It was very exciting to have my Mum or 'Peeba' as she is known as to Poe and Ilo, on our little day trip up Penang Hill . We caught the super speedy and new funicular up the hill which took all of 7 minutes, as opposed to the leisurely, bordering on walking pace of the funicular in my past, which would take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. Personally I preferred the slower journey up the hill, you could feel the air subtly change as you entered the jungle surrounds, you would feel simultaneously entertained and anxious as monkeys would play around the tracks and alongside the carts and reaching the top would always feel like an achievement. This trip was a matter of hold on and off we go and then, pffft we were at the top.
It was special spending this day with Mum, giving her space to debrief, process how she has been feeling, reminisce, give and receive lots of special cuddles and kisses as well as catch some of the infectious delight spread about by Poe and Ilo.
From the moment we arrived at Sydney Airport and for the entire time away, we were accompanied by Ilo singing pretty much the whole O'Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack, obviously the show had a big impact on him. It was hilarious and constant, most of the time it was done in character voices complete with actions; shoulders slumped forward, squat like dance moves, elbow out kind of motions and dragging his feet along with a pained look on his face to really accentuate a certain song). It was so delightful and relentlessly amusing, just watching Ilo, really feeling the songs, regardless of his surroundings and largely oblivious to all those around.
This is one of the few restaurants we went to, as we mostly ate Hawker Street food and one or two meals at my Aunts, Sri Ananda Bahwan is a fantastic vegetarian Indian restaurant in Georgetown. They do really great (and ridiculously cheap) South and North Indian meals, simple and delicious banana leaf meals (where they ladle whatever curries are available along with some rice and bread on the banana leaves) dishes like idli, dosai, tahlis, countless curries, breads galore and oodles of Indian sweets (I personally prefer them as eye candy rather than for eating, as beautiful as they are, they aren't really my thing). Oh and some seriously great ice coffee, no ice cream, cream or chocolate sprinkles here, just simple weak but yummy and refreshing 'coffee'.