Wednesday, April 23, 2014

More Batiks, More KL, More Penang

23 April 2014

We left Melaka after four wonderful and fun-filled days, and took the train back to KL.  Spent two days back at our trusty hotel, where the staff greet us like long-lost friends or family members.  I took an afternoon to paint two more batiks, a scared looking anemone fish (Nemo's dad?) and a friendly and laid-back turtle.  So much fun!

We hopped on a train back north to the island of Penang, to George Town.  Well, we spent the night in Butterworth, at a nice hotel - the train arrives about 10 or 11 PM, after a 6 or 7 hr trip, and it just seemed easier to stay in Butterworth one night and then head to George Town.  (And no, we did not have pancakes or anything for breakfast - it did seem as if one would use Mrs. Butterworth syrup in the town of Butterworth, but such was not the case.)

We're staying at the 1926 Heritage Hotel this week.  (We'll move somewhere else next week, just for variety.)  Anyway, this is a nice hotel that, once upon a time, was home to the British colonial immigration officers and local administrators of Penang. The hotel occupies 24 heritage link (attached) houses - and while beautiful, it sort of has the feel of military barracks for officers - nice, but definitely that military feel.  Check out the long, loooooong, hallways in the photos!

Here's the link for the hotel's website if you want to check them out and read more about the history:

The hotel is located in part of the old area of George Town, the section that is encompassed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  There are lovely old abandoned buildings, where you can almost see and hear the ghosts of the former inhabitants.  There are beautifully renovated buildings that make one wish to live in another century, another time, when architecture was more ornate and elegant and cheerfully decorative.

And then there are the small old buildings that are dwarfed by new modern monstrosities surrounding them.  The little buildings that bravely cling to their sites and refuse to leave.  The tiny ancient buildings, possibly owned by tiny ancient people, who like the location and won't sell, no matter what the price.

So, the television show.  We went over to the casting office on Monday, only to find out that Monday was fitting day for a different group of extras.  We haven't been called for our fittings yet.  However, it does seem as if we've been chosen (or accepted) as extras.  No idea what our roles might be.  Or how much we'll be used.  Or when we're needed.  Or what our costumes are, which might give us a clue as to our roles.  Nope, we know nothing.  We've been assured that we'll be called in this week for our fittings.  And then we'll see.

So, in the mean time, we're still enjoying George Town.  We've been to a few of our usual hang outs, even though we're at the other end of town.  We've also explored new areas we haven't seen before.  Expanding our horizons and all that.

Today we took the public bus (which is a little confusing since we don't speak the language and not all Malaysians speak English) and went out along the north coast to Straits Quay, which is a nice resort/condominiums/mall sort of place.  Pretty, but rather generic.  Not very Malaysian or ethnic or interesting with the kinds of things we like to see or do.

But there was a marina, and views of the water (Straits of Malacca or Melaka, leading out to the Indian Ocean).  And we enjoyed some more western-type foods that we've been eating.  I really enjoyed the architecture with all kinds of decorative metal work, and the very whimsical umbrella sculpture that dominated the entry way.

We walked around, took the bus back, and got lost in the maze of one-way streets that make up George Town. 

Now that we've mastered the buses - okay, well, realistically, now that we've become novices at riding the Penang buses - we may go farther out from George Town.  There are some lovely beach towns along the northern shore of Penang, and we may go visit them.  

It all depends on when we get our costume fittings, and when we are needed for filming.

We plan to explore the other side of Penang - the national forest, the turtle beach, exciting places like that.  Take the ferry to the island of Langkawi, which is more tropical.  Maybe scuba dive.  All those fun things we do in the tropics.

And in between, we'll do our extras for the television production, and have fun in general.

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