Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Ordinary Day in Bukit Mertajam

Okay, I'm apologizing for the previous references to "bowel movement", but I couldn't resist the humor behind the acronym. BM - Bukit Mertajam. I'd be hip and start using neologisms like "The Jam" in reference to the city than "BM".

"Hey, Johnny, where you off to?"
"On my way to The Jam, mate."

Sounds rad, right? But anyway, that was just a thought (if a tad silly).

Bukit Mertajam is actually the capital of Central Seberang Perai in Penang Malaysia, some 300+ kilometers north of KL. Its English name is the cosmopolitan-sounding "Wellesley Province", but I doubt if the modern folks of Perai are even aware of this. Seberang Perai is a narrow hinterland opposite the island of Penang. The two constitute the Penang State, home to 815,767 people.

With Bukit Mertajam being the capital, Butterworth is its principal town. The Wellesley province was originally named after Richard Wellesley who was governor of Madras, India and governor general of Bengal. It was part of the State of Kedah but the then-sultan of Kedah ceded it to the British East India Company.

Presently, the province is home to several big malls that I saw while navigating around the place - AEON Seberang Prai City (in Bandar Perda, visible on your way to Bukit Mertajam), Sunway Carnival Mall, Megamall, Carrefour, Tesco, Giant Hypermarket. Public transportation is adequate along main routes but outside the main arterial line, like visiting Towbookong Temple along Jalan Raja Uda, it becomes a challenge.

This short sojourn in Bukit Mertajam gave me an idea of this capital. It can get alienatingly "remote" or desolate sometimes. But this is how people live - after all, we don't always ride on roller coasters and ferris wheels and planes to live our daily lives. The place looks clean enough, but on the whole, it tends to slumber under the sun.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Care for a drink?

A DVD shop... and a lot of titles.

Hock Lee

A temple at the vicinity of a small market.

A bread and pastries shop.

The street leading to Summit Hotel, BM Mall and the bus terminal. I didn't have a map. Summit Hotel was my point of reference.

Brisk business

Chinese shops and rundown houses.

Lee Dispensary

Cheap textiles at 2.20 ringgit a meter.

Taxis await for passengers and there's almost none.

Drainage and back roads.



Trotter said...

Sorry, but my daughter came here and used this computer! That's why the comment came out as Diana's... ;)

eye in the sky said...

No prob. I have a niece who brings havoc to my computer too. :->