11th – 17th JANUARY
So, this week started well, lulling us into a false sense of security. We went to Georgetown (again) and had samosas (again). I feel like we do this every week! It’s so hard not to though, they are just too delicious. This time we also tried maida, a sweet biscuit (E+J liked this a lot, Matt and I found it flavourless), and bombay halwa, which is like a very firm jelly (Ella did not like this at all, Jack LOVED it, but again it was very plain tasting). All was well.
Then we had what is hands down the worse day of travelling yet. Ella formed a new opinion. ‘Jellyfish are mean’. Can you guess why she thinks that? Yup, she was stung by a jellyfish. E+J and I (Matt didn’t come, more on that situation later) were at the beach with our friends for our last catch up before they left Penang. Ella was in the water for a couple of minutes when she started crying and screaming that her leg was stinging. She broke out in hives and I may have gone into a bit of a panic. There are box jellyfish in Malaysia so I was very worried. Though apparently not at the beach we were at, which was why we had been happy swimming there. With the help of Google we came to the conclusion it was not a sting from the deadly jellyfish. Fortunately after a mad dash home in a Grab and a splash of vinegar, Ella was calm, and the hives became a pinkish rash.
Okay, Matt’s situation. After being the only member of our family not to get sick last time, he finally got sick. Ironic really. It was the worst possible timing. I had a collaboration with another traveller blogger due so had to go into the office to finish it off. This left Matt puking every 20 minutes while looking after both kids, for four hours. And yes, it was as disastrous as it sounds. I came home to an entire tub of pop corn on the kitchen floor, Ella attempting to make peanut butter sandwiches, and Jack eating mayonnaise from the jar. I cleaned up the mess, and took E+J on the bus to the beach so Matt could sleep. It was then that the jellyfish sting happened. Needless to say I was glad when the day was over!
I met a lovely French family on one of the world schooling Facebook groups who are in Penang for a week or so. They didn’t have accommodation booked so found an apartment in the same complex as us, which has been so nice! We have been spending time with them every day. Their daughter is 5.5 year and their son is 2 years, so they have been perfect playmates for E+J.
We went to Penang National Park again, planning for the second time to walk to Monkey Beach. I was reading online apparently the track is actually open, but tourists are told it isn’t so they spend the 100RM (about $38NZD) to take the boat instead. We thought we would walk it to see for ourselves! It’s a 3km hike and by the time we made it to the first small bay which is half way there, we had four grumpy, hungry children. We decided to have our picnic and play there, instead of risking another 1.5kms of whining.
The kids gobbled their lunch before digging in the sand, collecting sticks and leaves, and getting wetter than we’d have liked. As we were about to leave two monkeys came over and ripped into our bag of rubbish. The spread it everywhere as they ate all the food scraps they could find. They are much more aggressive than I had expected! We were quite glad we hadn’t made it all the way to Monkey Beach, which has hundreds of monkeys roaming around. On our walk back there were so many monkeys, a stark difference from our walk there when we saw none!
We finally got around to visiting the Tanjung Bungha Night Market. The food choices are incredible and we’re probably going to make it a weekly evening out. I picked the banh mi and Matt’s choice was a Malaysian chicken burger. Ella and Jack wanted spring rolls and tandoori chicken on a stick. I cannot believe how much the two of them ate. While we were walking around the market they ate over 1kg of grapes! They were given six mandarins for free because they were ‘so cute’, which they also devoured.
During my online searching for the best food places, I found a newly opened place called Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory. They sell cheese ice cream, people! If you don’t know by now, I love cheese, so the idea of cheese ice cream sounded delicious. Ella and I had some girl time so we bussed down to Gurney Plaza to give it a try. We got a Cow Cow Sundae and were not disappointed, it was so yummy. The sundae came with a salt and camembert cookie, and a slice of milk cheesecake. It was 25RM ($9.30NZD/$6.15USD) which is pretty pricy, but it was so worth it. Matt was very jealous he didn’t get to taste it, so I can imagine we will be heading back soon. I am definitely not complaining!