Walking to "Mecca"

Trip Start Feb 11, 2008
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Trip End Jun 30, 2008


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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Sunday, March 9, 2008

Jo decided that as we'd spent most of the previous day sat on our respective derrier's, we'd walk to a little coffee shop she'd read about where you can sample coffee and chocolate treats. Sounded right up my street, so off we plodded, making our way through the streets of Penang; crossing and re-crossing the road in order to be in the shade and out of the blistering midday sun; strolling through the financial district, which was eerily quiet as it was a Sunday, and finally, after 1 hours of slogging it, we made it  to the other side of town where the "Mecca" of the chocolatier-come-coffee shop heaven was located. Well, I decided not to hold it against Jo, she wasn't to know, but I was a little dissapointed (as well as hot, sweaty, sticky, sore footed and thirsty for caffein) to find that the shop only sold coffee by the sackload and also sold very, very expensive chocolates!! Never mind, I needed the excercise and I definately didn't need the chocolates!!
 
Having trudged 50,000 miles through sweltering heat for no reason at all, we decided to cool off in the balmy oasis of the Botanical Gardens (where we'd tried to take a bus to a couple of days before!) Trying to find some good humour, I followed Jo for another mile or so to the delightful gardens housing rare species of indigenous plants and palms, blah, blah.....
In fact, the gardens were delightful, very beautiful and packed with japanese tourists,  who had arrived en-masse from their air conditioned coaches parked at the entrance. Once we'd forced our way through the throng we walked along the tree lined avenues, which were interspersed with pristine mowed lawns speckled with monkey poo!! There were loads of Rhemus Monkeys hanging around the trees and sitting on the grass, eating anything thrown to them by the ignorant tourists (including sweets, cakes and biscuits) looking for the world like unruly, overfed, punk rockers lounging in an English park. Except these were razor sharp toothed, sugar junkeys, with a penchant for chocolate covered childrens fingers!!
 
Five minutes later, the oddest thing happened.  When Jo was crouched down taking photos of the little furry, child snatching space monkeys, a Japanese lady and her friend were watching her and whispering to each other with heightened squeals of delight. Stange, I thought. It was stranger still when one of them, having been egged on by her friend, approached Jo and asked if she could have her photo taken with her. Jo, always happy to help, offered to take the ladies camera and take a photo of the Japanese lady and her friend.
"No, no" the Japanes tourist said. "You, you" and she frantically pointed to Jo and herself.
"Uh, sure" Jo replied, and stood there with a fixed grin next to the Japanese lady, who put her arm around Jo and beamed while her friend took the requested photo. Jo was then thanked many times by the grateful tourist, who walked off with her friend. They disappeared into the crowd with delighted looks on their faces while Jo was left, still with the confused, lop sided grin on her face, looking a little lost.
" Wierd!' she said to me as we walked away. I figured she had been mistaken for somebody else and amused myself for the next hour by calling her "Miss Knightley",  until she thumped me in the ribs and I stopped.
Following that, we sweated in the sun some more and looked at plants and other stuff until I whined like a sulky child that I wanted to go home. So we left and caught abus back to the coolness of our hotel room.
 
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