Thursday, December 12, 2013

Following the Gecko Trail (and other news)

Ah, gentle reader, if you thought that title portended some fascinating bit of travelogue or historical insight, you are sadly mistaken.  Alas, it is entirely literal, having to do with where geckos go, and I mean go.   OK, it is a small price to pay for mosquito free premises, and gosh they are kind of cute, and how DO they manage to cling to the wall completely horizontal??  But man do they produce poo. And it’s hard and sticky and requires a stiff brush to remove. They travel along walls and seem to favor corners and tight spots as places to leave their mark--no doubt more than you care to know.

The Ship to Nowhere
up close

Here is a photo of the Ship to Nowhere,  which parks most nights in the bay across from Miami Beach.
we see it from our window

People board it in nearby Georgetown for a one night “cruise” that  offers duty free shopping and an onboard casino.  Guess that’s what “offshore betting” really means.

Update in the fight against mildew

This week two leather items succumbed:   the checkbook cover and a watchband--you just can't leave anything alone unsupervised in a dark spot.

Small Triumphs
T and I climbed Penang Hill a few weeks ago.  There is a paved road (with thankfully little traffic) all the way--5 kilometers straight up.  The near constant 30 degree incline had us hobbling for days after.  
Smarter people go up by tram (see below)

view from the top

Tom is compared to Mark Spitz
 Occasionally he has the condo’s 27 meter  pool all to himself. Here he is from our balcony.

Tom grows a solidarity mustache for November  (and thankfully not a day more)
For a well-meaning international effort to raise awareness of men's health issues, many of the male teachers at the International School of Penang cultivate facial hair for the month of November. 

Field trip fun
T and K chaperoned a group of 10 year olds to Langkawi  Island-- gorgeous place. Four days with 37 kids--it was actually quite fun, jam packed with activities, including my favorite--the “6-D” ride.
on a boat tour

outside the "6-D"--where you get strapped into a seat and buffeted about

kids feeding white bread to an elephant--surely the owner could have found something more nutritious?

PHDs debut
K  has had a good time singing Christmas carols with the International Women's Association choir at various places around town. 

And, in the Incredibly Scary Venture department, she has joined with two other over the hill American ladies to form the Penang Harmony Divas. 

 Their second performance, at the IWA Christmas luncheon at the Eastern & Oriental hotel, included four numbers:  Bye Bye Love, Let it Shine* (think, Let it Snow; lyrics a joint venture by yours truly and Diva Marlene, below). In My Room, and Santa Baby. It is scary but fun.

*Oh the weather outside’s monsooning
Inside we’re happy spooning
There’s no dry place at all
To the mall- to the mall- to the mall

It doesn’t show sign of stopping
But the rain is good for shopping
So let’s go find some bling
Let us sing- let us sing- let us sing

When we finally have to go
How we’ll hate going out in the storm
since the AC is oh so cold
At least once were out we’ll be warm
Well it doesn’t show sign of stopping
And this mall is really hopping
But my cash -  is oh so low
I should go, I should go,  I should go.

The sun is slowly setting
And my dear I’m surely betting
That you’d like a nice glass of wine
when we dine, when we dine, when we dine

When we finally have to go
How we’ll hate going out in the storm
since the AC is oh so cold
At least once were out we’ll be warm

Monsoon’s a little frightful
We want our sun delightful
Penang is so divine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine

The rain is slowly dying
And my dear we’re still good bye-ing
Tomorrow there will be sun
Think I’ll stay cause Penang’s so much fun.