I still can't get over the fact that it's actually autumn. Is it really possible there is snow in other places? Hard to imagine when it is perpetually around 90 degrees + the added bonus of humidity. Thank goodness our apartment has a swimming pool-- we usually head down there a couple times a week. One mention of "swimming" or "pool" and john is off like a shot, yanking on the front door handle, shouting "poo! poo!" at the top of his lungs. (He hasn't quite figured out the "l" sound on that word.) Everything feels great here until about 11:30am or so, when simply stepping outside can equal dripping in a pool of your own sweat. Nice.
Thankfully, the taxis & trains are pretty well air-conditioned... most of the time. Every once in a while we'll get in a taxi that is clearly not driven by a well-groomed driver, nor is he concerned about the condition of his vehicle. On the way to church one Sunday, I stuck my hand on a large, conspicuous wet spot on the right side of the back seat (thankfully I didn't sit right on it) and thus spent the rest of the ride jammed right next to Michael & John on the left side so I could avoid the affected area. These types of taxis also usually smell faintly like a foul mixture of cigarette smoke & urine. Yech. But those instances are the rarity and we are grateful to usually travel in relative comfort.
Honestly, when it is this hot, I don't know how all of these women wear the veils they do. A lot of them are silky scarf-like material that seems thin enough that it wouldn't be terribly oppressive in the heat... but some of them are dark, coarse, linen material, and with it wrapped around their head & neck like that with really no airways for it to breathe makes me start to sweat just looking at them. And that's just women wearing the veils... don't even get me started on the burqa. A full-bodied covering? That's just cruel. I guess you get used to it when you live in this type of climate... and though the dominant religion on this country is Islam, there are scores of Chinese and other foreigners who are Christian, Buddhist, etc. This week I noticed that at one point, standing in a train car, there were about 13 women (actually, mostly young girls) wearing veils & 5 (including me) without. Later that same day I only saw 4 girls with veils in the train and about 9 without. Kuala Lumpur seems to be quite a nicely diverse place-- although I'm sure it changes dramatically when you go out into other, more remote parts of the country. I know at our own church, since we arrived about 2 1/2months ago, there has been a baptism every week, except the last one, so the missionaries are definitely staying busy here. Yay missionaries!!! :)
OK, I know I said that I was mostly just finding things that I'm grateful for since we've lived here, but having said that I must make one comment: I've definitely found the down-side to air-drying your laundry as opposed to using an electric dryer. When there are clothes on it, our drying rack sits in the living room, right outside of the kitchen... where I make food... after washing all our bathroom towels the other day, we now have wonderfully clean, white towels... that smell like hamburger. Nice. Unfortunately, in a small apartment, there aren't a lot of other places to put the drying clothes where they won't be saturated with the smells of our dinner.
Finally, I had to include our harrowing adventure from this morning. All of the individual rooms in the apartment have locks on them (the bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.) and I have keys on my keyring that open half of them doors, and Michael has keys that open the other half. Well, somehow Michael's door to his study had the lock-button pushed down and John ran in there when he got up (he was trying to evade his father who was attempting to change his diaper) and he shut the door behind him, locking himself in the room in the process. The funny part is that Michael keeps his keys in his study, and those were the ones that opened that particular door. So there we were, crouched around the door, trying to get John to turn the knob (he hasn't figured out how to do that just yet-- he can only jiggle it back & forth) while he's stuck in there with the keys. We finally said a little prayer, asking that John stay safe in there, since we couldn't get to him, and to help us figure out how to get him out. Thankfully, we have a very smart little boy who is also a very good little helper and likes to follow instructions. While Michael was trying to jimmy the lock, I crouched down and gave John directions while watching his reflection on the wood floor, so I could sort of see what he was doing. It went something like this: "John, where's daddy's keys? do you see daddy's keys? they're on the desk. can you bring momma the keys? where are they? do you see them? on the desk, yeah. can you climb on daddy's chair? climb on daddy's chair, john... no not that chair, daddy's chair. go climb on daddy's chair. good boy. do you see the keys? where's daddy's keys? can you get the keys?" (i hear jingling of keys - yay!) "good job pumpkin! you got the keys! now can you bring them to momma? bring momma the keys. yes, climb down from daddy's chair and bring momma the keys." (pitter-patter of feet and jingling of keys toward the door - we're almost there!) "ok, no give the keys to momma" (i try pushing my fingers under the door but the gap is too small... instead i hear knock-knock from the other side, which is what john does when he wants his dad to open his study door) "no, pumpkin put the keys under the door" (have i even taught him that preposition? under? i don't think so. michael goes to get a piece of paper to slide under the door) "john, do you see the paper?" (he tries to grab it) "no, john put the keys on the paper. see the paper? put the keys on the paper. no, don't throw the keys on the floor, put them on the paper..." phew! finally he got them on the paper, we slide the paper out with the keys on them-- victory!
what an interesting way to spend the first 25 minutes of your day. so, for those of you without kids, that is the way you spend talking ALL day to a 19 month old baby. no wonder i am in heaven when we can get out and do things with ADULT friends. :)
Well, since this has turned into a ridiculously long entry, I'll close now and you can click on the picture links to hear more about the actual goings-on around KL, as opposed to just the things going on in our house. there are some cool pics and explanations of the Central Market, which is my new favorite place to buy local goods and we will definitely be going back there, so stay tuned for more pictures!