Penang Mai!!!

The true reason I’ve been away for so long was because I was on hols. It had really been a while since my family and I had taken off for a getaway and Chinese New Year seemed like a good time to sit back and relax without having a thing to worry about. It had taken us so long to plan for one since we all have different schedules. With My dad and his work, me in uni, my bro in college and the rest of my bros in school… we didn’t exactly have our holidays synchronized. Although Penang wasn’t our planned destination of vacation compared to the cool atmosphere of Cameron, we had to make do. All the other places were fully booked!!! And we needed the break…

It took us more than 4 hours to reach the Island of Penang as we pushed off at ten and arrived at the hotel at about 3.30p.m after a series or getting lost and asking for directions. After checking in and settling our belongings, we rushed off to one of the restaurants for lunch. The food was great… well we were of course starved so I guess anything that went down our throats would’ve just done the trick. We had gotten three rooms and I was sharing with my 8-year-old bro. While the rest went off for swimming later in the afternoon, all I did was laze myself on the super twin bed curled up in a good book with the blinds open overlooking the vast sea. Totally heaven…

The best part of our holiday was during our third day. My two brothers, my dad and I were holding on to the sides of a catamaran, lying on our fronts with the seawater splashing on our faces going as fast as the wind could take us!!! It was awsome… we really had to hold on and watch out for our heads since the sails would occasionally move from right to left according to the wind change. My brother and my dad took turns navigating with the instructor looking on just in case. It was a good one hour ride and we had had the time of our lives.

Later on, I was getting all psyched up into parasailing. My dad being the worrywart he is didn’t exactly agree on this but looking on the fact that you could actually request for an instructor to follow, he finally granted me permission to proceed. After they had harnessed me up, they told me that I would have to run a little and so I did. Which later resulted me into stumbling onto the sand with the instructor falling on top of me and me getting all the sand in my face and mouth. Yea well, it was sort of funny (not the getting sand in my mouth bit) but yea I admit, it was a sight. They thought I was scared but I really wasn’t. I really wanted to do it and I was merely following instructions. This time they told me not to run. I found myself soaring in the sky seconds later with the speedboat tugging onto the line with me at the other end, my legs dangling in mid air and a parachute high above my head. The feeling was indescribable and I was far from scared. I was mesmerized… Although it only lasted for about 3 minutes, I was satisfied. Minutes later I was back on the sandy beach after a smooth landing. My experience was then followed by my 12 year old brother who had better guts than the other.

Our sea adventures didn’t exactly end there. Our next activity was jet-skiing. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and go as fast as it could take me knowing my penchant for speed. By the time I did, the jet-ski was riding the waves roaring at maximum speed with me laughing my heart out. I laughed so hard my tummy had began to ache. It was exhilarating and I was enjoying myself so much! I had sent my passengers, namely my two brothers bouncing on their seats everytime we hit a wave. I had ridden in the back while my brother steered once and I was shouting for him to go faster and faster until he made this sharp turn and we nearly toppled over. I laughed even harder, taken aback by the suddenness but finding it funny enough to laugh over. We took turns steering the jet ski and the whole thing lasted for a good two hours. They had to refill the fuel in between the hours and at one point, I think the caretakers were a little worried about how we had handled their jet-ski and the speed we were going at. They must have regretted letting us extend for another hour.

That night after having Moghul dinner, we went to the night market which they have on every night which is truly amazing. You can never believe the amount of foreigners in that area and the number of times I see them fooled when buying things. Sellers seem to be pressing them with a higher bid of value for things than they would for the locals. Ridiculously expensive for things you can get at a way cheaper price. But nonetheless, I had gotten myself DVD’s which is rather scarce here in KL(I mean pirated ones). Also, two great novels at a bargain. We were too pooped to venture the whole long stretch of the pasar malam and got my dad to pick us up at the other end. That night he drove us around the island, getting into Gurney Drive where we saw fireworks booming every now and then with a whole lot of Chinese people apparently still very much into Chinese New Year. Went on and drove through a few historical sites and famous buildings and got lost. The last thing I remembered was pulling into the parking lot at the hotel.

That night we all slept well, very much exhausted by our little sea excursion. There’s absolutely nothing like sleeping in fresh, new, crispy white sheets everyday and waking up to the sounds of the sea crashing against the shore with the sun penetrating through the windows. Plus, having your towels changed twice a day and your bed made, what could be any better? It was a holiday full of luxury and pampering… we had pampered ourselves for a good 4 days and Sunday was time to snap ourselves back to reality that was awaiting us. That morning we had managed to visit the Butterfly Farm nearby and had engrossed ourselves in the fluttering butterflies before us. More than three times, butterflies had landed on my head and fingers while my youngest brother watched with amazement at the truly magnificent creature. Although the entrance fee was a tad bit expensive, the experience we gathered was satisfying.

We checked out at exactly twelve noon and headed off in the search of the ever famous ‘Rojak Pasembor’ before heading to the ferry. It struck me that the last time I was in Penang was exactly ten years ago during a school trip and more than fifteen years ago with my parents. So it has been a great deal of time thus proving the great deal of changes. In the end we had arrived home at 11.30p.m. Take away two hours for breaks and dinner, we had been on the road for about 9 hours before finally reaching home. Just imagine the massive traffic jam we had gotten ourselves into…

I would acknowledge every single detail of our holiday if I could but then that would take ages to finish. Even at this moment, I’m restricting myself from writing too much and letting the overflowing ideas take its toll… or else I would never finish writing. But suffice to say, the holiday was truly rejuvenating and we had a great time!

To those who had sms-ed me on my birthday, thank you so much for overflowing my inbox with your thoughts. Not forgetting those who called, especially the ones who went through the trouble to call all the way from across the oceans, even the belated wishes, thank you so much. You people made my day… :)

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