(This post was published 3 1/2 years late)
Friday, 28 March 2008
Today, Quick would be coming over with his family. He was expected to arrive at about noon.
Meanwhile, we have to move hotel today. Continental Hotel could not give us any room for tonight because it was already booked by others. There were a lot of hotels along Penang Road. A short distant away from Continental Hotel was Oriental Hotel. I went in, make some inquiries and booked a standard twin room from 28th March onwards. I was also able to book a family room for Quick and his family, adjacent to ours.
At Kafe 78, across the road from Oriental Hotel, I saw the Tua Pau (big bun). This was one of my favourite while studying at USM. I could not miss the chance eating it, so I ordered one. It was not as good as I hoped.
Ling's primary purpose was to visit CTY Aquarium at Jalan Burmah. We did not know the distant from our hotel but from the map, we did know the direction. We would be going there this morning.
We reached CTY Aquarium early. It has not opened for business. Its business hours was from 11:00 a.m. Photography was not allowed within the shop. I could only say that there were many species of fish, coral, sea grass and sea creatures for sales. Ling was mesmerised with such a wide selection of sea creatures to see.
Before noon, we hurried back to our hotel to await Quick's arrival. After many minutes on the phone telling him our location, Quick finally found us.
Soon, we were off for our lunch of Hainan Chicken Rice in his van. Lunch was good. The restaurant was full of lunch-time diners.
In the afternoon, Quick and his family took their rest. I was restless. Before 4:00 p.m., I asked Quick whether his family were interested in going to CTY Aquarium. Yes, they were interested. Soon, Ling was leading the way to CTY Aquarium.
Quick and his family returned to the hotel earlier. Both Ling and I returned just before 6:00 p.m. We dropped by the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul at Jalan Keng Kwee, just off Penang Road, for some sweet, cold cendol.
That evening, I asked Quick whether we could visit our alma mater, USM. Soon, we were on our way there. We were waved through the Sungai Dua Gate to USM. Quick drove through the campus pretty quickly. I did not have the chance to step out and walk around the campus to see how much it has changed after 13 long years. I was only able to take a few photographs from inside the moving Toyota Unser.
After USM, I asked Quick whether he wanted to visit our former landlord. He agreed. From our former landlord's house, we proceeded to Gelugor.
Tonight was our night of Nasi Kandar. We were still early. At 7:50 p.m. we were at Shariff Nasi Kandar stall. All the side dishes were still available for us to choose. The queue was still long, like it was 13 years ago. We decided to order take way Nasi Kandar, this time with my favorite omelette.
At 8:40 p.m., we were in Jelutong. Yes, the place where I had curry mee almost every time at the stall operated by Ah Nee's mum. It was to see Ah Nee and it was nostalgic memories of the extremely beautiful Ah Nee that brought me searching for her mum's curry mee stall when we arrived at Jelutong. The stall was no longer there. Ah Nee was no longer there. How would she look like after this long 13 years, I wonder! Has she grown even prettier?
Quick's favorite stall at Jelutong was the "Pek Kui" drink stall. It was still there. 13 years ago, he said that drinking Pek Kui would ensure that the skin would be fair and beautiful, like the girls serving the drink. Indeed, they have beautiful, fair skin. But those girls were long gone, replaced by the present batch of young girls.
Back at the hotel, we could not wait to open our packets of Nasi Kandar. My favourite omelette did not taste like it was 13 years ago. Time passed, people passed on. The present cooks might not have been as great as the old cooks.