A book given to me by my Aunty, written by my grand uncle (Koo Kong)                                      

As you know, I am from Penang, and I love everything Penang, which includes its food, its culture and people. So, every trip back to Penang, on top of visiting my family and friends, I have a habit of buying at least one book about Penang, and this trip was no different. I actually got two books.

However, I did not have to purchase any of the books. Instead, I was given the above book, written by Datuk Khor Cheong Kee, by one of my Aunties from Penang. I used to own one, and lent it to a friend and unfortunately the book was never returned. So now I have a brand new copy. The other book is Images of Penang.

While sitting on the plane heading back to Sydney, feeling a bit sad saying good bye to Penang once again, I took out this book and started flipping through the pages. It was so refreshing as I could understand the humour of the author coupled with the Penang “flavour” in his writing.

On many occasions, I laughed out quite loudly because of its Penang humour, which I think only Penangites will understand. I went through chapter by chapter, as though the author was sitting right in front of me and telling those stories.

When growing up, I had the pleasure of sharing the table and listening to Datuk Khor Cheang Kee’s stories… That was because I was related to him (I call him Koo Kong – My grandma’s brother), so we saw each other quite often. I was always fascinated with his stories, humour and very witty jokes.

So when I was reading his articles in the book, it was as thought he was right in front of me and sharing those stories… Nostalgic indeed!

I will definitely be reading this book many times over!

The other book I got as a gift was from my mum – The Images of Penang.

This book features pictures of Penang, old and new. I was familiar with many of the pictures in this book as I grew up with them; however, some I have not had the chance to “meet” / see yet. For example, the street arts of Penang… ashamedly, I have not had the chance to take photos of them yet. Why? Either it was too hot to walk through the streets or it could be I was busy visiting relatives and friends and did not have time for sight-seeing.

From the photos, I have also noticed the transformation of the old houses into hip cafes, souvenir shops and retail outlets etc. Also, who could miss the historical houses along the streets of Penang as well as the hawker centers, street vendors?

As for so many of the places mentioned and featured in the book, I will definitely make a date to go to those places when I visit Penang again.

Thanks to these amazing books that kept me busy on the plane, and helping me move on from the sadness of having to bid my family and Penang goodbye again!

You can grab the two books from either Amazon or Abe Books: