Imagine you are a first-time visitor to Penang. Your gateway is very important. The airport, the bridge, second bridge, the underground tunnel or THE FERRY.
You are a tired traveller and probably wants to get to your destination as quickly as possible. The gateways other than the ferry do a quicker job.
But the ferry creates a lasting impression and it was love-at-first-sight when I first came to Penang as a young man. For me the journey was just as important as the destination. The ferries were good looking but had names of different islands. Am I going the Penang Island? They had names of other islands but not the Penang one. Even this riddle remains with me as a nice memory.
The ferry gave me the perfect journey. You can cross by car on the ferry. You park it and then you enjoy what you see and feel. The cool fresh breeze was soothing my tiredness.
And my god, I was seeing the whole island of Penang. And I could see the mainland. Its a 360-degree view. The clan jetties, the Kastam clock tower, the Yeap Chor Ee building clock tower, the other buildings and the beautiful hills in the background. And the many boats and ships in the middle of the sea. As the ferry moves slowly towards the city, you get a close-up and fuller view. The slowness gives you time to enjoy the moment.
And hear the splashing waves.
Can the other gateways give you this lovely sight and sound show?
And make you fall in love with Penang? They are faster but… And especially the undersea tunnel, where you see nothing!
Life is not a destination but a journey. And I am still in Penang and love this place.
And can the new catamaran replacements give you the same pleasant journey? They may not carry cars and they may have screened windows that does not give you a direct full view and open contact with the seas, maybe except on the open decks?