Penang Drivers Are Crazy!

The thing most prominent about Penang now is not its good food but the crazy traffic. Wuan and I were on the island from Wednesday to Sunday last week to finalize the preparations for our upcoming wedding banquet. It was like a warzone on the roads. Most of the roads were congested. Drivers do not give way. Some attempted to squeeze me off the road to get just one car ahead even though I had the right of way. There was simply no courtesy in Penang roads. Saying that it was a harrowing experience is an understatement.

Blogging workshop at Penang Spastic Centre
With Blogging Workshop participants at Penang Spastic Centre.

We dropped Cheeky and Fei Por off in Ipoh on Wednesday for boarding at the veterinarian in Ipoh Garden, had lunch with Wuan’s parents and sister and then went up to Penang on the same day. On the evening that we arrived, I met with a few ex-schoolmates from La Salle School that I have not meet since I left St. Xavier’s Institution in 1983. The gathering was also sort of a farewell for our schoolmate Alec who was going back to the United Kingdom. Seeing how much we have changed over the years really made me feel old.

Basically, this trip was rushing from one place to another giving out invitation cards and meeting relatives I have not met in a while. On Friday, we were over in Bukit Mertajam to meet my cousin who then went with us to Alor Star to see my seventh paternal uncle. It has been three decades since I was there last. The only two things that I remember about this state capital are the Balai Besar and Miramar Hotel. What I like most about Kedah is the wide expanse of paddy fields. Another trip to Kedah is in the works for Wuan and I to capture these rustic sights for posterity; soon hopefully.

Heavy rain at the North-South Expressway
Caught in the heavy rain at the North South Expressway.

I took time off on Saturday to conduct a half-day blogging workshop at the Penang Spastic Centre. The topic of the workshop was centred around using blogs as a tool for advocacy on disability issues. Half day was not sufficient to cover the pertinent points but that was all I could spare. Perhaps, I will do a followup workshop just to get the participants to share the progress in their blogging adventure in a few months’ time. We made our way back to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, stopping by in Ipoh again to pick up our cats, have lunch, bought some pomelos and made our way south only to be caught in a heavy thunderstorm from Simpang Pulai to Ulu Bernam.

NST Writing Blogs Workshop

NST Writing Blogs Workshop participants
Photo by Wuan.

Since Suanie has blogged about this event, I am just going to write briefly about it and put up some photos. New Straits Times organized a workshop on blogging at its premises at Jalan Riong. Suanie was the coordinator and chief facilitator. It was a two day event. Suanie invited me and several other bloggers to speak. She slotted me into the session just after lunch on Sunday on April 12. The morning sessions were conducted by Timothy Tiah and Foong Cheng Leong.

Peter Tan at the NST Writing Blogs Workshop
Photo by Wuan.

I had planned to talk for half an hour and leave the other half for questions and answers. Unfortunately, I talked for nearly fifty minutes and left only ten minutes for the Q & A session. Luckily, the two or three questions were short and by the time I finished answering, my session ended just in time for Yvonne Foong to take over.

Yvonne Foong at the NST Writing Blogs Workshop
Photo by Wuan.

The topic of my talk was “Blogging As A Tool For Advocacy.” I also shared a few tips on search engine optimization (SEO) that I use on my blogs to get listed higher in the search engine results page (SERP) and provide more relevant information in the listings. This is imporant to draw organic traffic and get the message out for activists who use the Internet as a tool to advocate.

NST Writing Blogs Workshop group photo
Photo by Wuan.