We are unpacked and sort of organized. It is certainly a work in progress, but I thought I would show you the living spaces in our condo. The living and dinning areas are pretty standard, but I think you will find the kitchen quite interesting. So here we go! Before I start posting pictures I want to put a disclaimer here, this is not typical of most Malaysians homes. We are in a very fortunate position to be here on a work assignment, so please be aware we are very, very fortunate in our living arrangement.
Penang is vacation destination for many in Asia, we live in the heart of that vacation area. Our building is in a very busy part of town and is ocean front, but there is not a swim-able beach. Most ex-pats live in this part of town. The buildings are very western, as are some of the attractions nearby. We are in within walking distance of 2 rather large multi-story malls. Within the malls, there are grocery stores, pharmacies, shopping like Sephora, Kate Spade and tons of restaurant options. Some of the restaurants include Chili’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, Kenny Roger’s Roasters – we have not eaten at any of these, there are way too many delicious local options. That being said at some point when we just want a burger, these are good places to have handy. We are also withing walking distance of a great local food hawker center, and a traditional wet market where the locals buy their produce, fresh fish and meats. We are in a fantastic location with both the West and the East within walking distance.
In our building there are only two condos per floor. The A or B side. The elevator has front and back doors. You scan your card on your side of the elevator and the doors will open to your own elevator vestibule. This where we can store our strollers. It also has 2 large shoe cabinets to store your shoes since it is traditional to remove your shoes before entering a residence. We have found that the tile floors are very hard to walk on bare feet all the time. We have house sandals that we wear only in the house. Penang is wonderful, but I would not want to bring the street in with me.
The living room:
As you can see there are a lot of windows. This is a fantastic feature. I love the amount of natural light we get. As you can also see the floors are white and very shiny. This is not a feature that I am overly fond of. They are kind of cold, and extremely hard to keep clean. Luckily the bedrooms all have a nice warm color of hard wood. That makes them feel more homey.
Notice the black rug sticking out on the back side of the couch? You might be thinking why in the world would they do that. Well the shiny, white floors are also very slippery for furniture. The big purple couch is nice in the space, it is mostly comfortable. The problem is that none of the sections connect together. When you combine this with a slippy floor your couch is never pushed together. This is especially true when your toddler thinks it is funny that he can slid the large chaise part of the couch around the room. So instead of sitting down and having a large crack appear that one could fall through and end up on the floor we move the rug from in front of the white couch to anchor it. Problem solved, no more three piece couch.
The dinning area:
The Kitchens – yes that is supposed to be plural.
It is traditional in many Asian homes, especially in China, to have a wet kitchen and a dry kitchen. Since our landlord is Chinese, living in Hong Kong, we have both kitchens. The sink, dishwasher, and stove or hob as it is known here (we speak the Queen’s English here – which makes 56% of my genes happy) are all located in the wet kitchen. The refrigerators (yes that too is supposed to be plural) and the “western” oven are in the dry kitchen. The wet kitchen has an actual door that separates it from the rest of the kitchen. It also has windows that open into the main stair well of the building. The roof is open to this area, so all of the cooking smells can vent out of the building. If you are stir frying or cooking fish this is great because you do not stink up the rest of the house with cooking smells. This is not so great because you have to open the door to the wet kitchen every time you want to use the sink. You have no idea how much you use the sink until you are reminded that it is not right behind you. Cooking in there with the door closed is quite claustrophobic. I have not decided it I like the two kitchens. There are certainly pluses to it, but I certainly won’t be adding it to a house when we go back to the states.
View from the window inside the wet kitchen. Also the reason the big white shades on the sink side are generally drawn.
Here are a couple of pictures of the Master Suite:
Well that is most of the house. B’s room and play room are kind of a mess right now so I didn’t include them. We are having a hard time finding a new crib (or cot as they are known here) so he is still sleeping in his pack and play. We are going to have to get one from Ikea in Kuala Lumpur. He has a a play room that needs some major organization. I will post them at a later date once we get all that straightened out.
The condo is nice, it will be fun for a while. I have to admit though I miss my cozy, house in Texas that got to paint and decorate myself, with the yard and the dog (sniff sniff) It was warm and homey. I am very much looking forward to finding some unique pieces while we are here in Asia to personalize this space, and have when we go back to the states.