Woke up bright and early to get the bus from 1Utama to Penang at 9:30am.
Also managed to squeeze in an hour of meditation. I’m really trying to remember to cultivate love and kindness towards everyone whilst attempting to balance with myself, and rooting myself in my values at all times. I feel like this shouldn’t be hard but damn.
I met Ange at the bus station. She got out the GrabCar in front of me.
We had one hour to kill at the mall so I quickly bought some new headphones for the ride, a bunch of kuih to munch on and some nasi lemak for breakfast.
I listened to D’Angelo on the bus. Really Love is a beautiful and astounding song.
When we arrived, we wandered around the Love Lane area and found a great, simple hostel that was only rm50 a night between us. We got our own room and shower to share as opposed to a dorm. It was ideal!
We chilled for a bit and then went out to explore.
Located within walking distance to Little India, we gravitated over in that direction. Also, they have great vegetarian dishes, which can be hard to find in Malaysia. I got a Palak Paneer.
It was Vesak (Buddha Day) and the streets of Little India were lively. Celebrations rang out and there was a huge float being pulled by cattle, surrounded by music and people.
We wandered around some more, checking out all the beautiful garments and ended up in a CD shop and listened to a lot of Indian music, requesting various songs. I ended up wasting my money on some hilarious yet awesome records. One was a saxophonist to some Indian beats and the other was Krishna Trance.
Meditated with Ange in the morning.
Both of us went through the day feeling tired and heavy and super lethargic.
We walked around and lots of the places were open at strange times due to Vesak.
It was so humid, it took some time to adjust to Penang weather. We found a place that served the most incredible cendol.
It was absolutely necessary to get out of the sun and cool down.
We asked some dudes who confirmed that this was most definitely the best cendol. The cendol stall across from it got completely comped out. Yeah, we love cendol.
To kill some time and to, again, hide from the sun we decided to make the most of the tourist attractions. The very popular Upside Down ‘Museum’ was horribly overpriced but I suppose if you’re from a rich country, it’s nothing. We basically paid for a ridiculous photo shoot but I have to say looking back over the photos, they are pretty great. We definitely had some laughs and were entertained for a while, taking our mind off our heat-induced headaches.
Libby, what the fuck are we doing?
I talked with Sliz intermittently throughout the day. After seeing his tags around Georgetown, it was pretty obvious he was from here.
We visited a thrift store and I bought myself a rm2 Tupac tank top that proclaims ‘thug life’ in rhinestones.
After, we headed back to the hostel and took a break. Did some quick emailing and had a shower before getting picked up by Sliz, Nicole and a tree.
Nicole drove us to an amazing hawkers and we ate the most delicious asam laksa in Penang with fresh mint leaves and a generous portion of fish. It was fragrant and fruity and sour and full of goodness. More like awesome laksa am I right? We also had some muar chee which was on point!
We then went for another drive to get more food. We got this amazing Penang style peanut baklava-esque type thing. I don’t know what it’s called but here’s a video. If anyone out there knows, please shout out!
Me and Ange shared a beer.
We then headed back to Sliz’s apartment/studio space; Rumah Studio. We met Bibi, another one of the resident artists. Very cool house; typical crumbling, peeling Penang vibe – old, Chinese architecture.
Nicole knew so much local history of Penang. Well, she had grown up there her whole life.
So happy to meet such great people!
Went straight to sleep after getting dropped back.
Socializing really takes it out of me.
Got up at a reasonable hour. And then slept in a little – for the first time in what seems like a while.
Ange is a super chill person to be around – ALMOST TOO CHILL!!
We met up with Leo and Tui! So buzzy to see them again in another part of Malaysia, after they left Minut Init. I had a wee moment with Leo later in the day; both of us tripped out, pondering and musing on how we both came to be here. Never thought out of all the people from high school, I would be meeting him in Penang all these years later.
But first! We all intently watched Leo stir water with a UV light he bought from a camping store. I’m thinking I should invest. The light kills the germs and bacteria, and I would save money on bottled water and reduce my consumption of plastic packaging. SO CONSCIOUS. But for real, it’s a good idea.
We took a Grab to Cecil St Market for breakfast. It was pretty sizeable wet market. I purchased lots of kuih, congee and otak otak. Oh god, I am spoilt here. I love Penang. All the food was exceedingly excellent.
Sliz slept in, of course. Malaysia lah!
After breakfast, we walked to the incredible Hin Bus Depot and took a look around:
If you can’t tell by the pictures, the Hin Bus Depot is an old, abandoned bus depot that has been transformed into an outdoor gallery with murals, nice cafes and work spaces. It is quite the gem.
We then grabbed a coffee and met Sliz. He had arranged a legal wall around the corner from Hin with his Melbourne friend, Fletcher or Facter. There was plenty of paint to go around and we all painted up this alleyway. I painted part of a whale before running out of my favourite colour. Sliz did a funky 80’s looking piece and Facter painted a hornbill in his signature style. It was a super fun time!
Once the guys had completed their work, we all went to get asam laksa and cendol. Best place in town.
Me, Tui, Leo and Ange then went for a wander around for cheap clothes. I should have held out for these beautifully coloured, long, batik shorts but I got some cute two-piece batik outfits anyhow. Finally making our way back to the hostel, we rested up and tried on our new clothes and told stories.
As night fell, we got ready and left to meet Facter and Sliz for some beers. We gained some tag-alongs on the journey. Had some good chats and it was real fun getting to meet everyone on this level. We then went to get makan makan and me and Ange managed to make it in time for our bus back to KL.
Had some beautiful deep and meaningfulz with Ange on the way home before falling asleep in that fridge on wheels.
Ended up crashing at Minut. Second home waddup!