Friday, November 07, 2008

Frugal Bastard's Cruise 2008 - Day 4 - October 7th 2008

Today's stop was Penang, Malaysia. I didn't hear the alarm again this morning. The very dark cabin disorients you a bit. We had breakfast outside at the rear of the ship. It was a lovely experience and setting.

Pulau Pinang (Penang) Harbour.

Must be a Chinese boat - junk.

Our boat to get to shore.

Tender boats were used today to take us to shore and they carried some 200 people at a time. We had a free day and intended to go shopping at KOMTAR mall which was included on one of the tour itineraries. I was informed by the tour crew that a taxi was expected to cost 20 ringgit. After disembarking the tender boat and reaching the entrance to the harbour we were swamped by taxi drivers. I ignored the first two and the 3rd offered us a ride for RM30. I asked for RM20 and he said, "Too cheap." He countered with 28, then 25 and finally 20. Then he kept asking if we wanted to go anywhere else. He also sad that KOMTAR was old and not very good.

We met some passengers from the ship in the Prangin Mall and they had been happy to pay RM20 when their initial offer was RM40. Not many of the shops were open before 11am and it was a little run down. We wandered around outside in a car repair and tyre sale business area amongst coffee houses. It was obvious that a Chinese festival was due yesterday or today.

European style buildings in Penang.

Building in need of renovation.

Chinese festival in Penang.

Float for Chinese festival in Penang.

Rich person's home, maybe.

Watch out for the drain. Must have some decent rainfall in these parts.

Stranger public phones in Penang than Singapore.

Penang has a lot of motorbikes.

Strange business hours in Penang.

Back in the mall and Miky discovered that contact lenses, same brand, were half the price of Australia. I was looking inside KOMTAR for cheap t-shirts and they were few and far between. From our earlier walk outside we knew that there was a dim sum shop nearby but we struggled to locate it. When we finally found it we discovered that it was only open from 12am to 12pm - it was already closed! Found a nice dim sum shop in Prangin Mall. Whilst checking out the menu and old couple from the ship, Ray and Dorothy, asked where McDonalds was. Lunch was nice.

Miky bought shoes for Yu-Jin and then they went back to the ship. Took a taxi from the spot outside the mall where we had arrived. The driver asked us how much we had paid to get here and I said it was RM15. He didn't have a problem with that. Bastard! - first taxi driver that is. This guy was young and quite chatty.

Buildings near the harbour.

Must be a tough job or business is slow today.

I tell you it was warm but I wasn't going to waste my time in Penang and so I wandered down to Clan Piers which is World Heritage Listed. There are basically seven families, and subsequently seven piers, congregating on the sea. They made their houses on jetties after migrating from China and it looks as though they have extended them as required. Now the fishing industry has died down a bit and they can't afford to buy actual land so they are stuck. Judging by the plasma screens and other items I noticed I don't think that they are that stuck. What an interesting place. I walked along Lim Jetty and Chew Jetty.

Shrine at Lim Jetty.

Lim Jetty, Penang.

Lim Jetty all on stilts, Penang.

Lim Jetty stilts.

Chew Jetty, Penang.

Rubbish after Chowing down.

Chew Jetty houses.
Chinese locals still follow the old festivals.

Make-do renovation work.

Next it was time to walk around Georgetown. At least that was the old British name for Penang. Methinks the Brits weren't too imaginative with naming places.

Interesting sign - Parking on your o(w)n risk. Something lost in translation.

Funny sign - Chin Fook. Maybe he has a side job as a boxer.

If it's too hot just whack on another air conditioner.

Malay area in town.


Impolite way of saying post no bills.

Stop sign - not too difficult to work this one out.

I'd run out of time and had to go back to the ship. Wow, it was so humid I had to drink so much water.

Superstar Gemini in Penang Harbour.

The shopping in Penang was a disappointment but the old buildings and the Clan Piers were definite highlights. On board I did a workout with Miky and had a swim with Yu-Jin late on. After tea we had a walk together on deck and watched "Twice as Nice" with Wesley Stevens and Shelley Dartez. Even the Boy enjoyed the show. Wesley used to be in The Commodores and The Stylistics and had a hit with "You make me feel brand new".


Anonymous said...

Once again you lucky bastard. Have fun. Annette

Anonymous said...

I just lurrrrve those funky phone booths!!