully) to capture, when a lad rode past with a pony offering pony rides. I had no money on me but I made a fuss of the piny, who was called Don. Apparently I was doing something right as he then offered me a short ride up and down the beach for free. I decided I was going to pretty safe if I was on the back of a horse, so hopped on and chatted to the lad who is actually from Mandalay in Myanmar as we headed down the beach, little Don happily making his way along the sand. I had to smile for the mandatory photoshoot before heading back to Pris sat on the beach (a fair exchange for a free pony ride). Excitement for the day was over, and we headed to a sea front restaurant for a sea bass dinner.