I love airports. Well, most of them, anyway. I would tell you about the few airports that I hate. But that would be a whole different story from this.
One thing is for sure, I like Penang International Airport (PIA). I don't like it because it is newly renovated and upgraded. Nor do I like it because of the services available there.
I like PIA because it has become a familiar transit point, having lived in Penang these last three years. Familiar because of my monthly commutes back to Kuala Lumpur (KL), and numerous visits there to help send off or pick up fellow commuters to and from KL.
These days, I like PIA even more because of Kaffa Espresso Bar.
The first place you see as you drive up to the Departure Wing, Kaffa is my new favorite cafe, my hideout. With my laptop and an unfinished travel anecdote, I imagine that I am in some cozy, vintage cafe tucked somewhere in Paris. Talk about being highly imaginative! :P
If you prefer coffee to soda hands down every time, or if you are a sucker for vintage interior designs, or if you're an old soul, and your dad kept telling you that you were born in the wrong era because of your strange music choice, or even if you are just someone who hates walking in the hot tropical sun, you will like Kaffa.
Let me tell you why in 6 nouns and many adjectives:
Coffee - delicious Salted Caramel Macchiato (hot/cold) - sweet and salty at the same time!
Ambiance - snug, comfy window seats, quaint - with vintage furniture, pinball machines!
Patron parking - right in front of the cafe, and free!
Service - prompt, attentive, friendly...did i say prompt??
Price - Starbucks-like price - none of those overpriced-bcoz-im-in-the-airport charges!
Location - convenient, easy access - without having to drive all the way out to town...
So, will you Kaffa? ;-))
Kintamani was breathtaking.
We stood at the edge of the viewing spot in Penelokan, breathing in the fresh air. In the distance, Gunung Batur, an active volcano, stood majestic in green. Along the hill side, we saw remnants of the previous volcanic eruptions in the forms of burnt lava fields.
The whole view was indeed spectacular. Clear, blue skies and temperate weather. Danau Batur, the crater lake, looked calm and serene from where we stood.
I read somewhere that Penelokan means "a place for viewing" in the Indonesian language. From where we stood, everything looked picture-perfect. And being the tourists that we were, no scene was left without a photo shoot or two. Dhana, our driver, doubled as the photographer.
The peddlers started moving in on us after a few minutes. Dhana called them notty peddlers. In the car, before we got down, he said, "Be careful of the notty peddlers..." I guess "notty" here meant "naughty".
There were easily 5 or 6 of them surrounding us at the same time. They offered fruits, souvenirs, postcards, bangles, sandals, etc. Most of them were adults.
Then, a girl walked to us with her merchandise. She was possibly about 10 years old or so. She was pretty and camera-shy, or maybe she just didn't want a bunch of tourists taking her picture.
My friend was interested to get some postcards from the girl, but her sign of interest only brought more peddlers to us. Looking back, we would have bought some postcards and bangles from the little peddler girl, if it weren't for the rest of them who kept harassing us, to the point that we had to run back to the rented car, just to get away...
Nonetheless, Kintamani was breathtaking.