There is a gecko in my toilet (and other tales from Penang)

If you have been following the blog, you know that I have had some “challenges” with bathrooms on our trip (see here and here).

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.”

Toilet_Parts_149_DJFes

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!

George Town's Colonial District

George Town’s Colonial District

Town Hall in George Town's colonial district

St. George's Church

St. George’s Church

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Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower built in 1897

Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower built in 1897

Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis

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Pinang Peranakan Mansion (restored Straits Chinese home)

Pinang Peranakan Mansion (restored Straits Chinese home)

Perankan kitchen

Perankan kitchen

One of many bedrooms Inside Peranakan Mansion

One of many bedrooms Inside Peranakan Mansion

Khoo Kongsi Temple (Clanhouse belonging to the wealthy Khoo Clan)

Khoo Kongsi Temple (Clanhouse belonging to the wealthy Khoo Clan)

Clan Jetty (traditional houses built during the 19th century over the sea on stilts and connected by wooden walkways)

Clan Jetty (traditional houses built during the 19th century over the sea on stilts and connected by wooden walkways)

Walking along one of the clan jetties

Walking along one of the clan jetties

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Enjoying a cheap beer at the end of the Cheu Jetty

Enjoying a cheap beer at the end of the Cheu Jetty

Wat Chayamangkalaram - one of the largest reclining  buddha statues in the world (33 metres)

Wat Chayamangkalaram – one of the largest reclining buddha statues in the world (33 metres)

Sign outside of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Chayamangkalaram

Sign outside of the Temple of the Reclining Buddha at Wat Chayamangkalaram. Thankfully no one wanted our shoes!

Outside of the temple

Outside of the temple

Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple (conveniently located across the street from Wat Chayamangkalaram)

Dhammikarama Burmese Buddhist Temple (conveniently located across the street from Wat Chayamangkalaram)

Chowraster wet market

Chowraster wet market

Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi

Bora Bora (Beachside Cafe with funky music)

Bora Bora (Beachside Cafe with funky music)

Chilling outside of Bora Bora Cafe

Chilling outside of Bora Bora Cafe

Enjoying a cheap massage on the beach

Enjoying a cheap massage on the beach

Enjoying chrysanthemum tea at the Tropical Spice Garden

Enjoying chrysanthemum tea at the Tropical Spice Garden

Swinging at the Spice Garden

Swinging at the Spice Garden

Old married couple outside of Gurney Drive

Old married couple outside of Gurney Drive

We found some cake for Meskie on the beach!

We found some cake for Meskie on the beach!

Categories: Malaysia | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “There is a gecko in my toilet (and other tales from Penang)

  1. Patty Maynard

    Belated Happy Birthday Wishes Meskie! Hi to your family. Mrs. “M”

  2. Terry

    Hi intrepid travelers! I’m hugely enjoying your round-the-world adventures. Thank you so much for including me!

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