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Published: January 13th 2013
That's right, no turtles please!
Next stop, Georgetown in the island state of Penang. a place that I have to say I'm not exactly new to. Not one bit. You see, this is my parents' hometown, and my grandma along with other members of my extended family live here, so suffice to say I've been here the odd occasion or so i.e. almost every year since I was a kid!
But as far as I remember, this was the first time I'd arrived alone at the bus terminal, and made my way to my grandma's house alone. In the past I'd either arrive with my family, or an enthusiastic uncle/ auntie/ cousin would be waiting to pick me up at the airport. This time, I'd intentionally arrived unannounced, just to see what it would be like, as if I were arriving at any other new place on my trip. So, despite having been visiting the place for some thirty years now, I just took a Penang public bus for the very first time ever!
It's funny how I recognise so much of the city, but yet actually came across a few places that I didn't even know existed! In the several dozen times I'd
Never miss it when you're here...
been here before, over the course of the past few decades, I'd never once set foot in the heritage area, which would otherwise be the first place a backpacker/ traveller normally goes to. Learning about the city's colonial history, past economic significance and similarities to my own country Singapore really got me reflecting over how one can know a place so well, without actually knowing it at all!
Otherwise it was a restful few days spent (sleeping alot!) at my grandma's place, and eating her home-cooked food that I'm sure I'll be missing for the next several months at least, if not longer. Needless to say I indulged a little in Penang's famous street hawker fare too. If only I could take some of it along with me for the road ahead!
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