Across the road from the shiny modern Hotel NEO+ Penang, lies the unassuming and run-down Hin Bus Depot. Definitely looking like it has seen better days, one would think that it was abandoned and left to fall apart. However, on closer inspection, there was actually a cafe visible in there. Out of curiosity, we had to go in to check it out, didn’t we?
Any first-time visitors are in for a surprise. Once an abandoned bus depot, it has been converted into an art space, and there is a pop-up market happening every Sunday from 11am till 5pm as well. Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic held his first solo art exhibition here in 2014, and his larger than life murals have turned the abandoned bus depot into another world altogether.
Ernest combines fine art techniques with a passion for creating art in the outdoors, and is interested in the interaction of murals and the urban landscape. His artwork results from a spontaneous response to the environment, the community and culture.
The Hin Bus Depot is continually evolving, and more artists will be leaving their mark there soon, promising more exhibitions in the months to come.
For last week’s #MYWritersPoetryPrompt in the ##MYWriters FB group, I put up a photo of fishing boats I took in a fishing village in Penang. Famously known as the Pearl of the Orient, Penang is a state in Malaysia located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia. I love the old world charm which permeates the island, with it’s UNESCO World Heritage Site and age-old traditions coexisting comfortably side by side with modernity. I think that’s part of what makes Penang special. Of course, there is the wonderful food. 🙂
Modernity and globalization should never replace traditions and cultures, because that’s what makes a place and its people unique. It gives them an identity they can be proud of.
Here’s the poem I wrote. Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Sea of Hope
Before daybreak, before the crack of dawn
Old boats slink out, in search of fish and prawns
Slowly making their way, from the shallows
To the depths; none in self-pity wallow
Lives spent in toil; sweat mixed with tears and salt
From dawn to dusk; with the turtles and whales
From azure calm, to thunderstorms and gales
Life at sea, where uncertainties abound
Hands covered with calluses; skin burnt brown
Catch fish and seafood, for village and town
Etched in furrows of brows; thoughts without sound
Dreaming of coming home to smiles and hugs
Monsoon nights at home; steaming coffee mugs
Of spicy sambal and coconut rice
To but earn enough; we must pay the price
To send children to school; to read, to learn
For a better life – that is our concern