Shortly after midnight I began to feel unwell. I was shivering in cold and had to put on my jeans and socks plus bathrobe and then cowered under the blanket. At the same time, I felt nauseous so I could not lie flat on bed. I had to prop myself up with more pillows and tried to sleep. The toilet became a tourist attraction through the night.
Was it because I caught a chill walking during the light drizzle before dinner? Was it due to food poisoning at the Hawker Centre at New Lane where I told the hawker not to put cockles into my kway teow? I had no idea. It wasn’t really important. I was just miserable.
To add to my misery, a bunch of school girls checked into the hotel around 1 am and were making lots of noise at the corridor. The school teacher didn’t fare much better talking so loud outside our room. I was too tired to get up to rebuke them but my wife did. To up the ante, we received a phone call later in the night and it was called to the wrong room. I couldn’t pick up the call but my wife did. Oh, what a night!
I survived the night and didn’t throw up but the toilet trips were draining to say the least. From our room windows, we got the impression it was going to be a hot day. It would be good to head out for shopping but I wasn’t in the best condition to move around. The hawker centre behind the hotel wasn’t opened so early.
Breakfast at Royale Bintang Hotel
It was breakfast time. I made it to the Sri Tanjung Restaurant for breakfast with my wife. The restaurant was busy but we managed to be seated. The restaurant staff were still as helpful and friendly. Coffee was poured for us when we got seated and my dear wife went to collect her food.
The buffet spread was pretty sumptuous. There were western and local dishes on top of the usual salad with cheese, bread and pastries. Of course fruit juice and fruits were available as well. My wife was enjoying her breakfast while I took some fruits hoping to get my body back in balance. I was simply content with having my coffee. The coffee in Penang was much better than those in Langkawi.
One of the restaurant staff Alvin asked my wife why she didn’t take any fruits. My wife told him she couldn’t take cold fruits that would usually trigger coughing for her and she like papayas which were not available at the fruit station. So he went into the kitchen to check with the chef and came out with a plate of cut papayas for us. He was very kind indeed. The papayas were very nice and he came back again with another plate of papayas. So I had fruits and coffee and hopefully I could get over my stomach trouble soon.
Back in our room, we rested, read the newspaper and watched TV. We also tidied up to prepare the room for housekeeping to clean the room later after we left for shopping at Gurney Drive. I felt slightly better after the rest. I didn’t feel so nauseous now and the toilet trips had also gone down. So it was time to head out to explore rather than to coop up in the room in misery.
Head to Gurney Drive
Like the previous day, we left the hotel and took a left turn and then another left turn to the back of the hotel to walk through the Interactive Museum to get to Pengkalan Weld. It was very sunny as we walked along Pengkalan Weld towards the Jetty Bus Terminal passing nice former colonial buildings. Over at the bus terminal, we waited for bus 101 to get to Gurney Drive.
The bus came shortly and we paid RM 1.40 each for our bus fare to Gurney Drive. The bus drove along Georgetown and went to Komtar Bus Terminal to pick up more passengers. Along the way, we spotted a piece of street art when the bus stopped at a traffic junction. In about 35 minutes, we alighted outside Gurney Plaza.
Lunch at Din Tai Fung Restaurant
We crossed the road Jalan Kelawai and entered Gurney Plaza at 11.30 am. There was a luggage fair at one of the atrium and the Japanese Shiseido cosmetic fair at the other atrium. As we wanted to have lunch at Din Tai Fung Restaurant, we headed straight down to the basement for the first item on our agenda to avoid the lunch crowd. There are many restaurants and eateries in the basement.
We didn’t have to wait as the restaurant was just opened not too long ago and the lunch crowd wasn’t here yet. I told my wife at most I could eat only one piece of xiao long bao. So she ordered xiao long bao but it would be embarrassing just to order one item so she ordered other bao.
