After the hospital we moved back into an Airbnb in the same building as before but facing the other direction. We missed our water view and the balcony was smaller but the unit itself was nicer and our host was very kind and responsive. In fact the doormen were also very helpful when we came and went every day. We didn’t have a wheelchair and it was initially a long walk for Jack to the elevator, so we borrowed a straight chair from the lobby which Jack used as support, pushing it ahead of him from the front door all the way to the elevator. It made an ear splitting screech on the tiles but we all laughed and the guards always jumped up to help.
The apartment was well equipped, including a USB rechargeable stick vacuum. Eureka! we thought, this would be fantastic in the van where charging via 12v USB is so much more convenient. We’d never seen one like this and it worked great. I asked our host where he got it and he actually picked it up for us and delivered it. Then we realized it wasn’t going to fit in the one shared rolling duffle we travel with (it folds flat; boaters and vanlifers know how important that is) so we had to buy another one. Now we’re traveling with two checked bags, something we’re loathe to do, and we’ll be schlepping a vacuum cleaner in our luggage for months before we return to our campervan. “If customs asks we’ll tell them we like to do a little light cleaning wherever we go,” says Jack. Maybe we should have thought this through. It’s a nice vacuum, though.
As Jack got stronger we started walking to nearby restaurants for lunch, past the ubiquitous shrines. Penang has large Chinese and Indian populations, so it’s common to see actively visited shrines tucked into every cranny.
When Jack finished his course of outpatient physiotherapy we left our high rise Airbnb near the hospital and moved to the historic district of Georgetown where we could walk to all of our favorite haunts. First stop, Holy Guacamole for Mexican food.
Seems like all we did for the next couple of weeks was walk around, eat, watch World Cup matches when we could, all while Jack continued to regain strength and balance. He still carried the cane, but rarely used it except as a pointing device.
Six weeks after arriving in Penang we had the final appointments with the surgeon and the cardiologist and Jack was pronounced good to go. And nearly three years after the global pandemic nixed a planned sail north, we are finally going to Thailand.