20 May 2014
Well, we're still waiting to be called as extras, but we're having fun in George Town anyway. We seem to always have fun, or at least make our own fun.
We've discovered the Kantan Kafe, a lovely little shop with the best bagels we've found this side of the Pacific Ocean - really good bagels, a variety of toppings as well as breakfast or lunch options, very friendly staff as well as customers. Great little place! (We've had great conversations with fellow travellers there, which is always fun.)
A delightful young couple owns the place, and while they don't have a website yet, they are on Facebook as well as Tripadvisor - check them out at https://www.facebook.com/kantankafe
They have these fun paintings on the walls of the café. They also make their own macarons - you know, those little French meringue cookies that are suddenly au courant. With yummy filling. In a variety of flavours. We picked up a few for our afternoon snack, in lieu of lunch. Perfect with my organic Earl Grey tea, which was amazing in and of itself. So the macarons - the strangely blue one is lavender flavoured, with a chocolate lavender ganache. Oh. My. Wow. Amazing! The beige is mocha, with melt-in-your-mouth mocha meringue and an intense mocha-almost-dark-chocolate ganache center. The brown is chocolate, which Richard ate and said is equally wonderful.
So yes, have a bagel. A latte. Deconstruct the egg on a bagel sandwich to have a light brekkie with a side salad. (What I usually do.) Get a macaron for dessert, or a snack later on. Be forewarned - they are hard to resist and save for later.
Yesterday was bright and sunny, and I went up to the roof to see what was going on with the filming of the TV program. Of course, I was sidetracked with the beautiful view of George Town, the water, all that. And the variety of architecture we can see from up there, especially the wonderfully ornate and dragon-filled roof of the Chinese temple.
Anyway, the filming of "Indian Summers" has started, and they spent the day filming on Armenian Street. We could see some of it from the roof (which is where I shot this photo). The story is set in 1932 India, when the Indian people are beginning to talk independence from the British colonial government. The Brits would go to Simla, a town in the foothills of the Himalayan mountains for the summer, and that's what George Town is substituting for, Simla. And of course the story focuses on interpersonal relationships between the main characters, set against the backdrop of historic events.
Here's the update from their announcement (and the cast list!): http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/cast-announced-for-channel-4s-epic-period-saga-indian-summers
So I was upstairs, trying to take a photo of the Indian actors or extras as they got into a line and walked down the street, for numerous takes - and a stray cat decided to check out what was going on and weave its way amongst the people, doing that kitty-trip-the-person thing. It was very funny, and I'd like to see if Stray Cat is in the final cut!
We're waiting to see if they need us as extras, or not. At this point, I'm rather disillusioned with the entire process. I realize that extras aren't very important in the big picture of the show. (Especially when you have someone like Molly Weasley as one of the actors, LOL! She's great, wouldn't you like to do a show with her?) However, we keep getting told to come back by a certain date and they'll let us know. We come back, they don't let us know, and we aren't needed.
So we're making plans to see the other couple of places around Penang and Malaysia that we'd like to visit - the national park, the turtle nesting beach, a temple in the middle of the island. Maybe spent time in the town of Ipoh, and head to the Cameron Highlands for a few days. Head to Selangor and see the fireflies. (Masses of fireflies, not just plain old fireflies.)
Anyway, we've been having fun doing our usual wandering around George Town, exploring. We're going to skip the Durian Festival (yes, that's what the monstrous durian is doing in the back of the truck - and yes, they smell absolutely disgusting, like rotting fruit garbage, gag!), and we'll do our best to get to the Lion Dance on Stilts competition in a few days.
Further plans? Well, Thailand is under Marshall Law due to government disruptions (they finally ousted to Prime Minister and a bunch of members of parliament) and general civil unrest. So Thailand is out. Vietnam, well, this is rainy season in Vietnam. Northern Asia beckons, it's spring and then summer there. If we don't get a call back soon, we'll probably head north for several months, and then head back to SE Asia for the late fall and winter. That's the vague outline. We'll see what happens.