Tag Archives: malaysia

humidity

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… having frizzy hair!

… having to struggle to put on a camisole/babyT immediately after a good bath.

… when i prefer body powder to body lotion.

… means STICKY, STICKY, STICKY – not just my skin, but everything else!!

… when the air is still, thick and heavy (like just before it rains), and sometimes breathing is tiring.

… the frustration of having Ayl say to me ‘i’m sticky lah!’ when i try to pass him Ash. (he’s getting heavier!)

… a breeding ground for algae – on the soft-padding at the playground, on the non-grassy patch, on the trunk of the palm tree!

… holding hands are not encouraged 😛

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Settling Down Once Again

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wow… i’ve stopped writing for more than a month! how time really flies when there is so much to do. we’re setting up our house little by little, we have most of what we need, the basic necessities like the bed, wardrobe, dining table and chairs, kitchen cabinet except for curtains and a sofa set. i think we’ve gotten so used to living without curtains in Brats (well, we have them in Brats but they were the see-through type) that it’s not in our priority list; but it shall come soon.

after we touched down, we stayed over at Bro Ray’s for a few days and borrowed a car from Bro Fred so we could go around (very grateful to them for their generosity and hospitality). Sis D prepared our lunches and dinners the few days we were there. the kids had a tough time settling down what with the jetlag, different environment and especially the change of weather. Ashton cried and cried nearly every night and didn’t want anyone else but me; not even his ‘Slumberland’ daddy. and because Ashton was crying so loudly, Arielle couldn’t fall asleep. so we’d end up sleeping at 5am and waking up at 12pm for almost a week!

we decided that it wasn’t so nice to have the kids continue wreaking so much havoc in our host’s house (their kids need to go to school) so, we went to purchase a mattress (Vono – comfy!) and quickly moved into our then empty apartment as soon as possible. John’s sister gave us a single mattress and also a small infant mattress, so that helped a bit with our sleeping condition. few days later, we went to purchase things like the water heater, aircon!! and my gas cooker with oven :). woohoo! i get to bake and grill here too!

we got more stuff from Ikea since they were having a SALE and (i don’t know how to phrase this better but…) we got a culture shock! LOL!! either we forgot or we’ve gotten used to shopping at Ikea Bratislava, we just couldn’t understand why there is so many people at Ikea KL – it took us nearly an hour looking for a space just to park our car! what the heck is going on! and inside the showrooms and market place itself, it was so packed that one can’t even walk, you’ll need to tag slowly behind the massive sea of people with trolleys and prams and crying children and oh! just trying to describe it now makes me breathless and lightheaded again. and all we wanted to do was to get what we wanted and get out of there, but then the line at the checkout counters were long as well. really really? does everyone go there to shop for something or just for fun’s sake – coz it was no fun at all for us. no way are we going back there again unless it’s really worth the trip.

currently we’re still waiting for 70% of our stuff from the sea cargo; it’s ETA is mid Aug. by then we’ll have another headache of unpacking and looking for space to keep our things in proper. hopefully everything will fit into this smaller unit. meantime, the kids have adjusted themselves and we’ve somewhat resumed a daily routine; the next big purchase will be for a suitable car because currently we’re using my little white kancil 660cc. nothing wrong with that since my father kept it in really good condition, it’s just a bit constrained due to 2 babyseats behind, and a ‘Slumberland’ daddy-o in front. 🙂

oh and i nearly forgot to mention; the kitchen cabinet we got from the hired contractor was fabulously done with a good price. (thanks Goons!) the materials used aren’t el-cheapo and the workers who came fixed up everything nicely and NEATLY (swept and wiped everything after). needless to say, we were happy with the end product as well as the service. if you’re interested, drop me a line.

