Thursday, August 21, 2008

What do you do at the park?

I thought about some things that I find funny whenever we visit the water park at KLCC. There are huge gardens outside the KLCC mall with walking paths, a large kids park and a water park, a shallow pool for kids with fountains, waterfalls, the works. I took John & Emily there this morning and let John have a ball jumping, splashing and falling down to his heart's content while I held Emily and followed him around in water up to my calves. The first funny thing is the presence of policewomen/guards of some kind at this water park. No, they're not there to act as lifeguard in case a child is in danger. They're not even there to watch that there's no purse-snatching going on. Their purpose is to eye the perimeter of the pool area where the cement turns into tiny blue tiles and vehemently blow their whistles at anyone who walks on said tile with shoes. No shoes. No flip-flops. Not even a fact if you come within 5 inches of those tiles and you are wearing footwear of any kind I will tweet at you anyway, just so you know I'm watching. Take those shoes off, mister, I'm warning you. I've got a whistle and I know how to use it.

Of course these woman (never men, always women) have another purpose, something demonstrated to us last time we visited the water park. There are absolutely NO diapers allowed in this pool. None. But unfortunately they have never heard of Lil' Swimmers (standard for any parent in the U.S. taking their kids to the pool) which means that the kids all swim with just suits EVERY age. In fact, some don't even make any pretenses about swimming suits and are just wandering around in their underwear. No joke. Cotton, see-through, flimsy underwear. So aside from the fact that this idea makes me cringe, I push the idea of communicable diseases out of my mind and let the kids have fun. However, MY child will be wearing a Lil' Swimmer. Oh yes, he will. (Thankfully we can find them at the foreign supermarkets). But that did not stop me from almost getting into a fist-fight with whistle-blowing lady when we went there for John's birthday in February and she tried to tell me my son couldn't get into this petri dish pool and splash around because HE had a diaper on. It doesn't work to explain to someone who doesn't speak English that IT'S NOT A DIAPER so finally I just shrugged, told her "no Bahasa" and ignored her for the rest of the afternoon. Then of course she tried the same thing on Michael (he was already in the water with John) and he ended up wanting to throttle her too, but I guess something in our tones made her realize we were serious because she eventually moved on.

The funny thing about today, though, was during one of her obscene whistling episodes, after frantically waving and tweeting at a man on the opposite side of the pool who was wandering around the sacred blue tile with his sandals on, instead of taking 30 seconds and walking AROUND the pool and accosting the criminal on the other side, she walked onto the tile with her shoes on!, crossing the raised platform that goes through the middle of the pool so she could wave at him from a better vantage point. The nerve of some people. So I have little patience with whistle-lady at the pool, but as long as I stay clear of the tile with my sandals on, and as long as I dress John inconspicuously with his Lil' Swimmer underneath his swimsuit, we can pleasantly ignore each other.

I always find things that strike me as bizarre when we go to KLCC park (not the least of which is the creepy phenomenon of groups of men who are apparently all there on dates and come take pictures of each other in front of this pool...where kids are playing...not their own me crazy but if I saw guys doing that in the States I would call the cops immediately...too bad that isn't part of whistle-lady's job description) so I'm sure I'll be ruminating on those next time we go. Maybe next time I'll just put John in a bio-hazard suit and call it good.

what do you do when it rains?

Today I was driving in what can only be described as a torrential downpour, reservoirs filling up the road on either side that caused drivers to slow to crawl-speed, when I saw a man driving a scooter coming up behind me in my rear-view mirror. I couldn't imagine what kind of masochist would be out driving in this weather, taking what our friend described as a 40 mile-an-hour-bath, and how he could manage in this rain (not to mention even see where he was going). I was stopped at a red light so when he passed me to get up to the front of the line I took a good look and he was pretty covered head-to-toe in rain gear but I happened to glance at his feet and noticed he wasn't wearing any shoes. Now, I imagine that's a pretty good way to keep your shoes dry and would save you the hassle of walking around all day in wet shoes, but I think I'd rather stand a few hours of discomfort because of wet shoes than a lifetime of being CRIPPLED because you have NO FEET, which is what would surely happen if he were to get in a wreck (something that would be FAR more likely to happen while driving a scooter in the rain in the first place, I might add). So far the scooter drivers here have shown their intelligence and/or survival instinct to be about equal to a mosquito. Only one reason why we lovingly refer to them as locusts.

In case you can't tell, we don't like the scooters on the road. I could spent days ranting about their suicidal and accident-inducing behavior (like the boy on the busy road in front of our house looking DOWN while driving so he could write a text message...or how I once saw a family of FIVE driving a scooter: mom, dad and - count 'em - THREE kids, with only the adults wearing helmets...ho, boy...) so I won't even get started. But don't be too surprised if an angry or bewildered or frustrated or unbelievable post about scooter drivers crops up here once in a while. Welcome to Malaysia.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Michael & I have run away from home. You didn't know it, but we aren't living in Malaysia. That's just a cover story. We are really international rock stars, on a global tour with the internationally acclaimed "Rock Band". That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
OK, so coming from this lady who always said she'd never have video games in her home...I want Rock Band. And Guitar Hero. And a bunch of other wii games. Not for my kids. For ME.

We played with our friends Nichole & Mike (thx Nichole!!!) while we were in the states and I got totally hooked. Needless to say I totally rock. At Level 1, of course. But I'm thinking maybe I missed my calling in life and really I should have been a drummer because it is cool. And rockin. After playing that game, I feel the need to say "rock" a lot. Parents, do yourself a favor and go buy yourself one. Not your kids. Yourself. Lock it up in your room and only let them play it on special occasions, like their birthday. Or graduation. So don't be surprised if you never hear from us again because we will be livin' it up around the world, or, more accurately, our living room. Leave us a message and we may get back to you someday.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

home again, home again, jiggity-jig

i was going to post some pictures from our glorious 3 week vacation in california/utah but then i realized that would require digging through our 5 enormous suitcases to find my camera and my body just isn't ready for that yet. we arrived around noon (or 10pm, if you were asking our bodies) and were greeted with sweltering heat, a strange overwhelming smell, and piles & piles of dead ants in every corner of our home. so after attacking the carcases and showering the plane grime off of us, we promptly all crashed for a short 8 hour nap. heh-heh, not the brightest thing, i know, but we have nothing to do here for a while so there's no reason to rush into getting our bodies back on to local time.

so, we made it, we're alive (mostly) and we'll post pictures just as soon as i unpack... which will probably be sometime next week.