A Pause in Penang
Continuing our journey north through Malaysia, we travelled from Melaka to Kuala Lumpur by coach and caught a train to Butterworth near Penang. As all the trains to Bangkok were fully booked, we spent two days in Penang. This gave us the opportunity to meet up with two friends of Brockwood who live on the island of Penang.
Mr Nadarajah, who has been running a Krishnamurti information centre and library at his home for many years, hosted us. It was a pleasure to get to know him and to meet his colleague, Yoeh, with whom he facilitates bi-monthly dialogues. They both inquired about Brockwood and Inwoods and were also curious to learn about our experience of Green School. We shared our passion for education, nature and inquiry and most especially discussed the conditioning that occurres in schools. We agreed on the importance of working with young children and on using nature as a medium for learning.
In the afternoon, Yoeh took us to the botanical garden that he used to play in as a child. It felt so good to spend sometime in this green oasis away from the traffic and the built up environment and to walk in the lush garden where we saw some birds, butterflies and monkeys.
We did not see too much of Penang, but could not help noticing the proliferation of multi-storey apartment blocks – many of which seemed empty. Mr Nadarajah’s neighbourhood for example has been affected. Ten years ago, he used to have a clear view of the bay – his skyline has now been transformed. His garden is wonderfully overgrown though, masking as much as possible the urban growth.
Before leaving, we had breakfast together in a vegetarian indian restaurant and were presented with super-sized dosas!