Thursday, August 28, 2014 3:16 AM
Hi there, everyone :D
I meant to write about my trip to Penang earlier but I didn't get the feeling to write back then. Despite that I am actually experiencing to what experts would call it as sugar rush, I feel like I should write something to somehow ease this feeling a bit. Penang was a week ago. Yes. Last week. But still, I kinda miss that place. Yes, of course the people but there's something special about Penang. Something that I can't quite make it out of my mouth but I really love that city. Penang feels like home to me.Went there for four days and all of us (Me, Aisyah, Wanie and Fatah. Beyla couldn't make it as well as Hassan.) spent three nights at Izni's. We did a lot of stuffs, went to a lot of places and did a lot of things and ate a lot of food!
Here are the list of places that we've explored together. Day 1 was not taken into account because we spent almost 5 hours of driving from Nilai to Penang. Exhausted gila. Btw, mak Wanie masak sedap.
1. Penang Hill (famously known as Bukit Bendera)
Went to Bukit Bendera which was my first time being there. You can see half of Penang when you're on top and you know how much I like high grounds and the thrill when you ride the train uphill give chills to my bones! Also, they have this love lockets up there where all the cute couples go and make promises to each other and stuff. Kinda like the Malaysian version of Pont des Arts. Anyway, it was pretty cool and since all of us was single and emotionally unstable, we decided to take pictures and reflect on why are we still baeless in our 20s.
2. Chowrasta, Penang.
Heaven is for real and it's in Chowrasta, Penang. Why you ask? Because there's an awesome bookstore that sells secondhand books with AMAZINGLY CHEAP price and as a nerd I cannot resist myself from not buying anything. Well actually Izni told me about this place even since when we were in UiTM and that's why I've been meaning to pay this place a visit when I get the chance to go to Penang. And I did. Oh yes I did. Bought a few poetry books for myself (Old ones. Vintage poetry books with writings of the previous owner; how cool is that!) Too bad we spent a few hours there (lama lah jugak sampai Aisyah and Wanie naik bosan tunggu haha and then they decided to go eat cendol beside the building) but I hope I can go there again someday. Before I left, I said to the uncle who owns the bookstore "Thank you uncle for doing what you're doing right now." and hand him the money to pay for the books. Next time, I'll bring lots of money and borong everything!
3. Street Art Penang, Georgetown.
Next we cycled around Georgetown to hunt down the anticipated Street Art. Welp, honestly the art didn't amuse me but the cycling does. We had real fun riding, chasing down each other, laughing at one another since all of us were struggling to pedal because our thighs were too fat haha, and when the day was almost over and we were very tired, we went back to the house and freshen things up then went to watch Guardians of the Galaxy at Queensbay. Also, to pecahkan dara Subway Fatah. He's a Slutway now.
4. Shahnon Ahmad's house.
The creme de la creme of our trip. We went to Shahnon Ahmad's house and I can say Fatah was really excited because he adored his works. And why we get this special opportunity? All thanks to Izni since Shahnon Ahmad is his grandfather so basically we went to visit his Tok and Wan's house. Actually I was a bit reluctant because although an avid reader I am, I never read any classic (or new) Malay literature which is a shame because there's a bunch of good stuff out there to be discovered. Tried reading D.U.B.L.I.N by Wan Nor Azriq and it was really hard for me to digest wuu. And when I get to finally meet the writer, I felt all happy and sad at the same time. Happy because I get to meet a legend, and sad over the fact that I never read any of his books. We didn't talked much but before we left, he gave us his auto-biography and one of his earliest novels. This is what I wrote on my Instagram:
"At Shahnon Ahmad's house. The house was very pretty especially the garden. It has that classic vintage feel to it as I gave my salam and made my way to another section of the house which The Writer spend most of his time. Pictures by the wall. Books at the shelves. The scent of tea brewing in the kitchen. Warm welcome by the lovely Tok (Izni's grandma). Honestly, I never read any of his writings or novels. I never knew Shahnon Ahmad before. But when I see him sitting on his chair in his white shirt and brown sarong, I felt intrigued. Is this really the Sasterawan Negara? Here in front of me sits an old man whose body has betrayed him. His mind runs wild but he can't even lift a pen these days. All that he have now is his books, his faithful wife, and the remaining life he has to live. I never get the chance to meet my grandfather because he died even before I was born. But I wonder if he looked like him. They all did, I think. Old folks looked the same to us somehow. But Shahnon Ahmad was different. His smile reminds me of those who had lived a good and meaningful life."
5. Sedim River, Kedah.
(gosh my hands are tired right now but here's some pictures of us)
We just discovered the name for our little ritual and it just so happened while we were discussing about it, Aisyah saw someone tweeted a tweet with the word 'retrouvaile' on it and the meaning of the word fits like a charm! Retrouvaille is a French word for rediscovery. Or in other words, it means 'the joy of reuniting with someone after a long separation.'. Well, basically we only do this once a year. Meeting up friends and share stories, having fun together. Jamming with Izni and Fatah, just like we did the previous year during Fatah's open house. Sadly, no Haziq this time because he's out doing his practicum and only can join us for Sedim. Although last year I did only join for a day, because the previous day was the birth of my niece Sakinah and I couldn't join them earlier. But I still made it somehow and I did bring Acen along and stayed at Fatah's house for a night. I am writing this down so that I don't forget these memories, these dates when I'm in the future. So that the Future Neng will know that her life in the past was not filled with dark shadows only but also filled with beautiful flowers. Also, to remind her she once had happiness in her hand and she was so ecstatic that no one can take it away from her.
I really had fun in Penang. Really. I mean really, really. I get to finally have my vacation because last semester was so full of shit (but still, alhamdulillah) and I'm really happy to get some time to rest before next semester starts. Gawsh. I'm no longer a Sophomore. I'm in my third year now. I got 2 years left before I can graduate on time. Next semester will be a lot more stressful and I just hope I can survive. I know I will. Because I got my support from the people I love. Also, Penang taught me to be adventurous. And I like being adventurous. I get to cross a lot of things on my bucket list and I'm really proud of myself.
Driving across country. Checked.
Roadtrip with best friends. Checked.
Eat Pasemboq. Checked.
Mandi sungai with best friends. Checked.
Penang bridge. Checked.
Bukit Bendera. Checked.
Rumah Izni. Checked.
Rumah Wanie. Checked.
Fatah pakai lipstick. Checked.
And many more.
So again, kumpul stories banyak banyak this one year ahead and also duit lol because the next meeting will be in Johor Bahru hosted by Asiah Aisyah. Can't wait for that!
Til next time, girls.