Of course we were anticipating last night’s episode of the reality show, The Amazing Race. The race participants were flying from Seychelles to Penang for the next leg of the global hunt.
And we had been prepped for it. The Penang Government sent out its e-newsletter nice and early, reminding us to tune in to Astro’s AXN channel for this proud moment.
We would be seeing our Penang landmarks in this show which featured Americans.
Of course there was the Penang Snake Temple. Funnily, the python was probably an extra because I don’t think I’ve seen slithering pythons at the temple entrance. All for TV dramatization!
Next, the Jade Temple in Air Itam. Ah. Where participants had to carry giant-sized joss-sticks up the multitude of steps to the temple.
What I took offence at is that the monks in orange robes aren’t the right monks for this Chinese temple. Someone didn’t do their research! Monks in orange robes belong to the Theravadin Buddhist sect. The Jade Temple was clearly a Taoist/Confucian temple so their monks would be robed in grey! Maybe grey robes are too dull for AXN?
Another surprise – this time pleasant – was seeing Katherine Chua, a client of ours, in this very episode! She was the lady who was in the Speed Bump leg of the race.
Dressed in a lovely sarong kebaya and looking all demure, she was one of the two people in Tropical Spice Garden where Jet and Cord, nicknamed The Cowboys detoured in order to complete their Speed Bump. (A Speed Bump was an extra task the last team from the previous pit stop had to complete as part of their ‘punishment’.) Katherine is the manager of Tropical Spice Garden and as I quickly grabbed my phone to message her, she messaged back that it was “my secret for the past 3 months!”
Cool thing, Kat! You see, people involved in this race, whether as participants or not, had to keep their lips sealed until the episode’s aired.
Anyway, seeing someone we knew on TV was totally amazing!
Of course, the other person we recognized on the show was Michael, the ‘greeter’ at the final pit stop (Pinang Peranakan Museum). He was the one who said “Welcome to Penang, Malaysia” in the gentlest of tones. Michael runs the museum – he is an expert on all things Nyonya and Peranakan. If I am not mistaken, he also teaches nyonya footwear beading – the intricate work of attaching tiny glass beads to nyonya slippers. He is a familiar face in the heritage circle of Penang.
As I’ve said before, Penang is a small island. And people move in smaller circles still. Everyone probably knows someone who knows you.
While it may seem odd, having Penang featured in AXN’s The Amazing Race was such a defining moment. 😉