Destination: Homeland – Malaysia

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the time has come but all too soon for us; we’re finally going back to Malaysia for good this Sunday. it’s been nearly 2 years (come August) and just when we thought we’ll be here for another 1 more year (we’ve prepared our hearts for it), God has other plans for us.

it’s so disheartening when we first got the confirmation; one of the main reason for me was because i just got back here in Brats with the kids in March and we just got to know better the lovely and wonderful people from Citylights! we spent our first year here being so lonely (we only have 1 close family friend – the Dale’s) and ‘unhappening’ and then suddenly we joined this new church and we found a Family. Just when it seems like everything is going well, we’re being sent back. sighs~

even so, we trust that God has great plans for us back in Kajang. on the other hand, Ayl and i are both looking forward to building our own home (finally!!), a place we can call our own. we’ve been renting and staying at other ppl’s houses since Uni…

so what have i gained from this blessed opportunity to live abroad:

1. Family > Work

– people here leave work sharp, few do OTs and when it’s a major public holiday like Easter or Christmas, everybody (and i really mean EVERYBODY) spend time off work. Malls/Shops/Restaurants are closed, much to the misery of ppl like me because oftentimes on holidays, i’d rather celebrate these occasions out of the house i.e. the beach (there is no beach here), the mall, the eateries… you get my drift. well, you Brat friends can argue that there are the many beautiful parks or the Slavin memorial 😛 but we can’t go there at night with kids right? come to think of it, the honest truth is we just don’t want to be home alone; it’d be nice to get invited to join in with a family. so for those of you looking for triple pay income during the holidays, there’s no such thing here.

– women who has just given birth are given 3years maternity leave, after 3years the company will take you back. (wonder what happens if you have one baby after another??) meanwhile, the state will provide a certain financial amount to the family. here, it is an unwritten rule for women to stay at home with their babies till they are 3years old; leaving the babies for work earlier will be deemed as ‘a bad mother’. imagine that!

after nearly 2 years here, we’ve caught on this priority; Ayl and i agree that we should put family first before work. now that we’re heading back, i would like to stay home to take care of the kids rather than going out to work until they start going to pre-school. however, this of course will depend very much on Ayl’s income, if it should be sufficient for us.

2. Cooking with the Oven

– yeaaa… sad but true. i only got to know how to use the oven when we got here. i didn’t grow up with an oven at home and never got to know how to use it; that’s coz  (i think it’s safe to say) 80% of the Malaysian households do not use the oven to cook or even own one. what we used to use was a small round plug-in electric oven whenever we wanted to make a marble cake or kuih bankek (a type of traditional cookie) during the Chinese New Year. so, after getting this chance to fully use a modern ‘full-fledge’ oven, i think stir-frying comes second best. it’s convenient (don’t have to keep checking up on it or stir it), cleaner (no cooking oil splish splash everywhere) and some of the recipes are soooo easy and healthy.

[can’t believe this has been sitting here for 2+ weeks now, i better finish up]

3. Encounters with God & His people

– i remember just sitting by myself and tears will come; i was so depressed and lonely when we first came here, esp during the dark winter days when we would only get sunlight for 4hrs a day. God has been extremely good to me (and to us). i really can’t begin to tell each and every experience that i’ve personally had with him, there are just so many esp after we have joined Citylights. BLESS THE LORD O MY SOUL!! i have been strengthened in my faith 🙂

– even when i was away from Aylwin in Kuching, He has strengthened our bond and has revived Ayl’s spirit. i feel that he has a new level in faith and that is extremely good for me and the family. God is awesome!!

i think i better end here and post this up before i’m caught up with the daily motion of things at home again and this post might end up not being posted at all… 🙂 shall write more when i’ve the time and thought of something more.

A nice surprise

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Being away from your family is a miserable thing; in my case, my wife is pregnant and due end of this month, and I won’t get to see her, my little daughter and my new-born son until middle of February. In case you don’t know, I am working in Slovakia while my family is in East Malaysia. I’ve always maintained that one of my biggest regret would be missing the birth of my son and not being there for the first 4 months of his life.

Well, last Friday my boss told me that I will be going to West Malaysia at the end of this month for business trip. Which means there is a chance for me to visit my family soon. In fact, sooner than I thought!

Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will grant you the desires of your heart!

More updates to come 🙂

Map of Malaysia; I will be in Kuala Lumpur, while my family is in Kuching.

Map of Malaysia; I will be in Kuala Lumpur, while my family is in Kuching.

MERDEKA!!

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so… Merdeka Day (Independence Day) came and went in Kuching, and it’s like just another holiday here. nothing really special – no big concerts or street parties or people carrying the Malaysian flag while riding their motorcycles and making a lot of noise with their horn along the streets. didn’t see a single car whose bonnet is covered with the national flag either unlike in KL or Penang. what’s more, there wasn’t even a single sound of fireworks. real quiet…. 🙂

either that or i was really really dead asleep at 11pm on Merdeka Eve.

