The main reason we went to Penang, an island off the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, was because it was described in the guidebook as the food capital of Malaysia (I'm starting to notice food cropping up quite frequently in these posts..!). And the food was amazing - lots of cheap market goodies, big mixture of Indian and Chinese food along with the fried rice we'd got so used to. Some of the restaurants were a bit pushy though, especially one Indian place where we were brought food we'd never even heard of, let alone ordered, and pestered constantly until we ate everything!
What we didn't expect from Penang, however, was the opportunity to star (well, play a minor extra role) in a Chinese film! We inadvertently got chatting to the producer and an actor from the film, who persuaded us (we didn't take a lot of convincing) to go along to the Holiday Inn the following day for our fifteen minutes of fame. So we did. After a lot of waiting around, looking very out of place (we were the only non-Mandarin speakers in the film), the shoot was moved to the Hard Rock Hotel further along the coast. And the camera started rolling... The film was, as far as we could gather, basically a Chinese version of Step Up, featuring graffiti as well as/instead of (never quite found out) dancing, and our role was to sit on sunbeds and be talked to (at) by one of the main characters. The instructions: listen to me and respond. Which was made quite a lot more difficult by the fact that he was speaking Chinese, and couldn't quite translate his speech for us! Never actually found out the exact name of the film (something like 'A Better Life'), and lost the scrap of paper with his contact details on, so we'll never get to see ourselves on the big screen, but the day did include a free lunch, and when we were finished with our scene we just snuck into the pool area of the hotel and enjoyed the rest of the day! Ended a little embarrassingly though, as just as we were getting ready to leave, the pool staff cottoned on and told us to go!!
And when we weren't living the high life, we spent our time walking around Penang, a really pretty colonial town, visited a Buddhist temple, a chocolate boutique (where we bought, for some reason, a pack of pepper sweets - I'm bringing them home for you all to taste!!) and various other sites that didn't just include restaurants and food markets.