When the food arrived, I couldn’t eat. I didn’t have any appetite at all and I didn’t want to upset my stomach. So I watched helplessly as my wife enjoyed the xiao long bao. But after that with the other bao she had to consume all, it became a little challenging. It wasn’t funny at all. I was content with sipping hot tea to get my stomach to calm down and not to throw tantrum on me while shopping.
After this sumptuous lunch for my wife while I fasted, we were asked to taste different flavours of popcorns just outside Din Tai Fung Restaurant. Of course, I opted out of the challenge while my wife sampled a few flavours happily and then bought a packet of caramelized popcorn. So this commenced our shopping game in Gurney Plaza.
Shopping at Gurney Plaza
We walked floors after floors and checked out clothes and such and then entered Parkson Store to do some shopping. I was glad Parkson was the first stop because I could find a sofa to park myself while my wife did her rounds to do her stuff. It was quite a good rest and by the time my wife returned for me, I felt less tired.
So more walking around Gurney Plaza window shopping after shopping at Parkson Store. Then we went into VOIR Gallery and my wife needed to stay longer. But there wasn’t any seats in the store. I waited for her outside leaning my back against some wall or railings and tried to rest a little. When shopping was done, we walked on.
Then we came across Lovely Lace. My wife needed to shop. I found seats just outside the shop. What a lovely place! I waited while my wife took her time intrigued with all those lovely stuffs the shop was selling. Some time later I was requested to enter the shop to help her decide which item to buy. Once done shopping here, we moved on. The little rest I had was great.
Finally, we were back to ground floor. We exited Gurney Plaza at Jalan Kelawai and turned left to walk to G Kelawai Hotel next door. This new hotel is part of the Accor Group. So we went over to check out this new hotel.
G Kelawai Hotel has an interesting exterior. The inside of the hotel is quite artistic as well. The hotel has two entrances, one on Jalan Kelawai, the other at Persiaran Gurney. The restaurant was bright and modern. We checked with front desk whether Accor Plus members enjoy dining discounts. We were told the hotel is a partner with the Accor Group where points are given for hotel stay but no dining discounts for members.
After this, we left G Kelawai Hotel and turned left again to walk over to Gurney Paragon next door. Gurney Paragon is a newer mall. However, the mall wasn’t as crowded and popular as Gurney Plaza which is more established. Nevertheless, Gurney Paragon is a very nice mall to roam.
Shopping at Gurney Paragon
So more shopping here as we started windows shopping going floor by floor. While my wife spent time in an outlet store, I managed to find a seat outside the shop. This rest was much appreciated as I had been out for more than 5 hours trying to keep myself functioning with a bad stomach. When my wife came out, I thought she had bought more stuff but she decided not to buy as she found the quality of those clothes questionable.
More walking within Gurney Paragon until we reached the basement. Here was where we bought quite a lot of buns and coconut tarts from one of those traditional bakery to bring home the next day. We also bought a bottle of drinking water to bring back to Royale Bintang Hotel.
Back on ground floor, we approached the concierge for direction back to Royal Bintang Hotel. The Indian gentleman gave very clear information. He was the same person we approached during our previous trip for direction.
We then exited Gurney Paragon from the entrance at Persiaran Gurney. It was overcast at the waterfront. It looked like it would rain during early evening just like the day before. I didn’t like the idea of getting wet again, definitely not with my current physical conditions.
Outside Gurney Paragon are restaurants and café as well as fast food restaurants. We came across an advertisement that was very hilarious. It was advertising as a Husband Day Care Centre by a beer café. We had a good laugh over this clever little ads. It was meant for the ladies to leave their husbands there so they could go shop till they drop. Good thing my wife didn’t throw me here.
Dinner at Gurney Plaza
So we turned left to walk back to Gurney Plaza for my wife to have dinner. After passing G Kelawai Hotel, we arrived Gurney Plaza. There were many restaurants and cafes over at Gurney Plaza as well. This place was rather pleasant to have a meal.
