For the past month, we’ve stayed at a condo in Penang. The place is nice enough – we actually have two bedrooms and a living room, so Karl and I haven’t had to bunk down with the kids at 9pm each night. But the bathrooms are in serious need of renovation. We’re not talking squat toilets or anything, but let’s just say a plumber has been involved (or at least he claimed to be a plumber).
I’m getting to the gecko part soon, I promise.
Even after the “plumber” visit, the toilet tank in the master ensuite kept overflowing , so we decided to turn off the water supply in between flushes. Last night, I turned the water on, but the tank did not seem to be filling up. I lifted up the tank lid and spotted a gecko in the water! He was very still and at first I thought he might be “napping,” but then as the float ball started to rise (yes, I googled “toilet part names” to find out what that thing is called — see image below), my new lizard friend made a leap for safety. It was like a real-life moment from the animated movie “Flushed Away.”
Did I scream, you might ask? Did I try to extract the gecko from the toilet? Nope. I just closed the tank lid and went about my business. He was clearly an agile little fellow and seemed to know what he was doing. Plus geckos are like house pets here (though I don’t think they usually hang out in toilet tanks). In the evening, it’s not unusual to see a gecko (or 3) dash across the wall when we’re hanging out in the living room. We used to pause and say, “Is that a lizard on the wall?” We don’t even take notice anymore.
When I told the kids about my gecko sighting, Meskie ran to see if he was still there. Nope.
Too bad ’cause Cen and I did a little online research today (we’re all about “teachable moments” here) and discovered that among other things, geckos like to eat cockroaches. We had a rather large roach visit earlier this month; the reaction was a touch more … um … violent! Screaming, crying, standing on chairs and stomping was involved. Floor mattress boycotts were announced.
But enough about bugs and lizards. In other Penang news, today is our last full day on this beautiful island. Tomorrow we fly to Borneo and resume our “living out of backpacks” lifestyle. Karl has lined up some exciting adventures for us there.
As a wrap up of sorts, below are some pictures from the last few days here: Georgetown (a UNESCO world cultural centre), temple visits, Meskie celebrating her b’day, kids getting massages etc. We won’t speak of our rather disappointing “drive” through the hinterland of the island (which involved a helluva lot of driving and not much else; some tense words may have been spoken when the clock read 3:30pm and we hadn’t yet found a spot to eat our picnic lunch… but a swim in the condo pool fixes all ills.)
Next post from Borneo!