A Late Afternoon in Georgetown, Penang

Our housekeeping-challenged dorm mates have finally left Penang and they naturally had to leave debris all over the place before running off to their next casualty―errm, I meant destination. There are some people who need to be detained in a military camp and be trained―gruesomely tortured even, if necessary―until they develop the discipline to pick up their used sanitary napkins (yuck!) and throw it to the nearest trash bin.
The Actress and I had the room all to ourselves from morning until the afternoon. We just stayed inside our dorm, turned the AC unit’s temperature down until the room felt like we were thrown inside an industrial freezer, and went on full sloth mode. Yes, we went to a foreign country to take a nap. How First World of us.
Inner peace was achieved after our housekeeping-challenged dorm mates left.

Some of our new dorm mates arrived after lunch and one of them was a guy from New York. He started chatting with me and The Actress, and the conversation ultimately led to us talking about our home countries. We both told him that we would love to go to New York one of these days. NY Guy also said he would love to visit the Philippines, to which The Actress and I violently shook our heads in discouragement. Unless you want to experience stress that combines the horrors of a first date, a job interview, public speaking, church wedding, paying monthly bills, hospitalization, a disease outbreak and a freak car accident all in one package, by all means, go to my beloved Third World country.
It was already late in the afternoon when The Actress and I grabbed our stuff and went out to go around Georgetown. Our first stop was Skippy, more popularly known as the giant cat mural, which we weren’t able to take a decent picture of yesterday because there were a lot of blasted vehicles parked in front of it. Unfortunately, the same scenario greeted us when we arrived at Armenian Street, so The Actress and I just had to do with what was given to us that day. I could always blow them up, given that I know how to make home-made explosives from scratch, but I intend to go to Thailand without any criminal record.
Skippy, the giant cat mural.
Skippy is part of a mural project called 101 Lost Kittens by a group of artists known as ASA or Artists for Stray Animals. The 101 Lost Kittens project was introduced in conjunction with the Georgetown Festival back in 2013. The murals, which depict mostly cats and dogs, were painted with the goal of raising awareness about animal protection. While I have a love-hate relationship when it comes to felines, I do have a soft spot for animals, especially for dogs, so ASA’s campaign resonated with me. I really hope there wouldn’t come a time in my life when the only dogs or cats I’ll be seeing are those painted on walls. That thought is just depressing.
The City Hall of Penang Island at dusk.
Anyway, after visiting Skippy, The Actress and I made our way over to the Esplanade. Our first stop there was the Penang Island City Hall, which is an imposingly gorgeous whitewashed, Victorian-style building. The first time I saw the Penang Island City Hall was back in 2013 during my month-long solo backpacking trip in Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. I visited it on a sunny morning, which was great because I could see all the fine details of this very grandiose colonial building. However, I prefer now to visit it when the day is about to end because I find the City Hall more beautiful during that time of the day. I don’t know; the way the lights play at dusk must have something to do with it.
Penang’s Town Hall, situated right beside the City Hall.
Adjacent to the City Hall is the Town Hall, a two-storey municipal building that was built in the Edwardian Baroque style. The Town Hall was built to relieve the City Hall of excessive office space, which then enabled to the City Hall to assume a more social function. The Penang Island Town Hall is pretty too, but I prefer the City Hall. That’s just me.
Marriage is like war, ladies. You gotta put up a fortress and protect your turf.
Our next stop was Fort Cornwallis, but since it was already past six in the evening, we didn’t get to go inside because it was already closed for tourists. There were a lot of people taking pictures at Fort Cornwallis and we even saw a couple having their prenup photoshoot there, which I found odd and fitting at the same time. Odd because I’m not sure if a fort with canons is a great backdrop to commemorate one’s journey to the married life. Fitting as well because marriage is like building a fortress around your husband, ensuring that he is enclosed and cannot go out of his commitment to you without your permission, and ensuring that no harlot dare tries to infiltrate your territory and take what is rightfully yours, lest she be fired and blasted to the Indian Ocean.
If you think you’re confused with your sexuality, look at the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower’s architecture and think again.
The Actress and I also saw a hawker center across Fort Cornwallis, but it was already closed. I found out later on that the Fort Cornwallis Food Court is only open until five in the afternoon. We were not yet hungry anyway so we decided to head on over to the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, which is a whitewashed edifice that stands at 60-feet high. It was built to commemorate Queen Victoria’s 60-year reign, but I find the architecture a bit confusing. The base is octagon-shaped, the next two tiers are four-sided with elaborately designed windows and balconies, and the clocks, and the topmost part has Roman pillars and a Moorish dome cupola, and it was built to honor a British royalty. If you think you’re sexuality is confusing, you obviously haven’t met the architect of the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower.
What a perfect setting to kill your enemies.
On our way back to the Esplanade, The Actress and I saw a cruise ship that was about to dock at the terminal. I just hope that ship does not contain hordes of Chinese tourists. I might get a criminal record after all before going to Thailand. We took a seat by the waterfront promenade, slowed down and enjoyed the remnants of the day that has passed, and waited until the night draws in on the island before we make our way back to the guesthouse and worry about dinner.