Here I have compiled some interesting things I discover in Penang that I’d like to remember. I’m sharing it as they maybe as thought-provoking to you as to me and sparks unconventional ideas / opinion of your own.
1. The Honesty Shop
“Someone tell us that we live in a dishonest world, so we are here to prove the wrong!”
This unconventional ‘shop’ in China house test people’s honesty and kindly reminds us to have faith in humanity. The idea is to leave the product to sell unattended and provide a money box. Definitely not something you see very often. Looking at such effort restored our faith that there are kindness and honestly in this world.
2. Useful Movie One Liners
This magazine article I was browsing while dining at Restaurant 44, Muntri Street. Smart and hilarious line you wish you can witness it being said in real life and be entertained as hell. My favourite is while you colleague email you on the weekend and your reply:
“It’s the weekend, I don’t know you, You do not exist”.
3. Bookswaps in Huey&Wah Café
Similar concept to the Honesty shop, it is next to nothing to set up this bookswap corner. People can donate books or swap it with other book on the rack. How often do you re-read books? Put your read books for better purpose and grab another one to read, best of all, it’s free!
4. Pondering about wealth at Cheong Fat Tze and Peranakan Mansion
Looking at all the jewellery and gold display it makes me wonder. If you are filthy rich and have all these collection, what is the use of it while you are gone? Your possessions has become like animal in the zoo, there to be looked at, by complete strangers, generations after you, a national treasure perhaps but owns by no-one because ultimately, no one owns us, we own nothing, we are just a passer-by in this lifetime, at this time, at this place, a being with a soul.
Rumour has it that great wealth doesn’t survive three generations. Like the richest man of Asia who in his era was marginalised for being a non-white. Refused a seat at business class and in turns, turn around and buy the whole company and change the rule to anyone who can afford it is allowed to sit on business class. A very powerful man indeed but there is something in his heart that kept him unsettled. His sons who spend his hard-earned money to their heart’s content without a blink. None of them has the work ethic he possessed. Eventually his kids sold everything under his title. Believe it or not God is fair – God makes no one way too powerful – at least not for that long.
I’m glad that in this new era, there is a different type of tycoon. The most recent news is that the founder of facebook pledge to donate 99% of his shares, to promote equity and a better world. I hope that more people who strive for richness are for this very legacy. Equity is a rare commodity. Shall we be reminded that when you give, you get. Shall we be reminded that materials diminish, but humility perseveres. We really don’t need a lot of possessions, we need just enough.
5. Nature Origin
Nature Origin company based in Penang has an ideal beyond selling natural products. They run wood workshop for financially challenged young people so that they can pay their university tuition fee. The works by the students are sold in their booth in Adventist Hospital along with Nature Origin product.
Up-cycling chipped/cracked hospital dishware. Run by volunteers, these creative individuals upcycled dishware that is no longer fit for patients into lovely vanity trays to sell. All profit goes back to the hospital research centre.
6. Musician at heart can turn anything to be their musing
To raise fund for Thai Children in need, this middle aged man uses unconventional household items and turns it into a kick-ass drum.
This one is just my personal obsession, varieties of gourmet packaged cake mix by Sugar. I found the business card is especially creative. In hindsight it looks like a sugar sachet.
8. About Pu Erl Cha (Pu Erl Tea)
Our apartment is literally just across the road from Qing Huan Tea House. An interesting looking place that I tell myself to visit before I leave. Lucky we did because not only that we tried one of the best Chinese tea we ever taste, we get a valuable lesson on tea.
The lovely owner shares with us a tip to differentiate good Pu Erl tea to bad ones. Pu Erl tea is one of the best black tea you can find in the world that has many valuable health benefits. Great tea literally cleanse your body. Pu erl tea is especially good for digestion and helps you maintain healthy weight. We had 25 years old tea that tastes divine.
Good tea is an alive tea – tea that continue to grow just like wine the older you keep it the better it gets, and the more health benefit it will develop. Bad tea is tea that won’t change and will go rancid after prolonged storage. So how do you differentiate between living Pu Erl to stagnant one? Your mouth will naturally salivate when you drink a living tea. Drinking stagnant tea will leave your mouth dry with a taste of tartness as if it just cleansed your mouth.
If you like this article, you may enjoy other articles I’ve written on Penang series.