Having successfully completed our banking issues, Diane and I arrived in Penang a few days ago and set out in search of an apartment complex. Ironically, our first day of hunting literally followed the script of any HHI episode almost to the letter. Referred to a property agent rumored to be the best in the island in terms of integrity, honesty and understanding the needs of new arrivals, we met Catherine Outside the hotel where she picked us up right on time. Having read dozens of posts telling us how we should schedule as many meetings as possible with multiple agents because they’re all scammers and not even licensed in any way, our skepticism quickly disappeared. Within the first half hour we could tell our agent was just as professional as the realtor in Walnut Creek that helped us sell our house.
Before I get to that, however, I need to mention a word about our experience with Copthorne Orchid, an old dilapidated outdated and pathetic excuse for a hotel disguising itself with the Millennium Hotels’ name. Having selected it for a 12 day stay based on strangely inaccurate TripAdvisor comments and a website that’s a total lie, we arrived to a morgue-like eerily quiet lobby where five employees stood there and didn’t say one word. Finally deciding to check us in, the staff spoke very poor English which is highly unusual for Malaysia, especially in the hospitality industry. Taking the rickety elevator that barely fit our luggage to the 17th floor, we exited to a dirty smelling and dank hallway with no decor and old carpet. Even worse, the room looked like it hadn’t been touched since 1975, with a horrible bed, one small desk, worn our carpet, leaky bathtubs and a crappy shower. Attempting the wi-fi was an exercise in futility and we knew the temporary living quarters would not work for us at all.