George Town is full of delights. However, we are suffering from a spot of travelling malaise (the tiredness and guilt one suffers when in the privileged position of becoming weary of unfamiliar rooms, transport, food, language, sights and customs) so have decided that Penang is where we will follow our whims. Our whims seem to lean alarmingly in the direction of air-conditioning and comfort food.
Despite the heat, we really enjoyed our slightly aimless wander through the town a couple of days ago. So we secure a map of the most famous street art and decide to fill in the gaps. It only takes an hour and half to zig-zag our way through: children on swing, giant boatman, child on chair, giant child balancing on windows and more.
The added benefit is that we get to see little alleyways, side streets and parts of town that we likely wouldn’t have passed through. Although it’s compact, the George Town UNESCO Heritage Zone offers lots of different streetscapes. Traditional ‘Chinese houses’ with their broad sliding front doors rub shoulders with art deco classics, spectacular Chinese clan houses and British colonial statement pieces (screaming ‘we woz ‘ere’).
Other than that, we splash out on sushi, laksa, pizza, sushi, real coffee and, er, more sushi. Much of our sushi is consumed at the monumental Gurney Paragon Mall, eight floors of beige marble, high end shopping and, aaah, air conditioning. We plonk ourselves down to watch Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 on the top floor. It’s loud, spectacular, funny and ridiculous. Just what we fancied. The whiff of Alaskan Spider Crab flavoured popcorn (which smells as bad as it sounds), not so much…