Singapore Adventure

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Disney World
by venitha

We triumphantly emerged from the frigid air conditioning of our 12th and final Malay class to throngs of reporters, flashing bulbs, and microphones thrust in our jubilant faces.

A slickly polished announcer spoke directly into a camera: "Now that Jim and Venitha of Singapore Adventure are Malay class graduates, what are they going to do next?"

We exchanged joyful smiles, then beamed at the enthusiastic crowd. "We're going to Disney World !"

Indeed, to celebrate our recent linguistic achievement, we leave this afternoon for a long weekend in Penang. An island off the west coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang is an hour and half northwest of Singapore by air. Known as "The Pearl of the Orient", its attractions include the following:
  • Enchanting beaches. It's tragic that I am so not a beach person. Then again, given my skin tone, not so much.
  • A snake temple. I shall try to be very brave, but I can guarantee that if we come away with pictures of anyone draped in snakes, it will not be me.
  • A train. I've lost count of the number of times that Jim has managed to use this word in everyday conversation. I may have to leave him with the snakes.
  • More fried noodle dishes than you can shake a stick at. The food is supposed to be seriously good. One highlight on my menu: Penang laksa. Sour and spicy? Oh, yes. They might have concocted this dish especially for me.
  • An excellent opportunity to put our Malay into practice. Bagus!
Thoughts for you to ponder in our absence:
  • Why don't they make sunscreen that smells good? Like coconut, vanilla, or mangoes?
  • Will Jim do the with the snakes?
  • Why does the word funicular remind Venitha of Mark Twain?
  • What appropriately ghoulish post will Singapore Adventure feature when it returns, on ? Nope, it's not snakes.
Click here for a map that shows Singapore and Penang, labelled with its capital city, George Town. You can also find our previous travel destinations of Melaka, Bangkok, and Taipei. Click on the map to enlarge it.