I left you with a cliffhanger last week, but here it is Friday already! You made it here to read the conclusion! Thank you for being so patient! If you haven’t read Part 1 already, make sure to read it before you start this one.
The house that we rented off of Airbnb.com was located on Bangkok Lane in Pulau Tikus a suburb of George Town. We had researched quite a few places and felt this house was perfect for us. The price was a bit higher than we would normally like to spend, but the way the house looked and was presented seemed really cool. The fact that it was built in the 1930’s and welcomed artists and musicians enticed our eclectic tastes.
When we arrived, we were happy to see that the house looked just like the pictures. As we explored the it though, we noticed that there was no glass in the windows (shutters and bars inside square holes in the wall), every door in the house had about a three inch gap under it, and that there were large (volleyball size) holes in a couple of the walls. Not a big deal to us… at first. Then I started noticing the rat droppings. They were PILED up on shelves in the bathroom and kitchen. It was obvious that the house was not cleaned often or very well. Ewwww. I emailed the landlord and let her know what the situation was, in the most tactful way that I could (that is difficult to do when it comes to rats!). She told me that the renter before us had complained of that as well and that it was just lizard poo.
For those that don’t have gecko’s crawling all over their house, it is true, gecko poop can look a lot like rat droppings. The main difference is that gecko poo has a white “tail” on the end of the dropping. (See, you can learn useful information everyday here by reading And Three To Go!) The piles of feces in the house did not look like the gecko variety to me, but I could have been wrong. I explained to Jasmine that even if it was from a gecko (which it was not), the amount of it that was throughout the house showed that the house had not been cleaned thoroughly in quite some time, OR, there was a huge swarm of geckos in the house that eluded us somehow. Jasmine offered half our money back and said that she would speak to the house cleaners, so we decided to ignore the mess and just wear our shoes in the house (it felt so strange!).
The one great thing about not being very comfortable in the house we were renting, is that it got us out and doing things right away. We headed out for a walk around Gurney Drive which was only about a ten minute walk from our
rat trap house. Gurney Drive is known as one of Penang’s most popular beachfront tourist destinations because of the hawker centers, the towering resorts, and the gigantic malls.
The beachfront itself was dirty and the water shined like it had a layer of oil floating on it. The walk along the beach was pleasant though as the sidewalk was paved and smooth, perfect for a stroller. We walked around for a bit and then settled at a place called “Mr. Pot” for dinner. I felt it was necessary to try the traditional Malaysian dishes Nassi Lemak and the Hokkien Mee despite the fact that I did not really enjoy them on our trip to KL or Singapore. I realized again, I do not like those dishes, but it was worth a try right?
We walked back to Bangkok Lane with very satisfied stomachs and prepared for our trip to the Thai Embassy in the morning to apply for our visas. We were prepared for everything, except a national holiday.
The next day we rose, got ready, and left the house early, driving the short distance to the embassy. We arrived and I was surprised to see that there wasn’t a line! As we got closer, I realized that it was because the embassy was closed. Apparently it was the Malaysian Independence Day. Whoops. Good thing we planned an extra day in Penang just in case!
With a unexpected free day, we decided to check out Escape, an outdoor adventure park. We will be writing a review of the park for next Friday’s post, so come back for that. We had a FANTASTIC day there!
The next day we were able to take care of our visa things and then were on the prowl for a good breakfast. Most of the restaurants in Penang were late to open (usually not before 11 am), so finding a breakfast place was a bit of a chore. We researched the internet for a good place, and came upon Gusto Café. The location was a bit difficult to find (thanks Google Maps) but it was well worth the momentary stress. We sat down and ordered our omelets and coffee and tea. All three of us loved the food and ended up going there again the following day for breakfast. Chad had an omelet with cheese, bacon, and onions. I had an omelet with cheese, tomato, and bacon. Zoë had bacon, scrambled eggs and toast. Writing it here makes the food seem plain, but the flavors were anything but that. The omelets were perfectly seasoned and savory and they were firm without being dry. The toast was made with thick cut bread and buttered lightly. Z ate her breakfast so fast, it was like it wasn’t ever there, I think she liked it.
We spent the rest of our time in George Town stocking up on things that are more expensive in Thailand (beer, organic snacks, etc.). Grocery shopping wasn’t that exciting, but checking out the malls on Gurney drive was interesting. Also, I got to enjoy a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf chai tea latte… THE BEST!
We ended our day at an arcade in the mall and headed back to start packing up our things to return back to Thailand. We were ready. Although we enjoyed Penang, we were ready for the comfort of our own beds and rat free home in Phuket.
George Town was an interesting city, the hawkers centers lumped in between the high-rises. The one-way streets that caused a little stress at first. The old buildings mixed with the modern ones. There was not a set architecture that I could tell. Another thing that stuck me was the fact that we seemed to be the only western tourists except for one other family that I saw, and a few middle-aged gentlemen. Admittedly we were in the more touristy areas of Penang, but I was surprised how much we stuck out in a crowd. I kind of liked that feeling, but also felt a bit exposed. Regardless, I was glad to have visited Penang, Malaysia.
Make sure to follow us because in the next couple of weeks there will be posts about our day at Escape and our favorite restaurant in George Town!
Now it’s your turn… What would you do if you rented a house with a rat/gecko poo problem? Do you like Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Chai tea lattes? Would you like to visit George Town? Do you like root beer? There are so many ways you can comment and join in the conversation!