July 20th, 2012 by Karmun
It’s been five years since I’ve moved away from my sleepy little hometown Penang. I packed my bags and left the moment I got hold of my SPM results and never looked back. Some part of me misses it sometimes, but a bigger part never regretted my decision to leave.
Every once in while however, the quaint little island still manages to come up with something that will nonetheless knock me off my feet. Development has been vast and fast. Everytime I make a trip back, some new shopping mall would have popped up, if not some popular little hang-out spot. In three months, the places I used to hang out with my friends is no longer the “in” place to be; my favourite mamak will once again have moved elsewhere to a more strategic location where I’ll never be able to find; new roads will be in place of older, more familiar ones making me have to resort to pulling out my iPhone GPS if I so much as want to head to my dentist. Suddenly, home doesn’t look so much like home anymore. I’m pretty sure to call someplace home you’ll need to at least know the way to your favourite tomyum stall?
All this has thought me one thing: that the best way to enjoy something is in the moment. In the right now. You’ll never know what other changes Penang might undergo in the next three or four months I’m away.
Often when I’m back home, I keep telling myself there’s always tomorrow to try out this new place my friends have been raving about. I’m going to be staying for a whole week, surely there’s another time when I can make it to try that tiramisu, or that mushroom quiche that’s so good it’s supposedly the food of the Gods?
After too many failed plans to pay a visit to food places due to this exact laziness of mine, I’ve learnt my lesson. From now on, the moment some new place that serves good food appears on the map, I’m going there no matter how good my bed feels, or how tempting the thought of just lazing about at home in PJs sounds.
Last week, it was Chinahouse, this new artsy cafe and bistro we decided to first tick off our checklist.
Comprising of three colonial houses joined together to make one dining outlet unlike any other in the whole Penang, the place buried somewhere in the heart of Georgetown looks completely unassuming when you arrive at its front door. It’s the insides you want to take a look at.
Pooling young and budding street artists together, the entire place is an easel of their collaborated artwork. It is a living monument of creative minds and free expression.
Taking a walk around the place was like making a visit to some art gallery. We spent a good 20 minutes just roaming about the perimetre checking out the wall murals before actually sitting down to place our orders.
The best part about the doodlings is that they reflect the current times lives of Penangites. There were detailed artist impressions of famous streets and landmarks, complete with little cartoon versions of the the island’s people.
Their offerings from the kitchen matches the pleasantries on their walls too. They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and the widest array of dessert I’ve ever seen in a cafe.
Big plus points to the homey atmosphere, accentuated by warm yellow light and rustic-looking wooden furniture.
I’m a big dessert person, having tried out cakes at quite a surmountable number of places. Their Tiramisu is now the number one my list of good cakes!
They drenched the base in Kahlua so there’s a refreshing tang to it to balance out the usually heavy feel of the many layers of cream. It was moist and rich in just the right amounts, ending on a fragrant note from the macadamia nuts sprinkled more than just generously all over. Mmmmm!
Cake is best enjoyed over good company. I happened to have the best around town ;]
The place was a dream come true in more ways than just the food and beautiful decor. They put out crayons for you to doodle to your heart’s content! My inner child artist nearly died of happiness.
Talk about blatant shameless advertising hehehe.
It entertained us for over two hours, might I mention.At the end of it, we got this!
Spot my little ladybug and pretty lollipop!
New happy place definitely!
153 – 155 Lebuh Pantai
+ 6 04 263 7299
Other things making me happy:
A picnic outdoors on the grass atop a nice blanket just like Enid Blyton would have written about.
Bored one afternoon, we decided to put together a simple picnic basket and head outdoors — anywhere — to spend the afternoon lazing under the brilliant afternoon sun and be swayed to a lazy nap by the cool mid-day breeze.
Things didn’t quite turned out how we expected however. It started to drizzle the moment we left the house, and before long, blew into a full storm complete with thunder and lightning. Yet, we refused to be disheartened, and decided to wait it out. We had packed an entire stack of ham sandwiches and a separate container of buttered corn – I was going to eat it outdoors by hook or by crook. Plus, short afternoon showers have been common this past week, we figured this was just another one of those.
We were right. 15 minutes in, the sun appeared from between the clouds again and we laid out our picnic blanket as fast as we could before the weather changed his temperamental mind again.
It was a nice change to being cooped up inside like we had for the past week no thanks to Mr. Weather who couldn’t make up his mind to rain or shine.
We even brought with us bubble blowers, the old school sort you blow out of a stick dipped in a small bottle of soapy water. They’re the best sort!
The Ninja Rabbit initially made fun of me for wanting to buy the bubble blower, but he ended up having more fun with it than I! Hmph!
Did you know that the human body is completely incapable of digesting corn? We don’t have the right enzymes or something to break down the fibres present in corn so they just go right through our digestive track without actually providing any form of nutrients, except maybe fibre. So if you’re on a diet, or erm… are constipated (to put it bluntly hehehe), down the biggest bowl of corn you can lay your hands on and you’re all set! =D
Only in Penang, really, do I get all hyped up to do such silly things. It’s like suddenly, time becomes overtly abundant when I’m back home here and all I wanna do are the most leisurely things I never get the chance to back in the city.
It is only here that I truly get reminded that happiness is a choice. It is what you make of a bad situation, of an unfortunate turn of events. Because whether or not you emerge out of the sticky mess stronger and wiser, or beaten and broken, is entirely up to you.
Bottomline, picnics make me happy. Of this I am sure =)
What’s making your week?