Thursday, August 31, 2006

The one about the start of "Birthday Season"...

Yep, after a lull on the "birthdays" front, the month of September will usher in a whole series of parties over the next few months.

Last weekend was all about eating. On Saturday evening, we brought little Ethan to Zerlynde's birthday party. Hooi Lin and Kenzu had quite a few guests over to the Lone Pine Hotel poolside for the "Elmo" themed party complete with a "fishing" pool, large Elmo cut-out and the works.

Needless to say, Ethan enjoyed himself immensely and it took all my strength to keep him from diving into the hotel swimming pool! The party ended early for us as we had dinner that night.

Dinner was to have been somewhere in Bayan Baru but ended up even further at a Malay seafood place called Ilyana or something like that, way away at Gertak Sanggul, which is at the edge of the island. Food wasn't anything to shout about, service was slow and the ambience, well, its a "kedai kopi" style place in the middle of nowhere. What was really amazing was that the food was incredibly inexpensive, setting us back RM14 each only!

After dinner, we decided to have coffee and chat at the new "hot spot" in Penang - which is E-Gate. Half the island's free trade zone employees had the same idea and the place was packed. Every eating, drinking and entertainment outlet there was chock-a-block. There's life in the south after all.

Jo sitting at a very busy Starbucks, E-Gate...

During coffee, Yan suggested we have a picnic the next day at a beach just behind the Bayview Beach Hotel. There was a quaint little hut there selling food and drinks and a nice quiet stretch of sand for some relaxation.

So, on Sunday, we headed to the beach after dropping Ethan off at my mum-in-laws. It was his nap time so we couldn't bring him along. The beach was fairly easy to find, as we arrived a little late after picking Mel up on the way. The place wasn't exactly secluded or private but it was fairly quiet. The beach boys park their boats nearby making a part of the sand rather dirty.

We did have a pretty relaxed time, mainly sipping iced lemon juice and staying out of the scorching sun. Sue & Yan brought little Jae Han (Sue's nephew) and he really had a great time in the water. Our afternoon was brought to an abrupt halt as a sudden storm hit the shores and we had to scurry about under the shed while some of us rush to the car to get umbrellas. Far cry from the scene earlier...

Jo's birthday is this Friday (1st September) and we will be celebrating with her over dinner and drinks. Unfortunately Kian Hio won't be there as he is due to fly off to Xiamen (China) for business tomorrow morning (Thursday). He and Jinny decided to make it up to Jo with a dinner this evening at Scarlet Restaurant in Pulau Tikus.

Dinner was nice and we had a good bottle of wine to wash it down. After that, we dropped by Coffee Bean across the road at Bellisa Row for a late night cuppa and were joined by Mel and Raphael. Ralph had just gone to Greece and Turkey and gave us a dose of anecdotes from his travels.

Its actually 31st August now and tomorrow morning the parades and celebrations for our National Day will be in full blast. While there's much to be thankful for living in this country of ours, one can't help but feel a bit empty when reflecting on the recent events and the trends facing us all. We have a former Prime Minister critisising our present PM, a worrying slant towards Islamisation of our way of lives, freedoms treaded upon, rights violated, standards falling and justice denied. It all stems from ignorance. I've blogged on this before so i won't go into it again but ignorance is NOT bliss.

What I want is simply a plausible future for my son. That he may be able to grow up amidst understanding and sensibility. That he may have a chance in life free of prejudice and hatred. Is that a lot to ask for?

1 comment:

Bill D'berg said...

Many Happy Returns of the day Jo.

(Save a cuppa for us)

A. Peggy and U. Wm


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