I Painted a Mermaid In Malaysia…
While roaming around George Town, Penang, I spotted a colorful alleyway. My head was twitching while whispering, “You don’t know this place, you might get mugged.” BUT my inner artist was twirling while screaming, “You go in there, guurl, you might get thrown with acrylic paint and glitter.”
I am not going to turn down the chance of getting thrown in the face with glitter, so I entered.
I was absolutely amazed by the fantastic works of art that were nestled together on the walls of a 120-meter lane. There were origami birds and wire faces hanging from the ceiling. A wide variety of themes painted in different styles and sizes. Artists from all over the world are featured on these walls.
It’s basically a community project started by China House – situated around the corner – which has the most delicious cakes you’ll ever stuff your face with, ever!
When it first started, Art Lane was open to the public and China House provided them with paints and brushes. After some time the creators decided that they wanted to have some quality control and public access to paints and brushes were halted.
Tourists and locals can view the beautiful works of art during the hours of 9am-7pm. Art Lane is closed at night to avoid scallywags painting over murals.
Step 1.1: Dig deep within your soul for an interesting concept
Step 1.2: Sketch an idea
Step 2: Email a proposal to China House (email@example.com)
Step 3: Get their approval and win their trust
Step 4: Meet the manager at their restaurant where she’ll give you some
brushes and paints
Step 5: Find a spot on the wall
Step 6: Start painting (and if you’re like me, you would probably forget any form of hydration, and you’ll sweat your toosh off in the hot Malaysian heat)
Step 7: Finish off and eat cake
Rules of Art Lane, Penang: No Profanity. No Politics. Nothing Sexual.
Yes, I know… the end product doesn’t really look like the initial sketch. But, what can I say? My mood took over and I painted with the rhythm of the wall.
“Why the green body?” you may ask. Tourists and locals are continually passing by and while I was chatting with a lot of different travelers from all over the world (also painting, also dying of heat, also trying to look somewhat approachable) – I kinda got this idea that I didn’t want to paint a peachy-flesh-colored mermaid. I decided on ‘green’ to try and incorporate individuals from all ethnic background. It also reminded me of a fantasy creature. So, yeah, green!
The whole idea of this 5-hour wall mural was not to reach perfection. It’s a messy mermaid tail with loads of imperfections (Scales, Curvy Hips, Green Flabby Tummy, and Random Color Spots – Perhaps Algae).
Just because: “No one said you had to be a size ‘0’ to be a Mermaid!” We are all beautifully fantastic creatures and we shine in our own magical ways.
Since I discovered the world of Freelance writing, I’m never-ever looking back. Saying ‘Goodbye’ to a 9-5 job that was draining felt insanely good!
I’ve joined Upwork.com almost three years ago and have reached great success through the secure platform.
For now, I’m using my Upwork.com profile to rent out my content writing services. It’s quick and easy to set up. Feel free to have a look…
Amadeus is an explorer who enjoys jumping into his self-made PlaneShip and exploring the world. The first book of the series follows Amadeus and his best friend Mouse on a journey to Table Mountain.
While flying through rough winds they encounter suspicious seagulls and a red-haired freckled boy named Brett. A few other friendly animals make their appearance. One question remains – will Amadeus ever make it onto Table Mountain?
Amadeus The Explorer is an adventure book aimed towards children aged 6-9. Perfect for young readers and imagination building.
AVAILABLE in Afrikaans Ebook for R40.
English translation is in progress.
Once you visit Cape Point your life will be changed forever. It’s at this point where life in its pure form (no diddle-daddles) are put back into perspective. Gazing upon the gorgeous mountain range and fauna&flora I realized, yet again, how small I was in comparison.
We started our journey from Paarl, Western Cape. There are three routes you can follow, but we decided on the more scenic route – a gorgeous drive next to the coastline past Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, and Simonstown.
The entrance to Cape Point is marked clearly and if you are reliant on technology like I am, your GPS will take you to the entrance directly.
Locals – R76 (with ID)
International Visitors – R303
We struck some luck as for some reason our entrance was FREE – these on-and-off specials only apply to locals. (Great to know my green South African passport gave me some freebies).
You’ll be given a map at the entrance. Routes are pretty easy to follow and there’s no chance of getting lost. The popular stops are Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point Lighthouses.
Look out for:
– Dias Cross
– Da Gama Cross
– Wild Vegetation and Greeneries
– Eagle Eye View of Dias Beach
– Overnight Huts
– Whales in Nearby Waters
– Boulders and Pebbles
– Small Animals That Might Be Crossing The Road
It’s here that you’ll find The Most-South-Western Point of the African Continent AKA Cape of Good Hope (not to be confused with Cape Agulhas which is further East and marks the most Southern Tip of Africa and where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet).
