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Only the lonely travels. Because there's no father or mother to love, one tends to replace that emptiness with travelling. Even if you are attached, travelling together would open up the real person of your romanticized self. When I go to a new place, my perspective changes because of new sights and scenes. Human beings are insignificant during travel - because they come and go in this journey. But streets don't. A street is permanently in place. Like in Georgetown, there are hundreds of streets with its own details and unique English names. A street can change, even though it is permanent. The shops along the street becomes its garments of change. Like a person with his or her own style in fashion. There's a certain definition, a kind of beauty that only in Georgetown possesses.
Like my friend who lives there all his life doesn't realize the changes that are occurring unlike me. Exactly a year ago I was here, and discovered so many changes. You can read the Part 1 of the entry here. Literally, every street in Georgetown consisted of a hotel, guesthouse, cafe, pub, convenience store and more guesthouses! It feels like old Japan, where okiyas of the old and I am the little boy walking on the roofs of these guesthouses - peering into the secret lives of these folks operating their businesses. Beautiful and ornate little houses are turned into shoplot-like business venture, and that sometimes saddens me. Penangites, a majority of them are poor or low wage earners, so having these business fronts do make some sacrifices on the change. But often times, I can feel Penangites' sadness and desperation too, in their quest to earn wages.
I was glad that the coffeehouse at Chowrasta Market is still opened with its rich-dark sauce wonton noodles being my ultimate favourite meal. The other one at Siam Road, which is the last remaining childhood coffeehouse still standing also offers wonton noodles, but have a more liquid and clear sauce, which I find increasing dissatisfying. This coffeeshop at Siam Road is operated by the family - where the husband passed away a few years back, whom cooked the koey teow teng in really rich soup. When the husband died, this delicacy passed on too. The greatest thing about this coffeeshop is its marbled tables and wooden chairs that feels so rustic and homey. The ceiling exterior is lined with a unique iron grills that brings the morning sunlight a kind of fresh bath of aura into the dining space. The best thing about this coffeeshop is its not located in the dense and busy part of the city but next to a row of Old-Rich chinese style stoned houses along Siam Road that gives it some feel of exclusivity and classic atmosphere.
Thinking all these, I suddenly found myself sitting on the stone bench enjoying the morning sea breeze. Behind me was Dewan Sri Pinang, which used to be a library I would escape to in the pretense of studying. Now it's only a giant auditorim for art show performances and galleries. Fort Cornwallis is quite nearby, where in the afternoon I would be meeting an ex-schoolmate for lunch at the food court sandwiched between the field and the fort. I was in a cathartic state of mind, watching the beautiful morning scene, where the sun was shining brightly - revealing the ocean and its golden gleaming waves, and at the horizon was the mirage of the ports and ships doing their trade.
The night dragged on extremely long in Georgetown, and my stomach was growling again to taste the wonton noodles hawkers stall along Chulia Street - the intersection right next to Love Lane. I noticed the old man drying the noodles looked up at me quite intently as if he'd known me before. Sorry, old father, I'm not your lost son. But it got me interested to try his noodles. It ws at that point I realised and was able to articulate how my favourite wonton noodles should taste like. I was extremely upset by the wonton noodles, for the sauce does not hold onto the noodles and was very liquid. That causes the noodles to taste like rubber bands - tasteless and hard to chew. I just ate the fried and steamed wontons, and tried my hardest to palate the rest of the noodles.
After I've finished, I walked around that corner and discovered a live band was playing in one of the clubhouses. I walked in without anyone stopping me, and see all the yuppies drinking and chatting in the loud music. The bouncer noticed me, but still gave way. I walked back outside and decided to just lean on the car parked in front of a convenience store. I could see so many tourists walking around. I was relaxed and feel much better just observing the people around me in their night lives. There's no tension or whatsoever, just pushing my butt out while standing with my elbows resting on the car's back. Several men were looking at me curiously.