..only thing is, there is no romance but lots of mosquitoes.

I have the rare opportunity of following a group of government servants to go up to Penang Hill for a gotong-royong. Only thing is, I don’t need to work but just to enjoy the ride up, fresh air, cicadas singing, beautiful views and the freedom to run all over the place.

If you guys recall, those of us who are in our 30s and 40s, Penang Hill is the place to go for bungalow stay. I used to go up with my classmates when I was in Form 3 onwards. Then, when I was working, we also had a few trips up there.

If you have never spent a night up in the cold air, looking down at Georgetown flickering lights and getting freak out by ghost stories in those huge, colonial style bungalows with fireplace, you are not true blue Penangite yet.

Last Saturday, I am not sure why a photographer asked me if I want to go up. I thought it is a whole media thingie. I got there early, like being the first person to reach at 7.30 am and waited and waited. No other media people comes. Only a group of MPPP, PBA, Bomba, State Secretariat and etc staffs.

But I went because I have never ride in a Pajero up Penang Hill. I am a sucker for free rides, you know? What more to a place I have never been before. And I am so pleased I visited Crag Hotel.

The guys up there told me the place is part of the location for the movie Indochine which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 1992. He described the place when the film company spruced up the garden and the Crag Hotel. I came home, Google for the movie and it seems like a very romantic movie.

Being a citizen journalist with a very cynical mind, I am totally disappointed that our (previous) state government (the building belongs to the state) had left this magnificent building and the surrounding wooden bungalows to rot. It is sad to see the neglect done to it. Why didn’t they continue maintaining the Crag Hotel and turn it into some boutique hotel?

I suppose those tree huggers, friends of the nature etc are going to make a lot of noise about nature being exploited for commercial purposes. But come on, isn’t it better to let humans live and enjoy the beauty than to leave the place to be eaten by termites and crumbled?

Bah, I wanted to write about how romantic it is on the hill but I got carried away as usual, by the politics of ‘previous government’ versus ‘new government’.