Friday, September 16, 2011

Strait's Quay Marina Mall - The Night before Mid-Autumn

Location: Tanjung Tokong, Penang isle, Malaysia

Mid-Autumn Festival had come and go under a cool and windy full moon. There were a few notable differences between this year's Mid-Autumn compared to the rest of those in my memories. For one it was usually hot during this time of the year yet it had been raining for the past few days, although that failed to spoil kids' mood for carrying their brightly lit colorful lantern around. I also recalled that the moon being large and orange like a salted egg's yolk, low above the horizon but the moon last night was slightly hazed over by our polluted air and hanging small over my head.

Since my last article on Strait's Quay, I had yet to walk those corridors of that pristine white building. After a working Saturday and not sure what to do to kill time on a Sunday night, I steered myself unknowingly to this faraway place (it really is far from my rented house) to experience first hand how this establishment celebrate the traditional Chinese festival within a Western architecture.

The canopy sidewalk of Marina Mall was cleared of stalls that night, with only glittering lamps in my company.

A checkers board with mooncakes to go instead of red and black draughts... how creative! I loved how the kids enjoyed themselves, reminding me of a childhood that was I left behind a long time ago.

A band was playing to their hearts' delight at the plaza in front of Marina Mall that night, drawing a crowd and wowing them with melodies orchestrated through traditional Chinese musical instruments. There were dances and other performances before this as well, all played under the aura of overhanging lamps.

Marina Mall may be a beautiful place for a walk, but how many of us really went to Strait's Quay for a walk within the halls of that marble white piece of architecture? The real beauty was the quay behind it and the sea beyond it. My previous visits were all done under a glaring sun, but the vista under a full moon awed me in a different way which words failed to describe.

The lighthouse stood strong on the quay, marking the boundary between the dark raging waves and the bright calm walk. The waves were battling the walls to safe harbor that night, but the ships were only rocking in soft lullaby.

How does the ancient seafarers felt when they were docking under a full moon, knowing that their families were waiting beyond the lighthouse that shone defiantly across the vast sea?

Faithful vessels await their owners in the softly swaying water within safe harbor.

I could imagine that from afar, Marina Mall looks just like a beacon of hope from a shining city for a sailor floating on a vast and dark sea.

Another shot of the mall and the ships in front of it, which I could not resist to capture a few more shots of.

The waves were strong that night, making me feeling all the more safer standing on dry land. If you were standing with me near the seaside, you would have heard loud booming sound like thunder striking on Earth.

The waves looked deceivingly soft and calm in this picture, but the thundering rage of it charging on the wavebreaker to try to cross it could not be captured by a mere image.

To stand at this spot and feel the thundering boom of the waves assaulting endlessly on the wavebreaker was a sight to behold, which unfortunately could not be duplicated by my humble camera.

Looking at Georgetown from this vantage point felt like looking at glimmers of hope and unmade promises after shuffling through corridors of despair.

It made thought of myself in some American movie when I took this shot. This scene is a familiar one when someone was strolling and enjoying his moment at a seaside pier on a dark and windy night in a romantic movie.

A harmonious blend of Chinese and Muslim culture through Hari Raya (not very obvious in this picture) and Mid-Autumn wishes sewn onto a Chinese lantern, with the promising glow of the streetlamp shining on them.

How romantic it was to walk under the soft glowing streetlights and enjoy the moment with each other.

The pristine white of the building was cast in a different aura under the amber glow, like the waning years of a person from his prime - nostalgic isn't it?

Another shot of the seaside vista under streetlights,  invoking moments of peace and tranquility.

The end of my latest article, closed with a view of the city of Georgetown as seen from Marina Mall, with the glowing city lights promising a new day tomorrow.

So how did you celebrate this year's Mid-Autumn Festival? With family and friends? Or enjoying the lonely moment under a silvery moon?

Environment:         Seaside vista, colonial architecture
Suitable for:           Romantic stroll for couples, relaxing outing for families

Getting there:        For those who are coming from Georgetown, you will want to keep to the right once you went past the traffic light near Gurney Plaza. Going along the road, road signs will not be helpful, so just proceed until you see a traffic light with multiple lanes (more than 2 lanes at least), with Island Plaza to your right. At the traffic light, turn right and proceed all the way past the rows of houses until you come across the mall.

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More info:            Straits Quay Official Website

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