又中又英|Far from the madding crowd

Before I left Hong Kong for the US in 2021, I often had short holidays in Penang. Hong Kong people prefer Japan or Thailand. I like Penang because it is far from the madding crowd. To be far from the madding crowd means to be in a place that is quiet and peaceful. Penang is not as popular as Japan, Thailand, or South Korea. Tourists flooded Japan to see the cherry blossoms during March and April. Some friends suggested I go too while I am in Hong Kong. But I chose Penang.

Instead of staying in a hotel this time, a good Penang friend got me a room at the Penang Club. The club was established in 1868 during British colonial rule. It’s a beautiful heritage building that has been renovated several times, but the club preserved the colonial design and features. The Penang Club is a small private Club with an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, several restaurants with an extensive menu of Chinese, Malay, Western, and Indian food. It has a large outdoor dining area overlooking the sea with live music on weekends. The club has eight guest rooms on two levels for members and their guests.

My friend, a committee member, got me a ground floor room with a patio leading to a large lawn and the sea. A patio is a paved outdoor area. My room was not luxurious, but it was large and comfortable with a private bathroom. It cost me about HK$300 a night which included a full breakfast! I ate a small breakfast every morning on my patio to enjoy the sea view. My friend and I sometimes went to the club’s watering hole for happy hour. A watering hole used this way means a pub or bar.

我2021年離開香港往美國前,就不時到檳城作短途旅行。香港人偏愛日本或泰國,我則喜歡檳城,因為它是far from the madding crowd——to be far from the madding crowd是指遠離塵囂、寧靜而平和的。檳城並不如日本、泰國或南韓般受歡迎。3至4月期間,遊客擁至日本賞櫻花盛開,我在香港的時候,一些朋友建議我也去一去。不過我還是選了檳城。

我今次並不住在酒店,一位在檳城要好的朋友給我在檳城俱樂部訂了一間房間。這個俱樂部興建於英國殖民統治時期的1868年。它是一幢美麗的歷史建築,亦已翻新了好幾次,但俱樂部仍保留了其殖民時期的設計與特色。檳城俱樂部是個小小的私人會所,有一個露天泳池、一個健身房,以及幾間餐廳,餐單囊括了中式、馬來、西式及印度美食。它還有一個很大的戶外餐飲區,周末期間可以遠眺着海景聽現場演奏的音樂。俱樂部有8間客房分布在兩個樓層,給會員和他們的朋友租住。

我的朋友是委員會委員,給我訂了地下的一間客房,有個陽台(patio)通往一個大草坪和大海。A patio就是鋪好地的戶外庭院。我的房間並不豪華,但它偌大而舒適,且有一個私人套廁。住一晚才約300港元,還包含早晨全餐!我每個早上都會到我的陽台(patio)吃一份小小的早餐,好能邊吃邊觀賞海景。我的朋友和我有時會去俱樂部的watering hole來個歡樂時光。A watering hole在這裏解作酒吧。

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Michael Chugani褚簡寧
中譯:七刻

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