Malaysia – Penang CNY and Penang Hill

We accelerated up, faster than we expected, to the top of Penang Hill on what looked like a shoebox clinging to the side of the mountain. At the top, we dined on an exciting breakfast including a half-boiled egg which I assume was in the same room as a heat source at some point and a strange brown liquid called tea (Phoebe renamed it a frothy cup of misery). Remember when Interstellar, the movie, stated that one day we would evolve into beings which could control five dimensions – well, they’ve been beaten to it by a toy museum at the top of Penang hill which is currently showing a Minions film in 5D. We ignored this, the owl museum, and the largest LED heart in Malaysia and instead chose to do a nature trail called “Habitat”. This was actually very good, there were giant black squirrels (which have just entered in at number 3 on my top 5 favourite woodland rodents) and a tent on a rope. We returned, chortling at the people queuing for the train on the way up, and rewarded ourselves with ice cream. Phoebe had a ball of ice, I had ice with baked beans, sweetcorn, grass jelly and condensed milk – we know who the real winner was.
Squirrel – greedy little git chewing his fat face full of leaves.
An in”tents” experience in the jungle.
It was Chinese New Year celebrations on our last night and we decided to show our faces to the adoring fans. A few local college students decided that we were in desperate need of improving our origami skills: during the process of creating our half chicken/ half boat/ half car accidents I had a microphone pressed to my mouth asking about my day. My dulcet tones echoed around the streets of Penang as I gave monosyllabic answers to the questions by a quite excitable young host. I expect if you, our unwilling audience, wish to find out more – it is probably in a Malaysia  newspaper as we were both interviewed and photographed “oohing” at a lantern.
We foolishly ventured out at night to be immediately compacted by the conveyor belt of Chinese people. Our flattened selves ate an apple crumble waffle and a milky/grass jelly soup respectively (guess who ate what…) and watched two men hop on stilts whilst in the Chinese version of a Pantomine Horse costume. The costume was actually a silver lion costume and watching this thing hop around has made me consider a career change as it looked mightily impressive. Aside from this, we saw a group of girls drum in synchronicity with the sort of regimentation many armies would dream of. There was also coconut ice cream.
The entrance to our hotel once they realised local celebrities Alec+Phoebe were arriving.
Phoebe before her breakfast each morning.
Men in Panto costume on stilts. No, I’m not “lion”. 
A quiet street for the evening. We could finally hear ourselves think!
From Alec + Phoebe (see Penang monthly for details)

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