Aug 17, 2006

Come! Follow me...

We're going for an expedition to inner city of Georgetown. Fisrt, get out of the house (duh!). Then, greet the security guard. Turn right and head to the bus stop. Wait for 5 minutes till the bus arrive. 45 minutes later, you'll find yourself in the busy town of Penang, Georgetown. Why Georgetown? Because when this town was built by the British, the King in reign was George the Third.

Here we are...at Armenian Street. A map of the early 1800s shows that this street was once called Malay Lane, due to the Malay kampong settlement there. As you turn into Armenian Street, you'll notice Syed Alatas Mansion on your left. This place was residence of Syed Alatas, an Achenese merchant of Arab descent. It is quite memorable for me to go back there today because a few years ago I was working here and had a good time playing with the kids from around the neighborhood. Somehow this place was converted to an Islamic Museum. So many changes after a few years.


OK. Let's continue the trail. Walk another three minutes you'll find a small coffee shop at the junction. What is so great about this place? It's all about the Kuey Teow Th'ng. Five years ago, there was an old man serving the Kuey Teow Th'ng, but I can't find him there today. Quite curious though...Anyway, Kuey Teow Th'ng looks like this...
After filling up your tummy, walk straight down to the narrow lane and watch out for Cheah Kongsi. Kongsi (better known as clan house), can be found like mushroom growing everywhere in Penang. In history, migrants from China set up their own Kongsi (society) to protect the welfare of their members. To be honest, I don't find anything interesting in all those Kongsi. However, if you're really into Chinese architecture, I present to you...
Come...come...don't spend too much time here, we still have more to explore... Continue to walk down the lane till you get lost at the junction. Sorry, I'm actually relying on the map that I drew 4-5 years ago. So, I guess this map is obsolete. Nevermind, trust me, you won't get lost. Here, march to the left... And here we are... TADA! Little India. Feels like you're in India now eh? Penang is a multicultural island. And in Little India, you can find all the spices you want from India, all the designs of sarees, all types of Indians regardless whether they're from North India, South India or Sri Lanka. OK, now here we are at Church Street. Actually there's no church along this street. Don't ask me why. But if you wanna go to a church, we can always visit the St. George's Church, my beloved church. It's only 5 minutes away. Here, this is my church. With a pavillion in the compound of the church.

I know my church is Wow 'cos it cost 60,000 Spanish dollar to build. The construction began in 1817 during the governorship of W.E. Phillips (who cares who he was) and it was completed during the tenure of Colonel JA Bannerman. I love the Greek-style pavillion... Tired? Let's cross over to the seaside and have some coconut drinks.


Now, let's go to Fort Cornwallis. Before that, we will walk along the beach and have some fresh air first. Then walk to the playground opposite the road. Can you see the small entrance there? There...at your left. That's the entrance to the Fort Cornwallis. It had to be small, of course, this place was served as a defence fort for the entire Penang Island. Here, I found a new friend. Everybody, meet my new friend Tuki... (I name it Tuki)
Tuki has been here all his life to guard the historical place. There are countless of useless cannon on this ground. If you can find, there's an important cannon here, named Sri Rambai Cannon. It was presented to the Sultan of Johore by the Dutch. However, it was given to the Acheen and installed at Kuala Selangor. Finally, this cannon was seized by the British and installed here in 1871. According to a local belief, childless women can conceive by placing flowers in its barrel and offering special prayers.


Now, do you know who is Francis Light? He was founder of this island, like Raffles found Singapore. According to some records, he died of stress and frustration. However, history never reveal the truth. Actually... I killed Sir Francis Light...
Hungry already? OK, me too... let's go for curry noodle. Extra chilli, extra ingredients, extra everything. Of course, must pay extra too...


Yeap I know everybody is very tired now after walking for the whole day. We'll go home now to rest. Tomorrow we'll go to the beach. Get your suntan oil ready...

4 comments:

Bes said...

Wow, that was entertaining and a good "version of History by Jerine." I'll have to go through the tour again a few times to remember all the historical names and events.

Now I'm hungry after seeing those two dishes;

Jigs said...

Great site seeing! You made me feel as if I was with you! LOL!

The food looks good! Yum! Can't wait for your beach pictures!

Jerine said...

bes- you gotta learn more on history of my version. don't have to go through it all. just ask me.

jigs- that's the point that i wanna achieve, making the reader feel like they are with me there

The Foo said...

curry noodles! darn... thanks alot for reminding me of it! ;-) one of the many missed foods from when I lived in Singapore.

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