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.
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.
From Alec + Phoebe (see Penang monthly for details)