This area is surrounded by stones and boulders. A stunning view of the ocean, crashing waves, washed-up seaweeds, and rocks. If you’re lucky you’ll spot seagulls nesting and rock balancing art.
Roam around the area to take gorgeous photos of the grungy cliff and bright blue ocean waters. To the left side of the cliff is stairs and a short hiking path that will lead you to Cape Point.
If you’re like us, you’ll have a baby in a stroller and won’t be able to commute over mountains and rocky surfaces. No worries, we took to the road. A short drive to Cape Point and we were ready to rumble, literally, it’s a steep way up.
Getting to the lighthouse can be easy or difficult. Either you take a comfortable funicular (AKA Tram) ride up or you walk. We decided to walk/hike 238m above sea level.
Adult Return: R70/R80
Adult One-Way: R55/R65
Child Return: R35
Child One-Way: R25
The path up consists of a steep concrete slab path and stairs. About 500 meters into the walk passersby were noticing my sister pushing a stroller. A woman said nervously, “How is she going to get up the stairs?” (My thoughts exactly.)
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that no one in my family is scared of a challenge (in fact, we like seeking discomfort to prove a point that we can master absolutely anything). My sister was literally the only one with a baby in a stroller that day – and boy, was he carried and pushed like a prince all the way to the top.
My sister and the stroller could only go as far as where the funicular arrived. It’s here where the kiosk and curious shop are placed. This spot has a superb view of the Cape Peninsula and ocean. It would be about a hundred steps further to reach the Dias Lighthouse.
This made me realize how unaccessible certain points in the world are for wheelchair-bound individuals. I’ve experienced this greatly through my travels in Asia, too.
Reaching the small platform on Da Gama Peak where the Cape Point lighthouse was built back in 1859 was amazing.
The first lighthouse built in 1859, 238 meters above sea level, on the Da Gama Peak didn’t really serve its purpose. Almost always covered in mist and clouds it couldn’t be seen by ships approaching the cliffs. After the Portuguese liner, Lusitania met its fate on the rocks in April 1911. A new lighthouse was built 700 meters South from the first lighthouse at only 87 meters above sea level. And the first lighthouse was shut down.
This would mark my second time embarking on the journey to the Da Gama Lighthouse and I was just as stunned as the first time.
While walking around the first lighthouse you can spot small creatures like lizards, bird species and Dassies.
An older man from England said to his wife, “Look, Honey, it’s a Wombat!” I couldn’t help myself and almost yelled, “DASSIE!” The guy looked at me as if I was doing an indigenous dance. We started up a conversation and I told him that we called the Wombat-looking creature a Dassie.
The South African English name is a Hyrax, if you didn’t know.
The panoramic views of Cape Point are awe-inspiring. The blue sky melts into the blue ocean. Sharp white foam bursts from the water once it hits the rocks down below.
At times weather can be scorching hot with open skies, to cloudy, rainy and windy. Check the weather forecast to be prepared.
Depending on which routes you’d like to go on (walking, hiking, funicular ride) you can spend at least a half-day roaming around the area.
– Water and Snacks
– Rainproof Jacket
– Camera, and Binoculars
– THIS IS A NO-DRONE ZONE
– Comfortable Walking Shoes (and socks)
– Walking sticks
– For Wheelchair Users – Assistance (it will be a bit of a hassle, but with some strong friends you can get to the top)
It’s wonderful to experience a spectacular natural wonder with your family in your own home country. Travelers are usually drawn to jump on a plane and visit different countries and panorama.
I’ve once again discovered that South Africa, regardless of all the politics, is a beautiful country. Our most prized areas are well preserved and maintained.
Locals and tourists can enjoy the beauty that is Cape Point.
If you want to find out more about Amadeus (the cute baby boy in the stroller) – I’ve written an adventure book titled Amadeus the Explorer – Table Mountain that captures his curious and adventurous personality.
Are you excited about planning your next trip? Do you want to try something new? Would you like some guidance from a local? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this Greater Than a Tourist book is for you. Greater Than a Tourist- Western Cape, South Africa by Melanie du Toit offers a local’s insight to the stunning landscapes, diverse culture, and unique experiences offered by the Western Cape.
In this guide, you will find exclusive details about different adventures and activities as well as how to locate hidden gems while emerging yourself in the Western Cape culture. Most travel books tell you how to travel like a tourist. Although there is nothing wrong with that, as part of the Greater Than a Tourist series, this book will give you travel tips from someone who has lived at your next travel destination.
In these pages, you will discover advice that will help you throughout your stay. This book will not tell you exact addresses or store hours but instead will give you excitement and knowledge from a local that you may not find in other smaller print travel books.
Travel like a local. Slow down, stay in one place, and get to know the people and culture. By the time you finish this book, you will be eager and prepared to travel to your next destination. Get local travel guides for other cities from Greater Than A Tourist.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton