51. Penang Hill

Eric’s Hair Adventure. Every adventure a hair adventure.

Soon after arriving in Penang, I decided to take the funicular railway to the top of Penang Hill to have a look around. I almost cancelled because the word funicular is a little tough to reconcile, and in order to ride the railway one has to stand in line for about an hour. 

View from atop Penang Hill

Pretty spectacular view of Georgetown, and across the bay of Mainland Malaysia. Here I am in the moment, and my hair looks pretty average, if that is possible. The humidity has rendered a fatigue, yet some strands are still independent and assert their individuality. My beard appears lethargic in the heat.


Here is a view in the hilltop restaurant. I had to visually document since a description would have fallen short of the visual. I could barely keep my nasi campur down.




My spirits and my hair rallied when I saw the possibility of seeing monkeys. I like dogs too, but they are pretty common, and share far less DNA than my simian friends. Anyhow, I looked all over and could not find a single monkey. When I asked the guard where the monkeys were he indicated another sign.




This was the first sign I saw explicitly warning about the monkeys.


I realized Malaysia has a lot of rules, and they actively discouraged feeding animals, as well as smoking. In Bali I could have fed rabid wild animals with one hand and smoked a cigarette with the other while hanging out in a maternity ward. Other than some local trying to sell me a tee shirt, nobody would say anything to me.


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A concise travel guide for visiting Bali, interacting with the locals, and having a great time.

Eric’s Hair Adventure. Every adventure a hair adventure.

50. Georgetown Penang Hair Adventure

Eric’s Hair Adventure. Every adventure a hair adventure.

Georgetown Penang is an historical town that has a lot of the old charm with its street scenes, food scenes, and art scenes.


Street Scenes





Another Georgetown street scene. My hair and beard create a classic Donald Sutherland formation. Good continuity, with a few strands of rebellion. The beard is also displaying signs of individuality with breakaway strands.






Here I am in front of a street cafe. Georgetown is famous among food people connoisseurs as a place that values great food above all else. I found this to be true. Notice how this cafe puts their tables in the street. And no, the street was not closed down, or barricaded. I opted for take away.


My hair has a symmetrical formation with a high degree of streamlining. My beard continues to grow in length and robustness.



Here I am in front of a more safe place to eat, which may take the fun out of it. Great name. The sun was not cooperating, and so the photo quality is poor, but the silhouette covers certain aspects fo my hair that eluded better lighting. The minute details of my  hair are accentuated by the back light. 



Hameedyah Restaurant was a great place to grab Tandoori chicken. The eatery has been there for over a century, and reflects how the British Empire facilitated people moving around. Today Georgetown is a melting pot of cultures from Mainland China, India, Iran, Arabia, and Europe. This sign is in English, Farsi, Indian dialect, and Chinese. 



This is a market on a side street.


Clan Jetties



When land became really expensive, some of the Chinese population decided to work around the problem and create more space. They built large jetties extending into the shallow bay to live close to work, and avoid land taxes. There are several clan jetties, and each one belongs to a different clan. I visited the most celebrated Chew Jetty.




Apparently there is no building inspector working on the clan jetties. The support for the structures come from stacking 5 gallon paint cans with a wooden beam down the middle, and filling it with cement. To be fair, nothing collapsed when I was there, so they may be on to something. My hair in this image has a classic feathered look, with emphasis on the sides. The heat from the midday has lilted my beard slightly, but it remains solid. 





This is a built in sidewalk. Most of the old school buildings in Penang have a covered walkway in front. Some even have beautiful tile work like this one. The tile is not native to Penang, but was probably imported from another part of the British Empire when they ran the show.


Georgetown Penang Firehouse.


Street Art



This sign was displayed above a walkway. It was only in English. I am glad there was no accompanying pictogram for the insertion part.




Georgetown Penang is also famous for street art. There are many murals about town, and there are tours to take that focus on just them.



Saving the best for last here is more street art. I have no idea what this guy is for, but I like him. I think my hair is better than his, but nothing new there. 


Eric’s Hair Adventure. Every adventure a hair adventure.


Fort Cornwallis Hair Adventure

Eric’s Hair Adventure. Every adventure a hair adventure.

Penang Malaysia is an island on the west coast of the peninsula. The island was a British trading port with a fort during the colonial days. When the Japanese Army was expanding their Empire in WWII They bombarded the city. The official story is the British abandoned the fort. There was no time to let the invading Japanese know, so they bombed the city trying to get rid of an enemy that wasn’t there. A local newspaper editor got the word out, and the bombing ceased with a walk in. Who hasn’t done something like that?

Here I am at the main entrance of the fort. 1786 is a long time for any structure to be  around, but as far as old forts go, this was a pretty nice one; solid walls, nice light, open floor plan, good neighborhood, with a top rated school district. The fort looks out on the Bay, on the north side of the island, which is to my right in the photo. The mainland is to the east, and I am facing west. The photobomber in the background claimed to be a guard. When I enquired as to whether capri pants were part of the uniform he had no answer.
My hair looks great here. It is laying down, while still asserting its independence. My bear looks trim, yet a touch of the wild.  

This is the seaward facing side of the fort. All those cannon have sent the message since 1786 ; “If we don’t haul ass, we might shoot these guns at you, so behave…”

Here I am in a classic gun over the shoulder montage. My hair is doing its part by projecting power, and stability.

Numbers Game

Our rental apartment was on the 23rd flood of a high-rise building. I noticed the elevator had no 4th, 14th, or 24th floor. In fact I could find no 4’s anywhere about the building. The maintenance man told me In Chinese 4, sounds like death, so the number is left out for superstitious reasons, and replaced with 3A. 




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After Bali, we headed to Malaysia to spend a month enjoying a different side of Southeast Asia. While Bali is overwhelmingly Hindu, Malaysia is Muslim, and Buddhist, with a very small portion of Hindu. Malaysia is also just south of Thailand, and there is a huge Thai influence on Malaysia.


I found that the Malaysia is a combination of several cultures, and they all brought great food.


I spent most of my time on Penang, which is an island on the west coast of Malaysia.


This is the first view I had from our 23rd floor apartment, looking southwest. 




This is pretty much the same view, the next morning. 



Sunset. This image covers the left 1/4 of the previous photograph, and you can match it by the buildings along the bottom. I took the other photos first. then I had to line the shot up with the sunset. 




I visited the Buddhist Temple in Penang. It is famous for its laying down Buddha statue. The temple dates back to 1845 in Georgetown. 


The 2388 is the year depicted on the sign. The deal is the Buddhist Timeline started with the death of  Buddha, in 543 BC, thus, the temple founding in 1845 is then added to 543, giving the answer of 2388. Although we try to avoid teaching and learning here at EHA, sometimes we find it too interesting to pass up. Incidentally, North Korea’s timeline starts with the birth of Kim Il Sung. 



the focal piece of this temple is Phra Chaiya Mongkol, which is a reclining Buddha created in 1958. The lay-down Buddha is actually the third longest reclining Buddha statue in the world, at around 100 ft. and is also a columbarium – a place where urns of cremated persons are kept. I found that out when I walked around the statue to the backside.


Here I am in front of the Stupa on the temple grounds. I fond out later that stupas contain the remains of monks, and are considered a good place to pray and meditate. Truth is, the entire grounds were a nice place to meditate. 


Here you can seem my hair was at ease with the surroundings, to the point where it is difficult to tell where the hair stops, and the tree begins.  All the same, my hair is scintillating here. It is unified, with limited variety, and of course my beard looks wonderful.



Outside the building housing the reclining Buddha. The Stupa is peeking over the building, nearest my right shoulder. I believe that is a shopping mall across the street, to keep with the sacred theme. Note how my hair has the lift at the end on the left front, while it has a windblown look on the right front. This photo was shot late afternoon, hence the fatigued and vacant look in my eyes.


Coming Soon

Someone’s Always Smiling in Bali:

An Intryoli Press Concise Guide to Visiting the Island of the Gods.


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Eric’s Hair Adventure. Every adventure a hair adventure.

Nusa Dua Beach is on the east side of Bali, near the south end. The locals say the name means, two beaches


Before getting on to the beach, you have to go through the temple gates. As Bali is the land of 20,000 temples, there is one pretty much everywhere you go. It is a nice way to spend your day, traveling from temple to temple. Speaking of nice things, check out my hair. Thick, lustrous, and a hint of chaos. My beard hangs freely, and without reservation.

The beach has statues, and I believe this is Hanuman again, the Monkey God, and incidentally my favorite.

This is the Sea God, and his guard. My hair is in a classic flip back, with a singular advanced guard. The beard appears trimmed, to reflect the sleek look. 


At the end of the peninsula there is cave that shoots a stream of water in the air when the tide is high. Naturally, I was  there during low tide, so I only have a sign with the word Blow on it. Eighth grade again.

Hair Sighting

Here I am near the Water Blow, just not experiencing it. The wind conditions were right to give that ravishing look. Humidity helped seal the deal. Note the fisherman in the background, who I would normally consider a photobomber.

Upon a closer look I realized he was sporting a straight-up fisherman mullet, rarely seen in the wild. My commitment to hair diversity made me realize the significance of this was ever greater given there are no ice hockey games on the entire island. He refused an interview.

Hairless Sighting

I believe in diversity of thought and deed, and these Buddhist Monks sport a hairstyle that is different than my  own, but legitimate nonetheless. They were enjoying an outing at the beach just as i was. They were friendly at first, but refused my offer to play frisbee. Then when I tried to take a photo of one of them on his cellphone he refused that too. 

Tidal Pool Hair

After enjoying the rich hair diversity at the Water Blow it was time to head to the water. Here I am at low tide with the ocean at my back. I look westward, while my hair looks a little wayward, but enchanted. 


This is the same beach at sunrise, my favorite time of the day.


Here at EHA I believe in ending on hight notes. 

Coming Soon

Someone’s Always Smiling in Bali:

An Intryoli Press Concise Guide to Visiting the Island of the Gods.


Out now on Amazon Kindle.


Eric’s Hair Adventure. Every adventure a hair adventure.