Thursday, August 04, 2005

Life begins in Penang.

Has been quite sometime now that i have been able to sit and jot down a few thoughts and ideas as to what heck am I doing with my life of late. The reason simply being that I cannot afford a new computer or the time to hang oput at a cybercafe. You see I am now gainly employed as a ticket seller at the Ferry terminal for the Jerejak Island Resort in Penang. Yessir! I sell tickets, give out informations and mostly sit around doing practically nothing in between. So being the kind of guy that I am I water the whole yard and garden around the jetty area and when it is not too hot I collect the garbage along the beach which the sea has left behind. I read alot too especially The Dalai Lama's book on "The Bodhisatva's Way" to keep my mind from regression into despair.
My children are getting well settled with teir new environment and new friends and are beginning to pick up with their studies again. I know they miss their mother eventhough both of them has never come out to say it. I see it more in my son than in my daughter as he was more closer to her than she was. Eversince their return from the US after their short stay they have been going through some eyeopening experiences on what life has to offer. After spending some time with the well to dos in Illinois, the cheesecakes and apple pies, now thay are forced to do with sharing meals with their neighbors children or sleeping on cold concrete floors. Oh its character building alright, but what the heck with a millionaire uncle and an airline pilot for a brother, they could do better. Then again that would be too simplistic for this day and age.
Life in Georgetown Penang is a blessing for us as we have many kind and helpful relatives and friends here more so than in Terenggnau. Here there is less character judgement and more compassion and understanding. There is also better opportunities here when it comes to getting employment if one is willing and alot more activities and happenings especially for the kids. The schools are more integrated here as there are more greater number of other races such as Chinese and Hindus attending same schools. This is particularly good for my son as he was starting to become constricted in his outlook towards those other than Malays when he was living in Kuala Terengganu, forgetting that he himself is not exactly a typical Malay.

Thus far I have managed to rent a place for ourselves got the kids in school, got myself a job and made a few possible connections for future ventures. Now I need to get me a decent transportation and I will be just about ready to take on this Island and all it has to offer. Working at the Jarjak Resort and SPA is a good start as it offers me a good venue to meet people especially those who can afford to take the time to stay at the resort and those who come from overseas. I have sat and talked to a few intresting individuals since I started working here and in the process have introduced them to this blogsite with the hope that they will remaind in contact. I have been able to share my thoughts with many younger guests who visit here on subjects such as the environment and just being aware, meditation and self discovery. It is intresting enough to note that most were intrested and cared enough to listen when I spoke and some came back with their own views which was encouraging.

Pualau Jerjak or the Jerjak Island covers about 960 Acres of land covered mostly with virgin jungle. The Island has a unique history as it was the first place the British East India Company used as its Post under Captain Francis LIght also known as the founder of Penang. It was maintained as a Quarantine Post for migrant workers from India and China employed by the British to work in the rubber plantations and the Tin mines in the Malay Peninsular. Light late abandoned the island when there was an outbreak of Malaria among the employees and opted for the much bigger Island of Penang itself after negotiating a treaty with the Sultan of Kedah.
The Island of Jerjak later was used as a submarine base by the German Navy during WW11 from which many british warhips and Maritime vassels were sunk in and around the Indian Ocean. The Japanese too later used the island to keep prisoners and practice their samurai techniques on removing heads during the occupation. Later when all the fun and killings were over the island it was converted into a leper colony where all the lepers from the rest of the nation were gathered there for R& R. After this the island became Malaysia's Alcatraz where hard core drug addicts were interned and then suddenly it all ended and the government decide to turn the island for a more positive use, build a resort.

Most guest stumbbled upon the resort jetty for one reason or another, they got lost looking for something else or they made a wrong turn and ended up at the jetty,few will tell you that they Knew of it through some ad. or promotion. Many arrive with a grumble having not being able to find the Jetty as there was practically now signage along the highway to make it possible to follow to the location. Due to ever changing of charges and or the lack of standard offers and information on such, guests often become disheartened after listening to one too many excuses as to why and what- fors.When it comes to the staff and the management personnels it is a whole different scenario and worthy of a whole new blogpage. Well I will leave it at that for now.