Penang... island of spices
Penang Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Salamet Datang!! Warmest greetings from the island of Penang, Malaysia!
Arrived safely and have already experienced a lot just in my first few days. I had a pretty uneventful flight via Singapore until an over pedantic customs officer confiscated my tube of vegemite at the airport just I was departing for my flight to Malaysia. I didn't realise that vegemite was lethal weapon!!
Arrived to a warm welcome! It is great to be back in Asia.
The TESOL course starts on Monday with 18 students from all over Asia. The college is situated on a steep hill overlooking the northeast coastline of Penang. I overlook the most dense jungle then out to sea. It is actually quite beautiful.
But it is a real jungle. Ants are as big as lizards, monkeys as big as children, rats as big as possoms. We have been warned about scorpians and centipedes - which apparently like to sleep in your shoes. Everything is just bigger in the jungle! It is a jungle. I would hate to see the snakes!
The markets and eating places are awesome. Ate mango chicken satay last night. I think we will be able to eat a different type of food every single day.
It is a lot cooler than I expected. It is about 28 degrees. It rained very heavy yesterday afternoon and evening and it is lovely and cool. I may have to buy a jumper. Silly me, I didn't think it would get this cool. And of course they still have the aircon on every where which just makes you shiver.
Our hosts have been great. Can't do enough for us. They have arranged one of the students who has a car to be at our disposal. They have provided me with a phone with a Malaysia SIM card. All very very good.
I went for a walk yesterday exploring up and down these very steep paths and driveways. If I can keep the walking up I will certainly get fit.
As I type, monkeys are screeching outside the window. Yikes, I hate them. I will really have to overcome my dislike of the things. They move around in groups and have incredibly noisy fights. Just like a real family!! :-) We have to keep our door bolted and locked as the clever little things try and open the handle.
I learnt that Penang is famous for it’s spices, especially nutmeg. Nutmeg grows on trees and is the national tree of Penang. The nutmeg tree is even features on the Penang state flag. Usually, in Australia, we only eat the ground spice of the nutmeg seed, but here they eat the fruit too. Apparently the ground seed is used as a medicinal herb. The fruit is eaten fresh or dried. I tasted some and it’s really very good!
We don’t have a lot of time, but I have visited a few of the local sites. Absolute ‘must do’s’ are the Butterfly Farm and a trip up Penang Hill on the tram.
So, from the land of spices, I have attached some photos soon. But, I can assure there won't be any close ups of monkeys!