And we think our lives are hard….


This little girl is only six years old. She took the Penang Hill cable car down by herself. When she reached there, she said her teacher brings her to kindy. We were in the same cable car with her and she is one chatty little girl. She told us her name is Barilla (or something like that) and she goes to school on her own. We asked her where is her mother and she said she works in the bungalow and sell icecream. Then, where is her father? She said ‘down’ (meaning not in Penang Hill) and he is a soldier.


Well, I don’t know about the ‘soldier’ part because from experience, normally little kids (from broken homes/children shelter) say that. I shall not elaborate more ‘cos I may be wrong. So, we asked her if she does this every day? Going up and down the 30 minutes ride on her own? She said yes. Shocking? I guess that’s life for many people. There is no school atop Penang Hill so the children have to go down for school.


So, I guess we can only pray that God watch over children like this little girl. Getting one and off the cable car is mighty dangerous because we need to change cable car midway and there are lots of steps. Then, there is the automatic door etc etc. After we had reached our destination, the little girl’s mom was waiting for her and the little girl even waved and thank us for the sweets we gave her.

We managed to talk to a retiree at Bukit Bendera. We asked if those bungalows are for rent. He said, “Tak tau lah, sekarang depa nak buat apa pun tak tau. Harap dapat kerajaan baru, lain cerita.” Well, there are lots of bungalows from the colonial times in Penang Hill. Those bungalows used to be for rental. But the retiree said, they have stopped renting out the bungalows because they want to develop the hill. Whatever they do to Penang Hill, I hope they look after those folks living there first before making the hill too commercialised. Priority is the little six years old girl who travel on the cable car alone. There are other school girls going up and down the hill too. May God’s grace keep these little girls from harm.

11 thoughts on “And we think our lives are hard….

  1. Erm…I have not travelled on those train/trams…are there any “jaga” where the changing of trams/cable car is done? Like station master liddat.

  2. It’s not like in the 70s I can walk to kindy and home alone. Nowadays, the sight of a lone child on his/her own makes me worry if there is any danger lurking.
    Hope the new government can do something though it is challenging.

  3. wow.. i have not been to bukit bendera for ages. last i went up there was probably when i’m 4 or 5 years old! hope to go up there one again one day…

  4. Saw this post , get my 12 years old daughter read it.
    Both of us share how unfortunates we are.
    Thanks for the post Lilian

  5. when i was young i went to penang hill. fast foward after more than 10 years i jadi tour guide for my exchange students who crach me house, i have to bring them last year and clueless i was i know nothing and simply go up there.

    now i’m becoming good on it. i love penang hill, and yeah its heavily commercialized. there is less charm and not many things to enjoy up there. harap tengok view saja.

    poor girl. i hope they have some sort of welfare for those kids. and hopefully nobody will start building skyscraper apartment up there.

  6. No big deal lah, during my time, (shy to say how long ago) my brothers, sisters did the same thing, travelling alone, walk to station early in the morning, sometimes before the sun rise, (depend on which time of the year), hop into the cable car 6 days a week, after arriving at the bottom station, walk to the school at Ayer Itam (so can save 5 cents bus fare to buy an ice ball)and mind you, when the cable car broke down (luckily not that often) we had to walk alongside the railway track to get home, we didn’t know the danger, so are our parents!

    Any of you out there who wish to make a revisit to Penang Hill, I’ll be most happy to offer you some tips and even be you guide!

  7. Not to worry, Lilian! These street-smart kids are the ones who will survive; just hope and pray that they don’t stray from the right path. Many go astray and end up doing illegal things cos it’s easier and faster. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of many of our over-spoilt, over-pampered kids these days who are so used to things being handed to them on a silver platter and can only wait for things to fall down from the sky – despite getting a string of As in the public examinations!

  8. I knew my life was fine until I am in an emo state. However thinking back..I should be grateful with whatever I have but sometimes when I am not string emotionally, it caused me a breakdown which is bad.

    I am visiting the orphanage this Saturday to remind me of myself as a lucky one with a family and good life. I am gonna make sure I learn form these kids. I love kids.. šŸ™‚

  9. Well hope CM LGE (no need YAB,YA stuffs and no Latuks or other titles as well, it was in Guang Ming yday)will bring back the shine to “Pearl of the Orient”.Penangites plse la cooperate ma esp the hawkers . dun simply throw ma sampah here and there.Now new Gomen leow ..hap chok tampuk lorr!
    Used to have my bags checked when we reached Butterworth ferry side,free port ma those days.Wonder what if happen on the bridge if we do that bags check today … cheerss

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