lunedì 11 maggio 2009

12/02/09 Penang, “The Pearl of the Orient"

Finally I found what I was expecting from Singapore: an island blended of colors, flavors, scents, architectures and different cultures; a place bearing the mark of each silk merchant, pirate, adventurer, spices smuggler and British colon that had ever hit his paths.
Given by the Kedah Sultan to the Eastern Indies Company in change of protection, was a malaria haunt so infamous to gain the nickname of “white man's grave”, that until Captain Francis Light made it drain. They say that to reach that difficult and unpleasant task he ordered to load cannons with silver coins and then shot all in the jungle in order to encourage the men to work among mosquito. It was the 1786 and the quite citadel of Georgetown born as one of the most strategic port of international commerce, crossroads of any conceivable kind of exchange.
What is left nowadays of that “pout pourrie” is indeed all about food: it is the variety of different and mixed traditional dishes that tells about the genesis of such a border town, intersection of opposite continents and cultures.

Food and architectures: walking around Penang is a pleasure for both sight and taste, and the architectonic variety reflects the culinary one. It is enough to take a short walk in the center to see the influences of at least five or six different cultures.

A Mosque lies peacefully beside an old Chinese Temple, the colonial house of a former british colon is good neighbor with a moorish residence; walking few steps you can bump into a typical Malaysian food stall with its colorful curries and its fresh baked thin bread while the sharp scents of indian dishes are coming from few meters beside... on the seafront the Oriental Hotel is giving off coffee and tea flavors, but you walk a bit further in a back alley to meet an Hindu temple. It is night by now and the clubs boulevard makes its part in providing the western voice in this polyglot chorus: the performance is contradictory and laud, powerful and astonishing, is the comedy of history and human vicissitudes and the stage is once again the ground and the sea. The night is clear, and shining are stars.

4 commenti:

franco carlo ha detto...

Finalmente un pò di Oriente genuino!A parte la malaria,le tombe dell'uomo bianco e le monete d'argento sparate col cannone(menomale che le coniavano ancora perchè sparare col cannone le banconote diventava un problema) ma certamente
i colori,i profumi dei mercati delle spezie e le architetture orientali sono davvero affascinanti-Il tutto mi ricordano
i mercati di Harrar e di Rawalpindi dove eri inebriato da vari profumi delle spezie.Ho visto dalla traccia su Earth
che hai attraversato sia con il traghetto che con un auto sul famoso ponte che unisce l'isola di Pulau Pinang alla terra ferma-Penso che, come anche lasci intendere, non ti sarai certamente trattenuto dall'assaggiare i vari cibi locali con il terribile rischio di ingrassarti visto le inserzioni publicitarie come la seguente:

We are a group of fatty penang-lang (we call ourselves PenangTuaPui) who can't control ourselves from keep on eating
and eating and eating. In order to get more people to be as fat as us, we plan to write about good, tasty and delicious food, particularly around Penang. We wanted to get more and more people trapped into this. Get more fatty in Penang.

Quanto alla western voice dei clubs "in this polyglot chorus"penso che doveva essere un pò stonata!Comunque bella descrizione.
Insomma caro "Ishmael"il tuo viaggio assomiglia più a quello di Phileas Fogg(Tour du Monde en 80 jours)senza naturalmente il fido segretario Passepartout,che a quello del povero baleniere naufragato.Non parliamo poi di Ulisse che a parte l'isola dei Feaci,se l'è vista brutta diverse volte.Mi sà che dovrai cambiare intestazione al tuo blog!

emanuela ha detto...

Marco è in Cina dai primi giorni di maggio e da lì,oggi è a Pechino e sta trafficando per avere i visti per entrare in Russia,non può aggiornare il blog perchè Google è censurato.

emanuela ha detto...

Buon compleanno,Marco!

franco carlo ha detto...

Si in Cina censurano "democraticamente"Google ma per fortuna c'è anche facebook da dove si può attingere qualche notizia fresca