Hot, Humid, Haze & H1N1

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wow… so much for the anticipated homecoming. the weather condition here is really bad, everyone at home here in Kuching was down with stomach flu and Ayl is down with flu (no, not H1N1 thank God!) come to think of it, nearly everyone we know has fallen sick – our neighbour, Ayl’s friends and their baby whom MIL is babysitting, Rachel & Ryan (the siblings MIL babysat for also), even the lady at the watchshop i went to was eating plain porridge with a huge bottle of 100plus (isotonic drink) by her side which indicates a high probability she’s also suffering from an upset stomach. and the haze is not getting any better.

HONG KONG

Arielle got sick with diarrhoea when we were in Hong Kong and today, she just got better but has developed a very wet cough, caught from Ayl. i fell sick too with stomach flu (or was it also in HK come to think of it), but thank God it wasn’t serious and it lasted just for a few days. so, because Arielle was sick, our Hong Kong trip was uneventful. we practically stayed in the apartment and ate at home at the Welch’s expense 😛 (thanks so much guys); didn’t get to go anywhere except our first day at Disneyland which was uber hot!! we had HK Dim Sum – yes it was superly nice but expensive (everything in HK is expensive!), HK’s charsiu, HK’s milk tart and breathed in HK’s very humid and polluted air… hahaha. but though the city’s packed with people, it’s clean like Singapore and due to the recent flu outbreak, a lot of public places have the automatic-waterless-sanitary-handwash machines at our disposal. good thinking there.

family pic at HK Disneyland

family pic at HK Disneyland

HK Dim Sum - yummy!!

HK Dim Sum - yummy!!

our wonderful hosts

our wonderful hosts

another thing we learnt about HK is that accommodation can get crazily expensive and SMALL!! super culture shock for us to see ‘pigeon holes’ everywhere; with apartments’ average height at 60+ levels; living space at 30 – 40 sq ft. a friend of mine said that she can actually read the subtitles off her neighbour’s tv as she sits in her own living room. i can’t even begin to imagine how it’s like in Japan. coming back to Msia made me appreciate how luxurious we actually are, where space is not as confined.

PENANG

we had Ayl’s parents join us for a week in Penang, and although i had a few things in mind planned on where to bring my in-laws (being their first ever trip to my beloved pig-land), it was too hot to bring Arielle around. so at least we covered Penang Hill, B. Ferringhi beach and most of the makan-makan; did i mention it was also the durian season? mmmmm-mmm… right time to be home.

going up the Hill in the tram

going up the Hill in the tram

the lovely couple up in Pg Hill

the lovely couple up in Pg Hill

sandy beaches and blue skies

sandy beaches and blue skies

building sand castles with grandma

building sand castles with grandma

pig out sessions

pig out sessions

missed out meeting a few friends i wanted to meet but had a nice surprise when some unexpected friends turned up for our small gathering over lunch/dinner. all in all, pigland is still and will always be my homeland no matter what. it was goodbye again all too soon for me.

KL

didn’t really get to do much in KL coz we stopped by only for such a short time – should really have stayed longer so that i get to shop for some things before heading off to Kuching (esp maternity clothes!!) it was all so rushed and we didn’t really get to have the time to meet up with people. esp so when we got back from HK and Arielle was sick and it was best not to tire her out too much by going out the whole day. so, mostly we got together with whoever we thought were significant to us over lunch/dinner and that was about it. we can always rely on facebook right?

lunch with the Wangs

lunch with the Wangs; regret didn't have banana leaf rice instead 😛

dinner with the gang

dinner with the gang

so, as of current, i’ll be here in Kuching till i deliver in End Oct – and have i mentioned it’s a BOY!!; so meantime, i’ll live with Ayl’s family and hang around with baby and Arielle till Ayl comes back again from Slovakia for his winter break in End Dec (2 weeks). we will see if baby is fit enough to fly (hopefully) and if he is then all of us will fly back to Slovakia together Beg Jan – which will be in the dead of Winter, aaaahhhhhh!!! talk about from one extreme to another.

more photos uploaded on facebook, check it out.