Thursday, October 22, 2015

Penang, Malaysia, Pt. 2: Street Art is the Cutest

As I've been lying low and attempting to avoid cancerous fumes, I've managed to cobble together a rough schedule of the next couple months' travel schedule! This is productivity at its finest. Some of the dates are still fairly tentative, but the latest has been posted to the "Where Am I?" section on left-hand side of the site.  Check it out!  And come join me. And disregard that my trip "around the world" has become more of a "haphazard zig-zagging to random places."  I just want to do all the things. 

Anyhow, last day in Penang!  I decided (in lieu of my planned fabulous island getaway that was FOILED) to join my friend Kat in Bali the next day instead - just trading one beach for another.

Cliffnotes of the Day:
  • Given my last-minute extended my stay in Penang, the hostel made me move rooms - which means new hostel friends!  Two of my new hostel roomies and I ventured out for lunch - afterwards, I convinced them to come hunt down Penang's street art with me. 
  • Penang's street art scene initially started with a city festival where artists were invited to come paint scenes - it only grew from there, with artists from all over coming to Penang over the years to leave their mark as well.  The day before, I had procured a map with about 20 of Penang's most well-known street art scenes and their locations, and had planned to hunt them all down.  It turned out to be super fun, like a scavenger hunt with no ending prize (marketing is my calling). Some of the art was surprisingly difficult to find, even with a map: i.e. tucked in alleyways, inside shops, etc. We definitely cheated and had to ask locals a couple times.
This is probably the most famous one in Penang. My favorite is that this artist used a lot of real props - the bicycle is real and is set into the concrete itself. 
Same artist; the chair and coffee cup are real too
This painting was inside a cafe - it's a portrait done by the artist of the cafe owner, who we got to pose with the painting of himself (see the resemblance??).  I have a feeling this was not the first time the man had been asked to pose with the painting; he was a seasoned pro at it.
New hostel friends Vi (Australia) and Sven (Germany). Note that I refused to let go of my street art map
I clearly play basketball given how natural I look in this photo
Another dedication to the sister. This one was not one of the famous ones on my street art map, but I found it just for you anyway
THIS PIECE WAS MY FAVORITE. REAL (immobile) SWINGS. Sven and I are also maybe trying to recreate the kids.

  • There was an entire block just dedicated to cats!!!
GIANT CAT. This one covered an entire warehouse wall.
Um. So cute. 
This man would not move out of the way so I could take a photo, SO FINE BE IN THE PHOTO
  • And now I will stop boring you all with photos of street art. Believe it or not, I have more but exercised restraint and didn't post all of them.  Favorite activity ever.

Meal of the Day:
Oh you know, just a snapshot of all the delicious food I've been eating.  As my LP says, Penang is a "foodie paradise."

Roast chicken in oyster sauce
Food on banana leaves that you eat with your hands. First, worst date spot ever - I was a hot mess afterwards. Second, this was the spiciest meal I've ever had in my entire life.
Street noodles. These were SO DELISH. There were like 20 little add-ons to the noodles; including Chinese sausages and deep-fried crunchies and mushrooms and tiny pickled veggies and bok choy and wontons, etc.
STREET HOTPOT. GENIUS. You basically choose any skewers you want and cook them in the communal broth (shown at bottom), then dip them in an array of sauces and nom away. Everyone hovers near the stand munching. It's the cutest.
One of a million fresh fruit juice stands. I am on watermelon juice overload.

Bye, Malaysia! I really liked you and forgive you for the haze (which is Indonesia's fault, really) - how ironic is it that the fires in Indonesia are affecting Malaysia so badly, but Indonesia itself is just sitting there, all chilling and un-impacted. Which is why I'm headed there next, obviously.  And now off to Baliiiiiii! 

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