Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Penang Day 2: Still More Food

Walking in Penang in the day time, or anywhere in Malaysia, is not pleasant. The sun burns your skin and the humidity makes you sweat and shine and sticky. On top of that, lousy town planning and architecture force you to walk out in the open, and a puteri lilin (candle princess; melts under the sun) like me just can't hack it in the heat. I found myself sticking my tongue out like a dog. To make things hotter, my son grumbled more than my mom ("So hot!" "Why are we walking?" "Why can't we go to a mall with air-con?" "Why aren't we going back to KK today?").

We had missed the almond milk tea and yew tiao the night before so now that we were in the area (Chinatown, Old Japan St area), I wanted to make sure I get a sip of the almond tea. However, not many people in that area know about the shop and we were directed round and round until the heat (and Ming's complaints) finally made me stop a taxi. We ended up in Penang's largest and newest mall, Queensbay Mall, because it was the only place to get away from the heat. Pics from the streets of Penang:

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Seems like tourists are expected to like all kinds of pickled fruits.

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I chewed on a small piece of preserved nutmeg flesh and Ming said I was crazy to do that because there were flies milling all around. I had no choice but to swallow because I don't practice spitting. But the vendor informed us that those were bees, and indeed, they were. Are bees dirty?

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Nutmeg is one of the agricultural produce of Penang. The nutmeg is made up of the outer fleshy layer which is usually preserved in sugar and eaten as a snack, the red lacy layer that covers the seed called mace used as a spice and the seed which is made into nutmeg powder for your Christmas fruit cakes and potato dauphinois. Nutmeg oil is also extracted for making ointment, for what ailment I'm not sure.

(Wey tried a piece of preserved nutmeg and pronounced it the 2nd grossest thing he ever ate "Tastes like cockroach!", the 1st being an accidental duck's butt. But I like it, in small amount.)

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We bought a bag of freshly fried chestnuts (very good) and when the vendor walked away to get some water, mom voluntarily took over his job "just in case the chestnuts burn". He returned and said she'll bring him luck and the bystanders applauded.

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Fried chestnuts remind me of West Malaysia in the old days. Do you know that the smaller chestnuts are sweeter?

8 comments:

Precious Pea said...

Hahaha..your mum is so cute! I know how Wey felt cos I hate walking under the hot sun and being sweaty and sticky all over.

Precious Pea said...

Opps..it was Ming right?

Johnathan said...

Agree Agree. Your mum is really cute. Sweaty? Probably someone should bring back the trishaw culture to Penang. It definately helps to move around without having to walk and the "beca"s will add color to the island itself. I missed taking beca in my hometown... still remembered taking it w my late grandma to the wet market to do grocery as a kid.. *sniff* *sniff*

Junkgirl said...

Terri - I am so envious of you...

wmw said...

Cute mom! Smaller size chestnuts are sweeter but is more troublesome to eat but I love roasted chestnuts.

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

pea: she is :0
n it was ming lah. i mix up their names too sometimes, n i only have two at home.

johnathan: i can't imagine the narrow streets of penang criss-crossed with trishaws. u r frm penang? i enjoyed trishaw rides in chengdu (but they ahve since banned it) but the ones in bangkok were horror rides.

junkgirl: "grass is greener over the septic tank"--emma boombeck...:)

wmw: esp good on cold days too :)


wmw:

Johnathan said...

Ermm... I'm not a penangites, just thought of beca as one of the nice to keep traditions. You are right... Bangkok beca... horror.

Lily Anette said...

I agree with the rest... throughout the whole day... your mom did the best thing for your picture session... just priceless picture! She is such a nice lady.

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