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  • Writer's pictureNondiarist

Messages from Penang – Food with a view, venturing onto the highway and tightrope-walking monkeys

Bukit Genting Hill Leisure Park and Restaurant is set on a vantage point that overlooks the more agricultural western part of Penang Island. Getting there is interesting. Steep doesn’t come close to describing the gradients. If I’d come over all adventurous and attempted to locate the place on my own I would’ve been like, bloody hell I’ve got myself on completely the wrong track and now I’ll never find anywhere to turn around and get back down again.

Fortunately we were in the generous and capable hands of our good friends SK and Jess.

The views speak for themselves.

Funny what you find in these places. I’ve ridden a few tricky-natured equines in my time but never one quite as evil as this steed of Beelzebub.

Issue of local driving licences is likely to take some time due to massive backlogs at Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (Road Transport Department) but we have International Driving Permits that are valid for a year so we’ve been venturing out onto the roads in a car hired off another expat on a trial monthly basis. In many situations Grab Taxis are undoubtedly the best mode of transport here but it IS nice to have access to completely independent wheels again and just drive to the supermarket or social functions out of town.

I walked some serious miles in Worcester to find a Post Office that would issue the international licences (“No, sorry, we don’t issue them here”, “We do issue them but the only lady who does them is off sick”, “What? No, not here”….. fourth time lucky). What was more worrying was the FAQ section of the DVLA’s permit information, which provided an answer to “What is an International Driving Permit?”

Um, if you need to ask that question should you even be driving?

The most ambitious road trip so far planned went without a hitch today. Tupah Recreational Forest is on the mainland, about an hour and a half’s drive from our gaff on the island. SK, Jess and Branson came with us – after all their carting us around sightseeing and eating it was only fair to take them on a day out.

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