We walked past Kenny Rogers and we were attracted by their 50% discounts for muffins. So we bought a dozen to bring home. We had a mix of vanilla, banana and chocolate flavours. Next we went next door to Black Canyon Restaurant for dinner. My wife wanted to have their delicious chicken rice set for dinner. Her dinner came shortly. She enjoyed her dinner while I fasted to keep myself from feeling more unwell.
After dinner, we walked into Gurney Plaza not to do any more shopping. Our legs were dying. We exited the mall at Jalan Kelawai, crossed the road and walked over to the other road Jalan Burma to wait for bus 101 to return to Georgetown. Quite quickly, bus 101 came. We boarded the bus which was rather crowded and were on our way back to Royale Bintang Hotel. The bus fare was still RM 1.40.
Bus 101 to Royale Bingtang Hotel
Bus 101 plied along and soon arrived outside Komtar Bus Terminal. Many passengers alighted. So we could finally sit down. The bus continued its route and then reached the bus stop opposite the Jetty Bus Terminal. Everyone alighted except us because the Indian gentleman told us to alight one stop after this to walk into our hotel.
The bus driver was surprised we didn’t alight. We told him we wanted to alight one stop ahead outside the Post Office. He then drove on and let us alight. After this he drove on to make a turn to return to the Jetty Bus Terminal.
Very easily and happily, we walked into Royale Bintang Hotel. The information we received earlier saved us a lot of walking. Back to Royale Bintang Hotel, the lobby was busy. We returned to our room without exploring the hotel.
Leisure at Royale Bintang Hotel
Our room was nicely made up and we were very glad to be back to our temporary home. We could finally sit and lie and rest. It was time for a good shower and do what we like best at our own leisure.
From our room windows, we could see it was overcast and would rain any time soon. We were really glad to be back. My wife did her packing to get ready for our departure the next day. I continued to rest and I watched TV to occupy myself.
At least I survived this day. I was happy my wife could enjoy her meals and shopping at Gurney Plaza. There was no point staying in the room to wait for me to recover completely. I was also feeling much better, especially after that good shower. Fasting really helped! No point forcing myself to eat when I was not able to take food. I had to let my stomach take a break.
Supper at Sri Tanjung Restaurant
After 8.30 pm, I suggested my wife had better head to the restaurant for another meal. She had early dinner at Gurney Plaza and she might have gastric trouble later in the night. So we went down to the lobby and walked to the back to Sri Tanjung Restaurant. Passing the lounge, we saw the Filipino singers again singing to an empty lounge. The lobby was rather busy though.
Over at Sri Tanjung Restaurant, my wife ordered a Vietnamese Pho. She wanted something light to go easy for the night. The noodle soup came after a while. It looked good. I asked for an empty bowl to try out some soup and a few strands of noodles. It was good. This was just very little food intake I could take for the day. I had better not get my stomach upset. I still would want to be able to sleep.
With supper over, we walked back to the lobby passing the bar and lounge again. It was the same situation with the Filipino singers entertaining themselves with their own singing. It must be hard work to sing to an empty crowd. Well, there wasn’t anything we could do to help. We needed to rest.
Retired for the night at Royale Bintang Hotel
Back in our room, it was time to unwind until we retired for the night. My wife was chatting with the children excitedly over her shopping adventure. We did most shopping for the children whenever we travel. With favourable exchange rates, it would be better to shop for things they need while we were in Malaysia.
Watching TV program from the Cantonese Astro channel was great. At least it distracted me from my discomfort though I was already feeling much better. The bed was really comfy and as we while away the time, it was getting late. So it was time to sleep and get ready for the next day’s departure back to Singapore.
I was so glad I survived the day and I hoped I could have a better night rest this time. The next thing we knew, we had entered the fifth day of our tour. We must have been very tired. My wife didn’t sleep well the night before too. So we looked forward to our trip home to share the spoils of shopping with the children.
Continue to Day 5 …