Penang, first impressions

The saying that first impressions are never the best might be true but this is just my first day and first opinion. The part of Penang island outside airport is just like any other middle class residences. mostly public housing apartments and this continues all through the town till you get to Georgetown or butterworth. Georgetown is the place I chose my guest house in.

The airport staff was sweet. The female Malaysian immigration officer especially. Outside as well, I asked for the bus number and I was told. Plus 1.

But the best part till then hadn't happened. i held out a 50 ringgit note to buy ticket and the bus would only accept exact change because the ticket machine is drop only and doesnt give back change. Bus driver asked a few other passengers if they had smaller denominations and a lady who didnt have exact change actually offered me 3 ringgits to buy the ticket without expecting a return. I wouldn't dream of doing that ever. Another young lady asked her mother for change and both mother-daughter duo pooled in change to help me break the 50 ringgit note. Now that was beyond helpful for me. The young lady said she had been in that position many times and knew exactly how it felt :) she introduced herself as Maharani. i told her she really was one :) She was from indonesia and ran a hotel there. Surprise! i have a contact now in Medan. Indonesians do have very Indian/Hindu sounding names.  Plus 2.

I got off at Komtar which is like a business center and bus terminal in Georgetown and switched on my phone to look up the road on 3G roaming (yeah, I didn't yet realize it is insanely expensive). SOme passers mentioned that i can get a free shuttle by the Penang Government to near my destination. As I was walking around to find the shuttle random white kids about 17 ish got my attention and said "Mcdonalds". i dont know if it was a question or rude comment but i feel racially discriminated against. Do you ask any brown skinned person with a backpack that? Minus 1

Anyway, I am not at the guest house which has a majority of white backpackers minding their own business like any other civilized human being would. So no comments.

Hope to have a nice trip here. Batu Ferringhi tomorrow


  1. YES!! You made it to Penang!! I wish you could have gone there 20 years ago- it was quite different than it is now. I spent 6 years of my life in Tanjong Bungah at the Dalat School there- boarding school. I hope those 17 year old kids weren't from that school- if there were I wish I could go out there and give them a nice kick in the pants!!!

    I hope you will enjoy Batu Ferringhi- the beaches used to be beautiful. The Rasa Sayang Hotel (not sure if it still exists) was very beautiful. I learned to drive on the road out to Batu it remains one of my favorite places.

    ENJOY and I hope your impression gets better and better...are you planning to go to Taiping to Maxwell Hill- oh you will find it VERY relaxing!!

  2. some white kids think they own the world when they are in asia (it's the dollars doing the talking)... i have seen one getting his ass handed to him by some thai people in bangkok. :)

  3. @Anjuli: The coastal road to Batu Ferringhi is wide and very nice and the beach is less populated and pretty quiet now in the low season. So its pretty nice to sit around, spend some quality time with myself :)
    Maybe I will do Taiping soon

    @Neeraj @Team G Squre: I had a good trip. Took a lot of pictures. Will post them soon


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