Gurney Getaway – Day 4 (December 30, 2004)

Sunrise at Gurney Drive
Sunrise at Gurney Drive.

0707: Wuan caught a few of these remarkable shots of the sunrise while I was still deep asleep. She is definitely a very morning person. All the sunrise shots for this trip were taken by her. She excitedly woke me up just to show me what she had captured. When I looked out the window, the sky was already bright and clear.

Bak Kut Teh at Gurney Drive
Bak kut teh at Zealand Cafe in Gurney Drive.

0856: On the previous mornings, Wuan and I had noticed that the morning crowd usually gathered in the coffee shops selling bak kut teh. This is a popular herbal soup cooked with pork ribs, pork and almost all the innards of a pig. It is served with either white rice or yam rice, crullers (ewe char koay) and bean cake (tau kua). It is true that we Chinese eat almost anything four-legged except tables and chairs. We thought it must be good since there were always sizeable crowds in the shops. However it was not as tasty as we had expected. We must have appeared odd photographing our food before eating it.

Feet of the reclining Buddha at Wat Chayamangkalaram
Feet of the reclining Buddha at Wat Chayamangkalaram in Penang.

0941: We went back to the Siamese temple to take a few shots that we missed for our own personal album. It was already crowded with tourists, mostly Japanese and mainland Chinese. Tsunami or no tsunami, Penang was still full of tourists. This photo is of the reclining Buddha with the motif of a wheel on the sole of his foot. I gathered that the eight spokes of the wheel represent the Noble Eightfold Path (Attha Sila) of Buddhism.

Gurney Drive Penang
Gurney Drive, Penang.

1205: It was time to leave. This had been one uneasy holiday. And I did what most tourists have done more often than me – visit the two Buddhist temples. I believe I have been there as a kid but I do not have any recollection. Now I can be certain that I have been there, thanks to Wuan. Everywhere we went in Gurney Drive, we overheard people talking about the tsunami, the earthquake and the rising death toll. Would we go come back again some time in the near future? Perhaps, just to see the Gurney Drive that I know before it is lost forever to the waves of development.

* More photos in the Gallery.

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

2 thoughts on “Gurney Getaway – Day 4 (December 30, 2004)”

  1. Mmm didn’t know they allowed photo taking in inside the temple so only shots I got was from outside and zoomed. Haha missed the wheel on the Buddha’s foot 😀 lovely pictures

  2. Kervin,
    Some temples do not allow. Some allow but flash must not be used. All those pictures were taken by Wuan.

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