Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Five days since I posted anything? How slack of me. And again, this will just be a quick one.

We came to Penang from Taiping this afternoon. Since we got here, we've been eating, mostly, although we managed to bump into a book sale at some point which will cause a weight problem if we can't get some stuff sent back to Japan soon. (The food could cause a different kind of weight problem.)

(Penang food so far: Fried mee hoon, fish ball noodle soup, sui kou, fried rice, ais kacang. Drinks: soy milk, teh tarik, teh o limau, Chinese tea. We had breakfast in Taiping, so I'm not counting the roti canai.)

Taiping is full of swallows. I'd forgotten about that. We were only there for a day, but managed to visit the Lake Gardens again (and didn't get TOO wet when it inevitably rained), and The Man was provided with the perfect excuse not to go back up Bukit Larut when it turned out that after heavy rains the road had collapsed in some parts under landslides. If the rain was considered heavy even in Taiping, then it must have been impressive. Taiping has heavy rain every day. It is normal. Heavy rain is what Taiping does best.

But still, even though we didn't really have time to do much there, I'm glad we went back. We walked and walked, and the gardens were utterly gorgeous, and we saw a huge lizard thingy swimming in the lake. I think we may have discovered the Taiping Lake Gardens Monster. My photographs will probably make it look like that, anyway, as it was a bit far away. Actually our skills at identifying various bits of wildlife are so poor that when we saw it I declared confidently it was a nutria, then The Man declared confidently that it was a really huge snake because he saw the forked tongue, and it was quite a long time before we decided, rather less confidently, that it was some sort of er, um, lizard? We didn't know lizards were that good at swimming, and this thing never got up onto land the whole time we were watching it. We did see a smaller one, though, and when I tried to get close to photograph it, it jumped into the lake. When we saw it swimming the similarities with the Monster were obvious, except for the size.

Must go. I think I may be hungry again, and there's a new bunch of hawker stalls right opposite our hotel that we can check out on our way back.

Two days to Hari Merdeka!