Friday, December 11, 2009

Food & Adventure. What a Combo!

As soon as I left Penang, I went there again; this time to visit Ah Ma and Yeh Yeh. It was peculiar without KJ and the car felt so empty. This was a makan-filled trip!

We started off with Mom's favourite Tuo Pan which is actually fried sa hor fun with vermicelli in gravy. It's specialty? The fiery sambal belacan! Half-full, we headed to Chai Leng Park's Wai Sek Kai which is something like Ipoh's Tong Sui Kai. There's a variety of food here; from laksa to lok lok to ice-kacang with atapchee and even kuay kak.

I even got to meet Kee Lin (I don't know how's it spelt) - a cousin from Australia whom I've met once 8 years ago. (I do think prognathism runs in our family genes.)

The following day, we had Ah Ma's Hokkien-style dishes like homegrown veggies, stir-fried in chillies and heh bi to give it a belacan-like taste; and also herbal longan soup. We hopped over to the island for a dose of shopping. I managed to purchase a pair of RM 200 Lee Cooper slim jeans for a mere RM 60 at a warehouse sale in Queensbay Mall! Even Converse was selling for extremely discounted prices. We saved Sakae for our next trip to Penang with KJ after Christmas. :)

We popped over to Island Glades for laksa but it wasn't open, so we headed for Air Itam but there was none. But we managed to get a glimpse of the newly erected Kuan Yin in Kek Lok Si from afar. It was huge!

As a last resort, we went to Gurney Drive for food! We saw a man catching chia hu by the sea. The four of us had 4 bowls of laksa, 1 bowl of Koay Teow Th'ng, 2 ice-kacangs, 1 Mua Chee, 1 plate Chee Cheong Fun, 1 small plate of rojak, and 1 coconut. WOW.

Dad drove through town and I savoured the sights of old Penang - from Millionaires' Lane to Chulia Street. Despite passing through these streets many times, the architecture never fails to amaze me and although Penang is soaked in manic development, there's still this old feel to it. Pretty nostalgic. Pre-war shophouses producing rattan, Peranakan town houses with ancestral altars at their doors. It really makes me feel like going back-packing with a DLSR and KJ, of course.

Back at Ah Ma's, Dad took out some ancient photographs of our ancestors; some all the way from China. Looking at them makes me swell with pride because of our rich Baba-Nyonya heritage. Nyonyas in kebayas, complete with traditional headgear and beaded shoes; and Babas in crisp white suits and neat combed hair. He even procured a life-like portrait he did of his Grandpa Sim when he was slightly over 7. Ah Ma even kept Dad's drawing books - How to Draw Heads, Landscapes and even perspectives. They are now in my possesion!

The greatest highlight of this trip happened when we were on our way back to Ipoh. After leaving the Bukit Gantang R&R for quite a distance, Dad realised our car was overheating. Unfortunately, there was a massive jam due to roadworks, so we were forced to pull over by the side. Sean and I tracked back a distance to find a PLUS SOS phone but it was another 250m away so we just took down the PLUSLINE number. A pipe had burst and we needed either a temporary sealant or a new pipe. PLUS wasn't much help and the sky was getting dark. It began to rain but it wasn't safe to stay in the car, in case a speeding car crashes into our stationary one. So we waited under umbrellas. Save for the lights of the passing cars and the occasional streak of lightning. It was really cold.

After 3 hours, our hero, in the form of Uncle Albert the Mechanic, came all the way from Ipoh to the rescue! It was pouring and he risked his life to replace the burst pipe (remember the speeding cars?). However, he couldn't fix the clip due to the heavy rain so we drove on to the Sg. Perak R&R, where he fixed it. Praise God for him! It was all done and we reached home safely at 12am after a BKT dinner, about 6 hours since the breakdown. Thank God!

As soon as we reached home, we found out our water tank had leaked!

Perfect epitome of 'sudah jatuh ditimpa tangga'. What a day!

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