Sunday, 26 June 2016

Summer Adventures Part II: George Town and Kuala Kurau

Summer week two, we were headed down to George Town, Penang!

The silky clouds and pure uninterrupted blue skies that stretched seamlessly across my field of vision, the waves like ripping blanket of brilliant blue made for a spectacular view on the Penang Bridge where mum took over the driver seat after I drove a part of the journey as Dad was handling multiple work phone calls, and we were glad we got to share the course of driving safe.


Penang (island) featured clean streets, low crime rate, rich heritage, this unique and beautiful island marked many fine-looking, historical buildings, coupled with the efforts of the government in Penang to retain natural greens and Mother Nature reflected in the array of lovely beaches, preserved forests, botanical gardens, and rolling hills. 

It is no wonder I had spotted many Westerners at this impressive tourist attraction.



We checked into G Hotel along Gurney Drive in Penang Island, where Dad hurried off to attend to his work, and Mum and I went on a much-cherished mother-daughter date.

I absolutely relished in the fact that Gurney Plaza was only a few steps away from G Hotel. Scorching hot, drizzling wet... the weather couldn't have mattered when the distance and location made for such easy and convenient access to hunt for clothes and FOOD. 'Cause that's what we live for, right? Fatty alert, I mean, foodie.

When dazzled with endless restaurants and food chains before our eyes, we decided on Chili's because I was craving for Western food. Needed a break from that Asian inside of me. Mummy willingly complied. 

 
Mummy- best company ever!

We ordered a Caesar salad to share, with the option of grilled chicken over prawns. 



It was delicious, but we both agreed we totally needed reminding of just how large the portions were served in Chili's. 



Usually my heart bursts in delight seeing a decent portion served in restaurants (given the economy recession and measly portions everywhere) but after a large brunch and lying down immediately after my meal at the beginning of the car ride, my stomach rebelled hard hours later. It acted in the queerest way possible nearing dinner time, so with a stolen appetite, I could barely make it through the meal (definitely strange and rare) and mum had to help me out.  

All of this was later explained during a terrible, horrible, painful episode of acid reflux that midnight.



Salmon, brocolli and rice. I can eat this everyday.

That midnight I woke up with a irritating, excruciating chest pain. I felt something corrosive and piercing hurting my throat. I tried to ignore it but the agony roared and screamed, as I clutched my chest trying to make my way to drink some water. I started grabbing hold of my blanket as I sipped the water bit by bit, as though the harder I gripped the bed sheets, the sooner the torture would fade.

I was close to tearing up. It wasn't the first time I experienced an episode of acid reflux, so I was certain it wasn't a heart attack, but the second time around was dreadfully tormenting- the excessive hydrochloric acid  moving up into my esophagus threatened to smolder and consume my every organ, sick and angry of my betrayal on my body, reminding me of all the times I stubbornly or unintentionally skipped my meals amidst the discomfort. 

I tried drinking a packet of nutrient drink, drinking warm water, sitting up, walking... Of course I tried googling for home remedies but I wasn't at home- I was at the hotel, my two parents fast asleep after a day of being worn out at work... was I to shake them up? How could I? Even when I was aching so badly, a rational part of me was adamant about letting my parents rest- my situation was brought upon by my self, after all. 

Well... that enlightened and sensible side of me didn't last long. After gritting my teeth and clenching my jaws so tightly for a good 2 minutes... I gave in. I gently tapped mum on her shoulder and used every bit of my remaining energy to explain to her my misery.

We tiptoed around and whispered, of fear of waking up my tired dad who was catching up on sleep. We went down to the lobby, and because this story is boring even myself, I will recap in the briefest manner: Found a 24 hours clinic on Google, drove out, forgot to bring the phone, completely got lost without Waze, drove back to the hotel, retrieved the phone, arrived at the destination... only to realise Waze hadn't update recent enough... much to our dismay, the clinic was replaced by an optometry clinic. Devastated, apologised to my mum for the trouble I caused her, ever caring and loving she told me that it's alright, fatigue seeped in and we both fell asleep. By then it was already 6 in the morning. 

My heart is just filled with gratitude for my mum thinking about it now.

After getting some shut-eye until about 8 in the morning, we went to Gurney Plaza again to try our luck if there were any clinics there, none as reported back so we visited the pharmacy to get whatever remedy available to relieve acid reflux (I was seriously desperate at that point), was recommended Gaviscon, swallowed a packet, bought a couple of pumpkin seeded bread rolls at Bread History bakery in the morning, and hung around until Uncle Ping was scheduled to arrive around 10. What a coincidence as he was staying at G Hotel as well! Mum and Uncle Ping had agreed to meet up for work discussions. 

They had to sit at the food court while waiting for Din Tai Fung to open at 11.30 a.m. but because I needed to shop for some essentials (yes, swim suits and clothes are essentials) I excused myself. I joined them at Din Tai Fung when mum notified me. I ate, despite being extremely uncomfortable, because mum was worried if I was hungry (I wasn't- or rather, I couldn't feel anything apart from distress then) and it was the least I could do to assuage her of her concerns. 




We checked out of the hotel, shopped till we dropped, then went over to my relative's house to have dinner to celebrate and share the merry of my cousin sister who was getting married!


I'm afraid I don't have many pictures to offer because I remember twitching in pain most of the time throughout dinner. I was just grateful for the conversations with my relatives- perfect distraction.

The next day... Dad and mum kindly insisted that I visit the doctor so that I get hold of proper medication, I initially expressed reluctance because I didn't want to risk their being late, but  in the end we still went to the clinic and boy was I relieved I did because my digestive system needed the proton pumps... It turned out that the gate crashing and tea ceremony were delayed way longer than we had anticipated. So we talked, and ate to help time pass.




Caught me tip-toeing.

 

Congratulations, Li Wen Jie Jie and I wish you a blessed marriage!



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