i think, even before we decided to start our journey in penang, we have always been inspired by the people of penang. i remember during our previous visits, when we walked along the streets of georgetown, we would always come across interesting characters and had many refreshing conversations with people on the street. that perhaps, is the main reason, why we choose penang as our 1st destination.
and i am glad we did. we have been here for more than a week now and if i were to give you some highlights of our stay so far – i have to mentioned the people we met. each of them have definitely leave a mark in our hearts.
1. joe sidek – when ozzie said that we are meeting the georgetown festival director, i didnt give much thought to it and just went along. i thought it would be a short, business-like meeting and it would be over in half an hour. boy, was i wrong. the moment joe opened his mouth, we were blown away. his persona is full of compassion, kindness, love and passion. we talked for hours about arts and spirituality. he tells us stories he loves stories. the meeting was nothing business-like. but it sparks a great project on our head and he shared the interest to be involved in it as well, which is awesome. he keeps saying he is old but joe is definitely young at heart and rocks at being brilliant.
2. naralle mcmurthie – when joe invited us for dinner the day after we met him, little we know that we would be having dinner with the owner of ChinaHouse, a well-known art cafe in georgetown – doing food tasting of 9 yummylicious dishes of the new menu! on top of it, naralle was so full of life and warm. we really felt like we ve known her for ages. she took interests on our artworks and even told me to email her my work and if its suitable, they maybe could exhibit/sell it. she loves ozzie’s photos and suggested it to be printed on mugs, pillows etc as the tourists at Langkawi would love to buy them. sounds promising. ozzie and i now are thinking to do videos of ChinaHouse and TempleTree in Langkawi, as well as a dogs and cats sanctuary she owned in Langkawi.
3. queen lee – i must conviced you as she convinced me that that is the name printed on her national registration identity card. queen owned (another) art cafe in georgetown called Chai Diam Ma. funny enough or coincidently, it was the first cafe we went to on the first day we reached penang, after we settled down at the hostel we were staying. the cafe was just down the road from the hostel. and we met her by coincidence as well. we were having coffee and meeting with danny, our local friend and queen was in the same coffee shop so danny introduced us. when ozzie and danny went out for a smoke, queen and i spoke for our stays in penang and our works. we exchanged numbers. later on, when me and ozzie were expanding our ideas about one of the documentary he is making – i suggested we cover queen’s cafe and the link to the local artists in penang. we spoke about it more and both liked. we went to meet queen the next day and she more than pleased to be part of it as well – so yeayyy oh btw, queen’s cafe is on queen street, in front of queen hotel. what do you call that??
4. goh choon ean – she coordinate events at Luma Art Centre. we met her very very briefly at an art exhibition she was coordinating but got a really good responds and feelings from her. she is away in italy now to visit her brother but we can foresee some future collaborations with her. in fact, she already invited ozzie to give a workshop in september (?!??) but we really had to decline cos we cant stay back that long. but definitely open for anything within this 2 months.
5. our friends – how can we not mentioned our lovely friends! some we had already the chance to meet and some we are meeting soon. danny had been an awesome friend. always there within a phone call – to help us with some information etc. ozzie loves danny’s song, Salam and really want to work on a music video for it, later on after we are done with documentary on queen’s cafe. we are also meeting kim soon but i have been communicating with her over emails. with kim, we want to work on a project with the migrant/refugee kids. we have some ideas but will be brain-storming further with kim and her team at Penang Stop Human Trafficking campaign. it was also nice to meet Shushi the other day for dinner – we catch up on stuffs but i believe there are many more stories to share.
this is it for now, we would be sharing more as we go along.
thank you for reading