We arrived in Georgetown on Pulau Penang in Malaysia after a 4 hour cramped minivan ride from HatYai in Thailand. As soon as we crossed the border the amount of bikes on the road decreased and the cars increased, the busses here are like the first busses at home and the number of English signs we saw made us feel at home. We had found a few places in to stay in Penang and we opted for Banana Guest house which was in Chinatown, which was right next to little India. The population of Penang is mostly made up of Chinese and Indian originating people, whose ancestors moved here when the British based East India shipping company took over Penang. The Guest House was owned and run by friendly Chinese. New country means new currency, 5 Malaysian ringgits (RMB) is equal to 1 British sterling pound. The double bed with shared bathroom room was 25 RMB, Bargain! The guest house was perfect for what we were going to be using it for, free internet in the room, and in the cafe across the road. Cheap Chinese and Indian food close by and street hawkers set up stalls right outside our Guesthouse, so we never had to go far to fill our faces.
There is not a lot to do in Penang, so we did most of what there was to do. We did a long walk around Georgetown on our first day. We managed to squeeze in Teochew temple, Yeoh Kongs clan house, Tanjong city marina, Church street pier, City hall, Town Hall, Victoria clock tower, Fort Cornwallis, St Georges church, the Carpenters guild, the Goldsmiths guild, the Hainan temple, a Bengali mosque, and Kuan Yin temple the oldest temple on Penang. We managed to be back before the rain that night which was good as it chucked it down hard for hours.
Our second day was Saturday the 14th of August which was a big important day. We got up and showered and had breakfast and then we put on our special clothes for the special occasion. I wore a shirt and Lil wore a dress. To the net-book! We Skyped Mum and Dad and managed to speak to Philip before the boys picked him up to whip him off to the registry office. He was a bag of nerves rushing around like a headless chicken, as today he was to make Louise Beattie Mrs Board. It was turning out to be an eventful day already, Louise had sent him a gift box which had got him emotional and he had broke a tooth the night before so had been to the dentist. We said our good lucks and off he went. We had a quick word with Dannan and Mikey as they were dolling themselves up and they all looked very smart. The next time we saw them all it was at the registry office as Clayton had kindly agreed to Skype the wedding to us. It was a bit jittery but we got most of it and it was a beautiful ceremony. We said a quick hello to people after the ceremony then we were over and out for the day. So off we went to the cinema to see 'The Expendables' by Sylvester Stallone, which was quite a good film surprisingly.
Sunday we spoke to everyone on Skype about the wedding, and even spoke to the newlyweds before they went on their honeymoon. They were all loved up and ready for their holiday, Ellie had a achy leg, Dannan and Corey were tired, and Mikey was full of beans as always!We spent the rest of the day just milling around again, which is what we did all day on Monday as well.
Tuesday we did another walking tour. This time it was walking around different local trades and crafts people. We saw many things being made including flower garlands, engraved wooden shop signs, Samosas and bahjis, and Gold jewellery. There are pictures of most of these in the Penang folder. That night we had a Tandori feast in little India and decided to go local and eat with our hand. Only the right hand as in India they eat with the right and wipe their bums with the left.
Wednesday was our last day so we went to a flea market, which turned out to be as exciting as Cheddar car-boot sale, so we left there and walked back. Lil being the bargain hunter she is spotted a shopping mall on the way back. This place was huge, but was brand new so only a few shops were open as the rest were being fitted. She still managed to buy a dress in one of the ones that was open though, bloody shopaholic!