Penang Day 2: 16 November 2014
Before the Run
Our very kind host, Id, woke up early in the morning to make us egg sandwiches while I had my banana 🙂 Having 8 persons under a roof with one bathroom was fun, but a little daunting. We had to queue up to shower and/ or use the toilet. Some of us even brushed our teeth in the kitchen sink! At 5.30 in the morning, as planned, 6 of us crowded in a car, fully unaware we will face three hiccups.
The plan was to drive and park near Queensbay mall and take the free shuttle bus to the marathon site. However, to our horror and surprise, the queue to the bus stop was almost 1 km long along the side of the road. At the bus stop, the queue branched from another direction. There was no way we could make it in time if we joined the queue – first hiccup.
So, we drove all the way to the second bridge. There was slight traffic jam, and by the time we reached near the marathon starting point, we couldn’t find a proper parking spot. We went round and round trying to find a place to slot the car, but it wasn’t easy.I truly appreciate and command the patience of our driver, G, who was participating in the 10 km run too. Lady luck was on our side, as we managed to find a car park shortly before 7 am. Second hiccup solved.
We rushed out of the car and head off to the marathon site. For the 10 km category, female started at 7 am while male starts at 7.30 am. We discovered the third hiccup….
Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM)
…The marathon was overcrowded. There weren’t much room to breathe and I found myself comparing this 10 km run to that of Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur (SCKL), held a month ago. It was hard to manoeuvre around people who were slower and making space for those who were faster.
However, the morning view at the bridge was so amazing that so many people stopped to take a picture in the midst of a run. Compared to SCKL when there were only buildings and more buildings, this was a fresh change of environment.
All of us finished the race, despite our constant jokes about the sweeper bus. After many rounds of pictures, we went home with a smile on our faces and muscles. I was very happy that I did not have any blisters! These two runs made me realised how out of shape I was, but it was never too late to start to get back into shape.
Lunch at China House, Georgetown
We headed back to Id’s place to shower; I was the first in line (thank you!) because I had plans with fellow Penangrian, SC. The last time we met up was during my birthday in May. She brought us to a heritage cafe, China House.
The food at China House was very nice. The interior decoration had a very contemporary feel, we felt comfortable even with the crowd. We shared a bento box and had a tiramisu cake after. The tiramisu was drenched in Ameretto. This reminded me of the waiter in a cafe in Rome; when I ordered a cake with ameretto and rum, he drenched the cake with extra shots of ameretto and rum and gosh, I felt light-headed after two bites.
It was very enjoyable catching up with SC – glad she was recovering from her rashes. After our lunch, we toured around in China House (did you know there was a first floor there?). She asked the question: What do you want to do after this?
I wasn’t expecting to have so many extra time on my hand, but while researching Penang, I found out about the street art. I only had one I wanted to see badly – the boy on the bike. It was such a coincidence that Armenian Street was right around the corner. So, Penang street art, checked.
Made in Penang Interactive Museum
We spent the next hour or so at the Made in Penang Interactive Museum. After paying the RM15 per person entrance fees, we went in and snapped some pictures.
After the tour in the museum, we head to a shopping mall to chill at Starbucks while waiting for time to pass before I had to go to the airport. We managed to get couch seats and continued our catch-up. I managed to buy some of Penang famous tan bun piah home (My parents loved it! YAY!).
With the lack of public transport in Penang, I realised I couldn’t have gotten far without rides from fellow Penangrians.
While my sole purpose of going to Penang is for the run, I felt very blessed at the end of my trip. As I left Penang, I can’t help but feel thankful for all the little things that deepens my memory of Penang. Thank you to: (1) Id, for her hospitality and accommodation during my one night stay, and introducing us to cronuts (2) Y, for driving me to Kek Lok Si temple on the first day and even accompanying me all the way up! (3) G, for driving us to get my bananas and driving us around, (4) SC for hanging out and driving me to the airport and finally (5) to new friends and old friends for all the memories.