Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Penang

Just returned from my annual trip to the sleepy Malaysian state of Penang. In many ways, I feel that time stops in Penang. The exuberant old man we buy apong (a kind of pastry) from every year is still there, cooking his signature food in his ancient wok at his street stall. The KOMTAR (Komplex Tun Abdul Razak) building still looms over the city. I remember when I was a little girl, Komtar was easily the most modern structure and we shopped there. The street hawkers are ever-present, serving up Penang laksa, hokkien mee (different from Singapore's) and other local fare. We passed by my mother's old school in our car. But in many other ways, Penang is progressing with the times. The waterfront area has developed and new shopping complexes like Queensbay Mall have sprung up. We no longer shop at Komtar, but at newer establishments like the said Queensbay and Gurney Plaza. I guess no place can escape from the onset of modernisation forever.

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