In Penang we were medical tourists - we had our own schedule of tests and specialist visits (mainly dermatology), but we were surprised at the massive numbers of foreign visitors here purely for the medical facilities. At Hospital Lam Wah Ee, the specialist surgeon who removed Ley's "lump" (a small BCC) said his business was directly linked to the number of Air Asia flights coming in from Indonesia. Things have changed.
Penang is still a most attractive Asian city, one of our absolute favourites. It ain't perfect, but it is a shining example of racial tolerance and self awareness, welcoming visitors with a quirky sense of humor, great food and a multi-cultural social history that is alive and prospering.
Our friends there made us welcome, celebrating our visit with embarrassing repeated dinners and seafood specials - what a great time we had. It has been wonderful to watch Eileen and Gerome's children blossom into delightful , articulate teenagers who are now planning tertiary education. It is also great to see how Onomichi Marine, their business, has grown and transformed over the 8 years we have know each other.