Sunday Snapshot: Penang, Malaysia

Welcome to this week’s edition of Sunday Snapshot. As I get closer to my departure to Southeast Asia (Sep 7th), I am spending a lot of time looking through old travel photos and making plans for my return. There are a couple cities/countries I hope to revisit during my upcoming trip, and Penang, Malaysia is one of those places.

I first visited Penang on a visa run from Thailand. During that trip I met Christine Gilbert of Almost Fearless and Dave Dean from What’s Dave Doing. We drank, we ate Indian food, and Dave & I hitchhiked at 1am to get back to our respective hostels after having dinner with Christine and her family. A year or so later I returned to Penang, staying with an expat family for a couple months, gorging myself on Indian food, taking cooking classes, and exploring the city.

I have visited Penang a few times since that first visit, and each time I go, I fall for the city a little more. Penang’s Georgetown neighbourhood is a mish-mash of cultures, and some of the best Indian food in the city can be found there; it’s almost the oldest part of the city, making for interesting architecture and random shops.

Sunday Snapshot: Penang, Malaysia

 

Cooking at the Tropical Spice Garden in Penang

Pearly Kee -our cooking teacher

Pearly Kee at the Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School

One of the things I have learned to appreciate during my travels is food. Yes, I appreciated food before I started traveling, but traveling has helped me to appreciate foods from various cultures. A few years ago you wouldn’t be able to bribe me to eat Indian food. I wouldn’t go near it. Now, I’m head-over-heels in love with it.

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6 Things I LOVE About Penang

It’s break time on one of the fishing boats along the Jetty.

As I get ready to pack my backpack and leave Penang, I thought it would be fun to write a post on why I love this city so much -and ended up spending 2 months here. In some ways I feel like I’ve been in Penang for a really long time, but in other ways I feel as though I haven’t been here long enough.

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Foodie Friday: Eating While Sitting on a John?

Tbowl Restaurant in Penang

Tbowl Restaurant at Queensbay Mall in Penang

I love quirky and fun. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll already know this. Plus, I think I said the exact same thing last week when I wrote about going to the Clinic Café.  Quirky things are great conversation starters. “Hey, what did you do last night?” I ask you. “Oh, I went to a movie, so awesome. What did you do?” you ask, “Well, I went for dinner, at a restaurant filled with toilet bowls and ate chocolate ice cream that looked like poo”, then I sit back and smile at your mild shock and wait for you to let me tell you more. Are you ready for more?

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Foodie Friday: Clinic Café

Clinic Cafe

Clinic Café at Gurney Plaza in Penang

I’ve visited a prostitute graveyard in Nevada and bought sock puppet portraits in New York. Whenever someone tells me of a place that weird, odd, or quirky, I get excited. I get really, really excited. I think it’s safe to say that my mind becomes consumed with the idea of visiting/experiencing whatever weird, odd or quirky place I’ve been told about. You see, I love doing things that are different. I love to rebel against the norm (although I also crave the norm at times). It’s fun. It’s kooky. It’s so totally me!

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Celebrating Deepavali in Penang

At a temple in Batu Ferringhi

Worshiper at an Indian temple in Batu Ferringhi

After getting curried away with Annie (and scoring a couple of family recipes) I was more than ready to walked down to Annie’s Homestay to celebrate Deepavali, the Indian Festival of Lights. Have I mentioned that I love festivals? No? Not yet? Well….I do! Festivals are a great way to learn about another culture and although I was in Penang for Deepavali last year, this year I have the opportunity to spend the holiday with a local family and some good friends.

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Getting Curried Away with Annie

Annie in her kitchen

Annie standing in her kitchen

Annie and her husband, Raj, live in Batu Ferringhi (a neighbourhood in Penang) and run a guesthouse called Annie’s Homestay. Annie is one of those people that everyone loves instantly. She’s warm, friendly and very easy to get along with. Plus, her kids are super adorable (I have family photos to post in the future).

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