Thursday, July 08, 2010


Yesterday was the first annual celebration of Penang Heritage Day. UNISCO named Georgetown, (Penang's largest, possibly only city) a heritage site last year, and so they have created a holiday. SUPER fun day. Well done Penang.
We were initially invited by our new Indian friends to participate in a heritage walk yesterday morning. Essentially it was a tour and study of the various shop house styles which have been preserved over the years. I like to call it the "shutter tour". Dating from 1800 onward, these shutter styles tell the tale of Penang's importance as a port and the various occupations that resulted. I think the shutters are so beautiful. Though the history was a little over my head. Its hard when you know nothing about an areas past. We wandered and wandered, in hilarious circles passing the same block several times.

This was fun because we ride the bus a lot and it just flies past these beautiful temples, and shops, and houses and things, and it is so rare that we stop and look at things.
But yesterday, we got the chance to stop and looked at quite a few things. It was great.

After two breakfasts (Dim Sum before the tour, and Roti Channai after) we went home and napped. Then, at four we headed back into town for tea with our new Indian friends. They had prepared a Nyonya tea, which, as far as I can gather means Chinese-Malay. It was a bunch of sweets with the texture of tapioca, all made with coconut milk in some form or another, and some sweet, wild rice soup mix of some kind. It was, quite honestly, gross. Which is pretty much how I feel about Dim Sum and possibly all Chinese food. Sad. But true.
Regardless, we headed back into the fray, the whole downtown area was set up with little stages and various cultural performances including Lion Dancers.Who are adorable children in giant lion costumes. Very fun, very festive.
They were doing demonstrations in batik, and teh tarik (my favorite), and henna. Abby, the niece of our new Indian friends assures me she has a friend who does henna for cheaper so we're going to do that before I go home in a couple of weeks. They had opened up the mosques for tours, and some members of the Bejing Opera were present doing demonstrations and, supposedly snippets of the Monkey King, though we didn't get to see it. However we did get to see some pretty good examples of modern Indian dance and drumming.

I sat next to Amy, who is 24, and she kept saying things like, "For Indians, it is all about color, all about spice, all about dance." Indians are fun. And she's right. They are all about color, spice, and dance. Indian food enlivens our life here. We ate tandoori chicken at our favorite new place, Kapitan's, in Little India for dinner. Tandoori chicken is the fabulous shade of red and it stains your fingers and you smell like it for hours. It's heavenly. And you get a Mango Lassi to go along with it, all sweet and creamy, and it is the best. What am I going to do when I go home? Indian food so far away and so expensive. Sigh. I live a hard life. :)

I'm including this picture on the left just because I was told by Amy that the boy in the front is the ex boyfriend of one of her friends and, she assures me, he is a liar. Hilarious.

The last performance that we watched was Traditional Indian dance, which changed my life a little bit. It is gloriously classy, like ballet, and it was so beautiful. I loved it and want to learn. Is there any way in the world for that to happen? In Texas? In Waco? Probably not. I would love it though. I danced when I was a little, little girl, and am silly about it still.

I've moved into a nice schedule here. I get up when I wake up, and lounge around with a glass of Teh Tarik from a powder packet (it's no where near as good as the real thing but I intend to buy just a million packets to bring home and drink it as long as my supply lasts) while I wait for Drew to skype me from work. After we talk I usually lie around reading a book until it dawns on me that I can lounge around reading a book by the pool, and that there is a much better chance of me getting in the pool if I am by the pool. Then I swim. I've managed to swim a half mile three times now, and am getting better at it. I'm tan and feeling pretty good. Then I take a nap, or sit and read, and eat some kind of lunch. Eventually we eat dinner and watch a movie, the three of us on my parents bed. Tonight it is Julie and Julia which I saw in the theater. I'd forgotten how much I like it.

I miss you all. I am faithfully reading your blogs, loving watching your babies, gardens, chickens, quilts, crafts, etc. grow. I wish I could be with you. You are all so very impressive and precious.

1 comment:

Donnell said...

Such wonderful colors. I'm glad you are having fun. We'll have to go to the Clay Pit in Austin sometime so that you can have some Indian food.