"Eyes open wide, blinded by the sun now
Orange and white, dark red, green and yellow
Rainbow colors! Do not hide, see the view!
Step aside, go through!"Sticks & Stones (2010) by Jónsi
Most of the rest of this song is in Icelandic.
I can't understand a single word of it, but it sure sounds pretty.
Yesterday was a great day. I woke up about seven and went for a few laps in the pool while Phoebs headed for class with her housemates. I don't know what came over me but I suddenly grew an urge to drop 5 kilograms before my month here is Butterworth is up (I can literally see the food capital of Malaysia from Phoeb's condo unit, so we'll see how this goes). I have restricted myself to two meals a day, small portions only and zero snacks in the interim. And for the first time in my life, I had a dinner consisting only of a stick of celery and an apple. I have always liked celery as a cooked dish, but by Jove, it never occurred to me that celery can taste good raw as well. I'm sure they'd taste fantastic with some salsa or cream cheese? No! Snap out of it! Put your hands in the air and back away real slow-like from the cheese dip, mister!
There's just something about this place that just makes me feel a lot less hungry than usual. I'm guessing it's because I do not have a working knowledge of every good eatery in this city. Back in Malacca, I'm hyperaware of the opening and closing times of each of my favourite food haunts. Just for example, at 5:00 am, my internal clock will inform me that that great dim sum shop on Jalan Ong Kim Wee just opened. At 5:30 pm, it tells me that the economy rice shop in Batu Berendam that serves the best damn char siew in the state will start selling and that I should get there 10 minutes early to beat the queue. It's like that for me all day long, every day.
As I was saying, it's nice to go swimming on a weekday morning. There's no one about to see me flail helplessly about like a drowned pig from one end of the pool to the other. I had to stop after half an hour though because I was starting to get dizzy and nauseous; the beginning of the throes of hypoglycaemia. For some strange reason, my blood sugar tended to dip at the merest prods. If I have too much coffee, or if I talk too much, my fingers would start to tingle. A swig of sugared water usually fixes me right up.
At about 8:00 am, I broke fast at this little coffee shop near Phoeb's place called Bee Tin which supposedly serves good curry mee. Some Penang foodie blogs recommended it. You should take a look at my Google Earth. I've populated it with like 40-50 markers tagging all the places where prime vittles can be found on the island and mainland - along with notes on their business hours, driving directions, telephone numbers, GPS cords and menu item suggestions. Took me near a week to gather that much intel on the F&B's of this region, let me tell you. Don't worry; I haven't memorise all of them yet.
Which reminds me - I should get myself a GPS-capable device. Or a map. I consider myself to be a pretty good hand at map-reading anyway. I also consider myself to be below the socioeconomic stratum of GPS-capable people.
After breakfast, I decided to explore Butterworth a bit on foot and headed in a northerly direction towards Raja Uda. The weather was beginning to swelter, even this early in the morn, but the sky was mercifully cloudy. I reckon Penang to be just about as hot as Malacca and Muar (where I attend clinics at), all three being coastal and all. Maybe I should have checked if there's a government hospital at the Cameron Highlands. Having to wear my white coat while doing my electives there actually makes sense.
My foot started to blister after about 3 kilometres out. Lousy 50 Rupees sandals. I bought them at Mysore during my South Indian backpacking trip. It figures that sandal from Mysore would make my feet SORE, ah haha ha... *cough*... That's another shopping list item: Walking shoes. I was going to get another pair of Timberland pseudo-formal slip-ons but I guess I'll just have to make do with my old ones for another year.
One of the objectives I had for embarking on this walk was to look for a dim sum restaurant marked on my Google Earth called Chaw Choon - not for second breakfast, of course, but you know, in case of emergencies. I found it closed with this notice stuck on the outside,
I's not saying that it'll be closed till the 15th of April, is it?! Can someone translate and say it isn't so-oh-oh?
Somehow, I managed to walk all the way back to Phoeb's place from there. I just did a beeline measurement of my route through Google Earth and it was almost 10 kilometres coming and going. All in all, it was a pretty good workout if I do say so myself. Plus, I also discovered this vegetarian shop en route which starts operating from 7:00 am onwards - which is good news because I can return to the mostly-vegan diet I subsisted on during my exam prep weeks. There's also this nasi lemak stall that seems to be quite popu... No! Must resist! Nasi lemak is the Enemy. It is the fucking Antichrist!
I think I might just go to the island on foot tomorrow, just for the heck of it. Does anyone know if they allow pedestrians on the ferries? Oh well, guess I'll just have to find out the hard way since I won't, for the lack of an internet connection, check up on this page until much later.
This post is not just for me to waffle about my latest doomed attempt at recapturing my former svelte-ness (I'll show you guys a pic sometimes). I wrote it because I want something to remember a great day by. I just passed the scariest exam I have ever sat for and is on a month long semi-vacation living with the girl I adore after being away from her for a really long time.
I'm sailing the best days of my life. I guess I must be doing something right.
His cup runneth over,
K0k s3n w4i