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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Penang Trip 09Mar-12Mar

It's been exactly a month since we returned from Penang and I am finally blogging about it! I have actually uploaded the photos in my blog for a few weeks now but I don't have the time to properly blog about it as I had to prepare to move house and I was not feeling well.. Yea yea, excuses! Heehee! 

My sister blogged about the trip on 23rd March! Read her entry here.

The story goes like this.. sometime in late December or early January, my mum's sister whom I call Emama called to inform me that one of our relative is getting married in Penang. She said they are sponsoring our trip there by buying our air tickets and letting us stay in their house but I told her I will only go on my own terms. I want to buy my own air tickets and book my own hotel stay.. It's not I am stuck up.. I just don't want to owe people a favour, especially people who I barely know at all..

I have vague recollections of having relatives there as I went there a few times when I was really young and the last time I went there it wasn't a very happy experience.

I remembered I was 6 or 7 years old and the adults went off to do their stuff so the youngsters hang out together and we went swimming and just self-entertain ourselves in the apartment. There were older kids around too.. I was the odd one out cos I am from Singapore and they kinda ganged up and bullied me... if my memory serves me right, they stole my pillow and blanket when I was sleeping at night, they refused to let me play with them at the swimming pool.. and other petty stuff. Also, I fell asleep in the hot sun and I came back to Singapore looking like an African child.. my dad was so angry, he forbade my Emama from ever bringing me on a holiday again because he deemed her unfit to take care of me. And it really was the last time I went on a holiday with her. I was really fair as a child.. If you think I am fair now, I was double or triple fairer when I was younger.. I came back with peeling skin and even rubbing myself with a towel hurts because my skin was flaking. It was thaaaat bad. I never returned to that translucent fairness, but thank god I am still fairer than the average person. Sometimes I wonder how I will look like now if I still manage to retain that beautiful fair skin.. Sigh.

Anyways, back to the present. 

I keep thinking they are my blood relatives but only when I went to Penang and asked one of the guys there did I realize we are NOT related at all! The bride's grandmother is my Emama's godmother which makes us "God-cousins". Kinda anti-climax.

I planned to fly there alone initially, but after I got attached to Brendan in January I asked if he would like to join me.. He agreed without hesitating (thanks dear!) even though he doesn't know everyone there and it'll be the first time he's meeting my mother and Emama officially. He isn't stressed, or at least he doesn't show his stress to me.

I remembered being really stressed about meeting his parents for the first time! He only gave me 2 hours notice to prepare! It was a Sunday and I was sleeping.. then suddenly he called me and asked "Dear! You saw my whatsapp message?!" in a very frantic voice. I told him to wait while I go and see the message and it went something like "Mum want to meet you. Today! At 1.30pm! Are you there? Are you OK?". I think he thought I fainted from shock or something that's why he called me.. Well, I was sleeping happily but the moment I saw that his Mum want to meet me I felt my heart pounding and I couldn't breathe. I was speechless for a while and he kept asking me "Dear! Are you there???". After a few minutes of silence I told him that I am still alive but I am gonna die anytime of heart attack. He actually laughed and said "All is well! Go back to sleep and I will pick you up later!". Thanks huh! How to go back to sleep after that??? So yea, thank god the meeting went well in the end. Partly cos his sister Pamela came to the rescue. Heh. I'll elaborate more when I blog about our "Love Story"*. But that's gonna be a long while.. Hee! Patience!!

So, we flew in on Friday night.. my sister already flew on Thursday with my mother and Emama and is staying with our "relatives". We will only get to meet her on Saturday night during the 1st dinner and spend the day together on Sunday.

Our flight was delayed by 1.5hours.. I was freaking pissed because I purposely chose to fly on SilkAir instead of a budget carrier to prevent delays but it still got delayed! Grrrr. We arrived in Penang after 10pm++.. flight was uneventful.. It's our first flight together because when we went to Bangkok we flew in and out on different flights (like secret rendezvous.. T_T"). He is really sweet because he brought his noise cancellation earphones for me to use so I can block out the noise and have a good rest. :)

He has friends in Penang and one of them agreed to be our guide for the weekend! :) His name is William and he is a super fun and friendly guy.. He came to the airport to pick us up and sent us to our hotel.

Our hotel is called 23 Lovelane Hotel and it's located at No 23 Love Lane. Sounds really really dodgy, but it's a super exclusive boutique hotel. It's so exclusive that William didn't hear of it before and even though he drove up and down the street before many times, he did not know there's a hotel there!

