You don’t have any idea how I appreciate and value my readers’ comments. When I posted that We’re Itching To Move In to our chosen appartment to rent here in Butterwoth, Penang, I got helpful words from my blog buddies and one of them came from Marga aka Midge, the passionate blogger behind Sybaritic Diversions, whom Tina, Gabby and I met in one of her informative and fun sessions of Chocolate Appreciation 101 in Heavenly Chocolates, she generously shared the essentials to bring before one occupies a new home.
Superstitious or not, I heeded to Marga’s words for I knew there’s no harm if those little items will be the first to be hauled.
I was truly overwhelmed with suggestions and pieces of advice to make our personal space as homey as possible. Online friends who mostly I haven’t met are always unselfish to share their ideas. Even on tweeter, fellow blogger-educator and an architect at that replied to my request when I asked her expert advice for free! Thank you, Architect Reena of Reena’s Thoughts . I really appreciate it.
Here’s a peek to our home in Butterworth…
Limited space requires you to be creative in maximizing everything. Without being boring but minimalist, our unit is still a work in progress.
Huggables : we bought some uncoordinated pillows to put life and colors in our living room.
The curtains were bought on sale. From RM 114 (PhP 1596) each, we only paid RM 28 (PhP 392) each.
Gabby’s choice : Because we love our almost 7-year-old kid, we gave him a chance to put on some decors that he likes. At the console table, there are framed photos, indoor potted plants and our boy’s little things.
While shadow puppets of Rama and Sita made from cow hide and artline inks that we bought from Kota Bharu, Kelantan which we haven’t framed yet stand side by side with our wedding photo, on the other corner of the living room lies another Gabby’s favorite : Plants vz Zombies!
Tina’s favorite area of the unit…
We’re fortunate that in Penang, discounts can get as low as 70-80% off. Tina bought these electric kettle for only RM 29 (PhP 406) from RM 99 (PhP 1386) and the mini oven for another affordable price.
The very first meals were memorable! Despite we truly miss having pandesal in the morning, breakfast with Spam Lite, rice and coffee tasted great as we ate as one family.
The lunch with paksiw na bisugo was superb! Do you eat bisugo?
While I only went to the public market which is a bus-ride away and mini groceries downstairs to purchase some more stuffs, I have to give credits and much love to my wife because she exerted extra efforts to prepare our first dinner.
Udang (the Bahasa Melayu term for shrimps or prawns) is cheaper in Penang than in Metro Manila. The cost here ranges from RM 16 – 25 per kilo (PhP 224 -350) thus enabling us to enjoy it every now and then.
We only invited one of our senior colleagues who also lives in the same building. For almost a year now, she stands as my/our genuine friend, comforter and a nanay-nanayan. She came with her sister and together, we shared our very first dinner. We could have invited another senior-fellow who have inspired me so much about family life, life in general and whatnot but I thought he’s busy enjoying the weekend with his own family. (read : We’d rather keep one or two friends only here in Penang rather than have an entire community who backstabs us; our world will peacefully revolve without them!).
At anytime of the day, our porch offers a relaxing view; now we know how it feels like to dwell in those hotels and serviced appartments along side Roxas Blvd back home; the only difference is, it’s a lot affordable here in Penang for the purchasing power of Ringgit is higher than Philippine Pesos.
The coming days will be brighter. As we begin to enjoy our new home, my parents from Manila and UAE will be coming over to share the love and fun with us. Gabby will continue schooling here in August and the rest, I know will be epic.
A new chapter of our expat lives unfolds.