How to hide from the pursuing clock in Penang, Malaysia

To make sense out of the chaos of our minds and step out of the Things That Insidiously Kill Us Through Stress, dear friend Kei and I went to Malaysia summer of last year.

Part 1: a guide, sort of


Kei clearly loved the windows in this heritage town of Penang. Quite a striking literary image for us because at this phase of what we stylishly call ‘career,’ windows have been opening, one after another.

Stepping into Penang is crossing over a portal to centuries back. Buildings look like they will crumble anytime but they appear convinced to fight back the superficialities of the modern times. The whole town has simply refused to give up its glory from once upon a time when the British walked its streets and roamed its hills.


on the way to the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Penang

What to love in travels such as this:

1. arriving at the hostel, checking in, dumping bags in the room, walking down the streets and into intriguing narrow roads

2. or, checking in and lazing in bed before anything else


3. fueling up with free, unlimited breakfast for backpackers.


4. walking into a restaurant, ordering their specialty, and feasting on the food that provide more than enough material for conversation


5. visiting museums and re-heating one’s capacity for wonder

But on top of all, if you must go to Penang, never leave it without trying the white coffee which Georgetown (capital of Penang) is famous for.


Part 2: What do we talk about when we get together?

Probably how to escape the pursuing clock. We’re pushing 30 and the drum roll to that defining age is getting louder. Some questions in mind include the following:

1. When do we get pregnant? Do we want babies in the first place?

2. Aren’t you coming back to the academe? Aren’t you getting out of the academe?

3. Why is this chicken so tasty?

4. Where do we go next?

5. How do I paint art? Why can’t I draw?

6. What will drive more appreciation for culture and the arts?

7. Really, why is this chicken so yummy?

8. Why can’t universities focus more on researches?

9. When will the Philippines be like this and that?

10. Seriously, what’s in this chicken?


Photos by Kei:

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