I'm super proud of myself for choosing this place because it's fabulous! I was deciding between Bayview Hotel or Northam All Suites Hotel but I chanced about this hotel and it looks so special that I MUST BOOK IT!

It is not cheap, the price is 50% more than what the usual hotels are charging.. but it's alright cos I like to splurge on nice hotels. :)

William drove us to the lane and at first we couldn't find it.. after up and down a few times, I pointed out the lanterns and said it look familiar cos I saw the same lanterns on the website...

Entrance of the hotel..
After putting out stuff down, William brought us out for supper! YUMS!

Not much pictures at night because it was drizzling and I was very sleepy. 

The weather in Penang is weird! In the day it's sorching hot and at night it rains very heavily. That sucks because a lot of street vendors operate at night in the open air.. so we didn't manage to eat a lot of yummy food because of the horrid weather! :(

There are 2 wedding dinners. The one on Saturday 10th March is for the bride's side, and the one on 11th March is for the groom's side. We are invited to both!

The first wedding dinner was held at Setia Pearl Island Country Club.
Beautiful view from the balcony
Restaurant was on level 2.
Old school car!
Brought my sister's new camera along. 
We helped her buy it on Thursday night during the IT show.
The atmosphere was very fun and informal.. The food was ok-ok.. But it's alright because afterwards we went for lok-lok supper! :D

Look at all the food on the table! Apparently there are more but since it's late there are lesser options.. LESSER? There's so much food! William always pose for picture with his signature peace sign! LOL! His friend whom Brendan also knows is called William too! The two Williams! Four of us ate a lot and it only costs like SGD20 including drinks! Crazy or what??? I love the old man who is counting the sticks when we called for the bill because he's rapping in Hokkien.. I wanted to take a video but he was too fast. Damm cool!

My sister didn't join us due to logistics problem.. She is staying on the other side of the island and it's very inconvenient to send her back.. Anyway she had her own loklok experience too! :)

The second wedding dinner (groom's side) was held at E&O Hotel. Eastern & Oriental Hotel is the equivalent of our Raffles Hotel in Singapore.. so the groom must be quite well to do.
Wedding car
Us with the beautiful bride - Elyn
They have a photobooth! First time I am seeing it at a wedding!
My sister loves it. :) Lots of props!
He chose that sign himself. I was so surprised. Haha! 
How it looks on the screen..
End results!
We took a few! Super fun!
Outside the hotel..
I don't like the mesh material on my skirt. =.=
But I this photo!
Sis & I
Bride & Groom with their parents!
We were seated NEXT to the VIP table. Big honor! (But why ah?)
Ah Wei is a super funny guy! 
He is the god brother of the bride's brother so that makes him my god-cousin's brother.. god-god brother? Super confusing. Hahahaha!

He helped my sister peel the prawns and here he is washing his dainty fingers. LOL!

One super funny thing was, during the 1st wedding dinner.. I wanted to take picture of the Lotus Rice.. I took out my camera and notice there's a scoop of rice missing.. than I looked up and saw Ah Wei eating the rice.. He gave me a super "OMG I AM SO SORRY!" expression and tried to rearrange and cover up the hole in the corner..! My sister and I laughed until we nearly fainted! Than on the 2nd wedding dinner, when they served the Lotus Rice he looked at me and smiled sheepishly and said "Take picture first!!!".. LOL! 

Pretty toilet! Super old school! :)

Ok, so that concludes the two wedding dinners.. I know I am not blogging chronologically.. but I wanted to talk about the main purpose of our trip first. And I am lazy to rearrange the pictures because blogger messed up the sequence. Hai.

Now, photos of the hotel! 

View from the main lobby at the main gate.. Looks like some rich person's private house right??
View from the main gate
We were holding those old school umbrellas cos it was drizzling! 
Pathway to the side of the hotel
The entrance to the lobby and sitting area
You can use their bicycles for free to explore the surrounding streets! We didn't have the time nor chance to use them because William drove us around.. Better than bicycles! Got aircon! :)
The inner courtyard
I super love the umbrella.. Like the "Xiao Qian" umbrella!

See!! Super old school!
This is the entrance to our room. 
Our room is on the left side.
The backdoor!
In the morning they will lay out tables for people to have breakfast!
happyboy1983. Haha!
Freshly squeezed orange juice!
Their breakfast menu changes everyday! The first day we had our breakfast in the garden, and the second day my sister came to join us and we had our breakfast indoor cos it was quite sunny.
The bread is SUPER NICE! And the giant baked beans is to die for! I wanted to buy them from the hotel but they don't want to sell to me.. And it's not sold in supermarkets cos it's from a special supplier. Sad max. :(
Cheese and jam!
This is how the room looks like! :)
As usual, my workaholic boyfriend is replying emails..
The toilet!

