Penang, according to The Lonely Planet, is cited by New Yorkers (The New York Times) as being one of  the 44 must-see destination in the world. Which, considering all of the options, is pretty impressive. The main reason cited: the food. And having spent 4 days in Georgetown now, the main city in Penang, I really, really get it. The food is mind-blowingly good. And inexpensive. And readily available. Everywhere you look or walk you can have your pick of unique, mouth watering Penang delectables any time of the day or night for virtually next to nothing. Penang cuisine, naturally, is a reflection of the diverse ethnic groups which co-exist happily here: Chinese, Malay and Indian, so there's something for every taste. And pocket. Our favourites have included: roti canai (a flat bread served with a lentil curry), Laksa (a spicy, sour noodle, beef and tamarind soup), banana leaf rice platters and some of the outstanding tandori on offer. Luca loves his regular fix of a Malaysian banana or pineapple pancake and no meal is complete these days without a lime, melon or kiwi juice. He's even mastered the use of chop sticks!


Georgetown is a feast for the senses in lots of other ways too. Given its ethnic mix it is a muli-religious city and the aroma of joss sticks which emanates from the Buddhist Temples wafts through the aromatic spicy and peppery city air to the background noise of the many mosque's Call to Prayer. A lunch time stroll through Little India, to which we were brought by Trishaw, was short lived for us, not because it was unpleasant but simply because of a virtual sensory overload as Bollywood music blasted from the long row of bright red, orange and yellow jewel and clothing shop fronts and stalls under the sweltering noon time sun. We were all over-hot and a little overwrought and needed some shady respite so we turned away from Little India into Chinatown and, well, ended up at “Auntie Sim's” whom, it transpires, unknown to us at the time, is a well-known Penang fortune teller. You can have your tarot cards read, palm read or face read for approximately €3.50. So I took the opportunity to take a few minutes respite in the shade and, yes, you guessed it, had my palm read. I mean when in Rome and all that... The only information requested of me was my age and then Auntie Sim took my right hand in hers and read my “present” and, later, took my left hand and read my future from that. It was an interesting and, strangely, at times a somewhat emotional experience (okay this is me we are talking about – so the latter could be a very unique observation :) ). And what did this reading reveal? Well, in short, it seems that I have a pretty decent life line and career line – there's nothing remarkable either in lows or highs there on either palm which is a good thing in lots of ways but then, given that I am at a bit of a cross road career wise, I was hoping that she would tell me that some serious career highlights awaited. Ah well. But, she also said, I have had and always will have a strong encouraging influence in my career and I will be prosperous. I am gentle and intelligent; I have a very strong brain line it seems (honestly, I am not making this up – they were Auntie Sim's words) but my brain can be overactive at times which can lead to unhappiness. The latter is actually very true. Sometimes I do over-think/ over-analyse and over-worry and drive myself (and probably my loved ones) mad as a result. The good news was that my left hand went on to foretell that this would ease with age. Phew! I have a very good present and future social life; this info was gleaned from the finger tips. My relationship line was much better from the age of about 30 - check – that's when I met Phil. I was told that my really good years for the future would be 43-48, 50-51 and 60-61. And that travel and overseas featured in my future too. Her predictions for having more children were a bit hard to interpret, despite me really straining my ears to hear (!) at that point, so I am getting Phil to get his fortune told in Thailand to see what they say to him. I have no idea why my interest in these pyschic arts has been piqued recently– maybe it's just the hot, exotic surroudings and/or the fact that I am at a cross roads career wise and in so many other ways too. Because you see I do actually fundamentally believe that, while some things are beyond our control (some aspects of our health etc.) we all control and forge our own destiny to a large part. As the poem which inspired Nelson Mandela while in captivity on Robbin Island, “Invictus”, goes : “ I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”. My fate will be revealed with time. For now the Cameron Highlands loom in my near future so, I'd better sign off and get organised to go onwards and upwards (literally).

4 comments:

At March 31, 2011 at 12:18 PM Anonymous said...

Wow!Have only missed a few days but LOTS has happened! Am beyond green with envy now... Not sure what the next colour up is but that's me! Having said that all good here as what passes for Autumn in Oz sets in! Busy planning my own adventure which kicks off in June but am kept going when the everyday toil here gets too much by hearing about yours... AINE X

 
At April 1, 2011 at 4:59 PM Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

It all seems very exotic and colourful and thousand miles away from where we are at the moment. with billions owed in more bank bailouts with generations now and in the futue committed to high taxes and this never ending. recession!!Your palm reading was very intestesing !
Had lovely time in London ,really enjoyed the Wizard of OZ and nice to have evening with Niamh and Cathryn. The party was great and lovely to catch up with everyone x orla

 
At April 5, 2011 at 2:03 PM Linda de Paor said...

Thanks Elder Lemon! Glad to hear that all well in Bondi. Luca was asking where his kite was today ( he saw one when we were on the beach) so I told him that I had posted it to Oz for him ( it's amongst our bits and bobs in boxes) and he was delighted! He loves that kite that you sent him. Anyway I said that I had posted it to Oz. To his Auntie, Uncle and cousins. To which he replied: Aine, Paul, Niamh, Cian and Maeve-ey in Bondi? :) Love you all. Will phone for "Mini-Doopers" Birthday. Big hugs. x

 
At April 5, 2011 at 2:12 PM Linda de Paor said...

Hi Or, thanks for the comment and the updates. Heard that things were bad all right with another Black Thursday for the banks...:( I can't say that I am sorry to be away from it all to be honest the good weather spell notwithstanding. Asia is awesome. We've stayed longer in Malaysia than we thought but have really liked it. It ticks all of the boxes: good weather, nice people and great food. Niamh said that the night out was lovely. It was lovely you were there to celebrate the special day. How are the girls? Would have loved to have taken Mum for Afternoon Tea in The Cameron Highlands. She'd have loved it. Believe she is enjoying reading our posts Niamh posts to her. I'm delighted. Love to you, Nial and Ailbhe and Caoimhe. Will Skype soon! LOL, Lin x

 

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