The toiletries they provided was Crabtree & Evelyn and they replenish them daily! There wasn't a bathtub, but the toilet was very big and nice! I love the comfy bath robes too! And notice the red basket in between the sinks? That's where they put the toiletries and stuff. :)

During the daytime on Saturday before the 1st wedding dinner, William came and brought us out for Dim Sum brunch! :)

See the peace sign? LOL!

He ordered a lot! When Brendan told him "Jasmine don't eat much", he gave me the skeptical look and asked "REALLY?!". Hai. Doesn't mean I am fat means I eat a lot hor... :( I have fat genes! 

But after a few meals together he concluded that I really don't eat much. I told him cos I am working night shift now and I usually only eat one meal and day and sleep when the sun is up.. that's why daytime I am quite lethargic but Penang food is so nice so I must attempt to eat! :)

Straight after our Dim Sum brunch he brought us to eat the most famous Chendol in Penang. Actually they don't call it Chendol.. they call it Chendul. It's a different pronunciation but the same recipe. 

This stall is famous because PCK came here to eat! 

I shared with Brendan cos it's really a lot!!
There's another stall just opposite it but business isn't that good.

William is an insurance agent, so his timing was quite flexible when it comes to work.. But he had to go and meet his client so he dropped us off at one of the malls for a few hours before coming to pick us up. As my hair was dammmmm cui, I asked Brendan if he could let me go to the hair salon while he go walk walk and entertain himself. Heehee! Luckily he agreed, so I went to the salon and he went off to see his techie electronics stuff.

My hairstylist is super young! His makeup damn thick! But he is super cute! We hit off very well cos he noticed my teeth are very straight and white (I went for teeth whitening a few days before the trip) and he just had his braces on so he was gushing about how he want perfect teeth like mine. EHH! My teeth are NOT perfect! I wished that they were.. but to attain the level of perfection I want, I'll have to spend tens of thousands of dollars so I gave up on the perfection dream already.

Random photo of myself eating corn. 
(Salt is free in Penang. DAMN SALTY!)
I think my smile is quite nice in this pic. :)

Anyway, I wanted to touch up on my hair colour cos it was very golden and ugly, but his boss advised me to do treatment instead because my hair is dry, that's why it's frizzy and appearing to be "golden" instead of brown.. And it's true! After the treatment, my hair became super chio!

They even curled it for me cos they know I have a wedding to attend :)

Before Make-up

After makeup

Brendan says he prefers me.... WITHOUT makeup. Big surprise. Most men will usually tell their girlfriend "Natural is nice! No need to put makeup!".. Hur hur. But anyway I seldom doll up when I go out with him unless we are going somewhere fancy or nice.. He is used to seeing me in my usual plain look which he insists is "beautiful". =.=

Anyway I don't think I am drastically prettier after putting on makeup. I look the same, just more "awake". I don't like to put false eyelashes, I prefer natural makeup and stay away from smokey eyes, red lipsticks.. Actually I am very boring and non-adventurous when it comes to makeup. My main aim is just to even out my skin tone and add some rosiness in my cheeks.

I feel that makeup is a waste of money because they don't keep for long and the good ones are really expensive! For example, $60 for a Chanel Blusher, $88 for the Urban Decay eyeshadow palette, my whole makeup stash is worth a four digit sum and they are depreciating assets! Usually you have to throw them after 6 months to 1 year. :( The most troublesome part is you have to remove all traces of makeup at the end of the day! I don't like sitting in front of the mirror and pressing a piece of cotton wool to my eyes and counting to 15 for the remover to take effect and wiping it upwards with smooth gentle motion to prevent wrinkles. Super irritating!!! And sometimes if I don't do a good job of removing my makeup, I get breakouts the next day! Urgh.

And.. my boyfriend is super unobservant when it comes to stuff like new hairstyle, new nail colour or new clothes.. I have to hint him and ask "Notice anything different? *waves fingers*" and he'll say.. "Eh. No." .

Sometimes I get super frustrated because he seems to be so uninterested in me, but then I realized that he is observant, only selectively. He notices things like:
  1. iPhone battery very weak - Changed a new battery for me
  2. Mouse wire exposed - Buys me a new mouse
  3. Laptop full of smudges - Cleans it for me
  4. Cables & wires in a mess - Ties them up neatly for me
Stuff like that.. I think he notices the techie stuff cos he's a techie geek. =.=

Well, at least he's not entirely obtuse, just selectively observant. No.. actually maybe he PRETENDS not to notice so I won't spend time and effort on dolling up?? Because he notices every bruises I have!! I always knock into the table and will have ugly blue-blacks afterwards and he will notice them! He went to buy tableguards from IKEA to stick on the table and even bought Zam-bak to apply on my bruises.. Super sweet of him. :) Ahh.. oh wells.

Alrighty, on Sunday morning my sister came to join us for breakfast at the hotel. After William came and picked us up.. guess where he brought us...

Yes! Food again!
Choose your own Dim Sum!

The guys preparing the tea and laying out the food.
"Nooo! I very full!"
"I take this small one!"
I was forcing her to eat the carrot cake. HAHAHA!

Then, William brought us back for the Chendul again cos my sister did not try it yet! 

Standing at the opposite stall where business is not so good for a picture!

We got seats inside! :) 
But need to pay "cover charge" of RM0.40 per bowl of dessert cos the stall is an outside stall.

I ordered the Assam Laksa to try! I only ate it twice in Penang. :(

He brought us to buy local specialty products!


Later, William brought us to another mall to walk walk. Honestly, I have no interest in malls or shopping at all when I am overseas. I HAVE NOTHING TO BUY! I just want to try the local food and take lots of pictures! Sometimes I feel irritated with myself for being such a weird girl cos usually girls like to whack shopping right? But I think my boyfriend is glad that I don't enjoy it so he don't need to accompany me for hours while I shop.

When we were in Bangkok, we went to Chatuchak market and I surrendered after 1 hour. I whined and complained it's too hot and I wanna go back to the hotel and laze around and watch movie and he told me that his cousin's ex-girlfriend walked the whole of Chatuchak for almost 12hours and refused to leave until the place closed and she had bags full of stuff. He considers himself very lucky to escape that kind of fate. LOL! ^_^

We didn't go into the cafe cos we were very full ..
Instead, we went to have frozen yogurt!
Sogurt is still better, IMHO. :)

Our final destination on Sunday was Bukit Bendera, Penang Hill!

Locals pay RM8. Foreigners pay RM40! 
William is taking picture of the tickets and posting on FB.

They did not realized the price difference until I pointed out on the signboard. It says RM40 for Adults in English, but they put "Lapan Ringgit" which translates to RM8 for locals. That's a 5x difference and it's really too much! RM40 for a tram ride which doesn't have aircon cos they refused to turn it on?! Madness..

But in the end we had fun though it was kinda touristy.

Ok, my sister told me a really funny story. I shall copy and paste what she wrote in her blog:
Once, there was this little girl who went to a temple with her Aunt. There was a large python in a cage there. The little girl wanted to go in and touch the snake and she cried when her Aunt refused to let her to. Her Aunt gave in and opened the cage to let her in. The little girl ran in and started squeezing the snake's body with two hands (Like *squish squish*) and then ran out happily. A monk went up to her Aunt and told her (in hokkien) :
Wa you heng the snake full already. Or not your kid gone already.

That little girl was me. Serious.

I didn't know about this story, nor do I recall it.. Apparently I was only 2 or 3 years old when it happened.. Hahahahaha! She told me this story on the way to Penang Hill.. When we were up the hill, guess what we saw?

Yup! You can take pictures with giant pythons for only RM10! LOL!

I jumped at the opportunity! My sister didn't wanna take with me, and William is afraid of snakes, so Brendan accompanied me to take the picture. I am so glad he is not squeamish and afraid of snakes. :)

The two guys helping us balance the snake on our shoulders.
Why do I get the head!?!? LOL!
The snake keeps turning around to stare at me..
I told my sister "It remembers me squishing his cousin 20years ago!!!!"
Look at the funny man behind us! LOL! 
We even got a printout of the photo! Only RM10! Cheap cheap! :)

After Penang Hill we went back to the hotel to get ready for the 2nd wedding dinner.. The next day, William came to pick us up and fetched us to the airport for our flight back home.

He has never been to Singapore and I keep bugging him to come but he keep saying "Before 50yrs old". I shall continue to bug him on Facebook every now and then to come Singapore so we can bring him around cos he's a super wonderful host. :) He woke up early and stayed up late to bring us around to eat good food and on many occasions refused to let us pay.. I had to use my ninja powers to preempt him in paying and several times he commented to Brendan "Wah your girlfriend's movement damn fast". Heehee.

Overall the trip was very fun and I had a great time!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

shooooo sweet kiss kiss