Wednesday, November 26, 2008


We had a blast this weekend when we attended the wedding reception of the son of our friend Kamala. Because of the logistics of getting to KL and figuring out what to do with our kids, we weren't able to attend the actual wedding ceremony at the Hindu temple on Friday (which is too bad because we really wanted to see what that was like!) but we did make it to the reception held the next day. The bride's family was from northern India so the wedding ceremony was done according to northern traditions. But Kamala's family is from southern India so the reception followed southern traditions. I wish our pictures could do it justice, but the lighting wasn't really condusive to picture-taking so you can't quite get the feel of the rich colors. But to give you a small taste, I got some pictures of our friends and their ensembles. Several of the women had punjabi outfits made so they could attend (except Jacy, who is actually Indian and already had a sari.) First, here's Mark & Tracy with both sporting lovely traditional Indian attire...Tracy wearing a punjabi suit and for the love of Pete I cannot remember what Mark's suit is called. But don't it look snazzy? Here's Tracy in her punjabi again, and Jacy wearing her beautiful sari. I felt so drab sitting around all of these people dressed so colorfully! This is Michelle & Curtis...Michelle, again, in the punjabi, and Curtis is actually in a Malaysian batik dress shirt. Michael & I are standing in front of the "greeting tent" where the bride & groom retired after dinner to sit in a golden swing and receive guests & their gifts (mostly cash...not a bad way to end a party, i gotta say). And here are the lovely bride & groom. She had the most beautiful red & gold dress with amazing detail. And all of the guys were impressed at the groom's white suit with gold actually looked awesome and now I'm wondering where I can get one for Michael. One of the best parts of the evening was the dancing. Obviously, I always prefer to be able to dance at a wedding reception, but this option was a very acceptable substitute: watching a troupe perform Bollywood-style dancing. No description would do it justice, you just have to watch.
I would love to post more video (we took several...of the dancers, of the waiters presenting our food - including carrying flaming skewers of some kind - and of the bride & groom entering the hall) but with my upload speed it would take me until Christmas. Oh, but I did manage to find my picture of the happy couple in the swing I was talking about. This picture should give a better idea of their awesome clothes. Check out the detail on BOTH of them. I think for our 20th wedding anniversary we will celebrate Indian style and then I can get a cool sari like this and Michael can wear the pimped-out suit. You are all invited. Please bring cash.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

some interesting things

I went to an American Christmas Bazaar yesterday in Kuala Lumpur, believe it or not. There is a group of American expats who have made this an annual event, with several local artists just there to make a buck, but also a ton of charity groups selling things to raise money for their foundation. It was really fun and there was enough Christmas stuff there to get some stockings and ornaments, but they had everything from Persian rugs to Bengali silk scarves to Chinese jewelry. I wish I had taken my camera but no such luck. I did, however, get a good start on my Christmas shopping so the kids are almost done!

On a completely unrelated note I have discovered that my 10-month old baby has a freakishly long tongue that can touch the bottom of her chin. She uses it to lick off any baby food that has dribbled out of her mouth and down her chin. Seriously, it is freakish.

Finally, I have pictures of the house--just taken today! But to clarify...NO, we did not BUY a house, we are still renters. But let me tell you it is a ridiculously huge step up from apartment living in KL.
First the side view from the road. That's our beautiful pink wall.

Next, John showing us the entrance through the front gate. Behind him is our awesome & giant covered car park that dwarfs our car and makes it look ridiculously tiny. Our car was actually IN THERE when I took the picture, but you can't see it because it's pulled all the way forward and hides behind the wall at the left.

This the side yard of our house, where John & Emily's windows look out. Perfect for soccer games! The taller tree on the right is a rambutan tree and it should be bearing fruit around April or May. Can't wait!

This is our front porch, looking toward the (open) front door on the right. Michael is talking with our wonderful landlord, Dr. Jay.

OK, I have a few of the inside of the house, but they're terrible. I think I took them the night we moved in so not only is it pretty messy but they're dark and don't show things well. But I'll post a few anyway.
This is a picture of our old family room in the apartment in KL, the main place John would run around and play.

Here is just one half of our new family room, so big all our furniture fits in the step-down area to the right and we have no idea what to do with this part. So for now it's just a fun, empty place to dump toys and run around.

OK, here is a picture of our old kitchen. Nice, tiny, claustrophobic kitchen.

And here's half of my new blasted big I had to get it in 2 pictures.

And here is the other half. I think probably about a third of these cupboards are empty. Well, now I have room to collect some food storage.

Oh, last note for today...our landlord took us out for Chinese food at a new place and.. I ate beancurd! And I actually LIKED it! That's definitely a first for me. It had a tangy, soy sauce-y flavor and I gobbled up a big chunk. I am so proud of me.
We also bought some Siew Pau (pork dumplings) at our favorite bakery today and are taking them to dinner with friends tonight. With Thanksgiving coming up next week I think it might take me that whole time to start naming all of the things we are thankful for. I should start on my list now. Happy holidays!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

recent conversation

I came home from the store last week with a new flavor of ice cream. Here is a discussion Michael & I had as we pulled it out to try some.

(Husband pulls off lid and digs in while I look on warily, grimacing slightly)
Me: ummm...i'm not sure you're going to like it.
Hubby: ugh! it tastes like rotten cookies!
Me: what? (try a bite) no it doesn't.
H: what flavor is it anyway?
(i turn lid over to show him, grinning)
H: YAM & COCONUT??!! that is disgusting!
Me: no it's not, it tastes good.
H: i was expecting chocolate.
Me: what?! why? didn't you see the picture?
H: i don't know, it just looked dark, i figured it was something chocolatey.
Me: ummm, it's purple. with white waves through it. how could you think it was chocolatey? if anything you should think it's going to be fruity. (slight pause) or at least vegetable-y.
H: that's gross.
Me: yeah, i don't think that comment helped me in this argument.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We have arrived

I have felt so naked the last 2 weeks without my blog.

We left our apartment in Kuala Lumpur to move to a small town about an hour south called Seremban. Our friend who lives out here found us an amazing house that was actually not for rent but was meant to be sold and the sale dragged along for months until finally falling through, so she convinced them to rent it out to us instead! It has been a dream come true and I can hardly believe our good fortune in securing this place. It feels positively palatial after our tiny apartment (although it was a great little place with perfect accessibility to the city center) and honestly my biggest problem so far is having TOO MUCH SPACE. Oh, no, what's a girl to do.

SO...we had to register for a phone line first, wherein our lovely Chinese friend again helped us by going into the shop and using her name, otherwise we would have paid the "skin tax" of a few extra hundred dollars. So once they set up the phone line we waited another week and the nice internet guys came today and hooked us up so now I am connected again! Phew, I feel like I can breathe again.

We'll take some good pics of the place and post them soon, but for now I thought I'd list a few things that differentiate our new house from our old apartment:

- we each have our own room...meaning i can actually shower in my own room while emily takes a nap and i don't wake her up!
- there's more storage than we know what to do with: whole walls filled with empty cupboards, a storage closet with nothing in it.
- a guest room, just waiting to be used.
- lots of gecko sightings, which is good because they eat little obnoxious bugs. although if anyone knows a medicinal use for gecko droppings let me know because i could sell it and retire next year with the proceeds. it's everywhere. ew.
- a yard outside for john to play in!
- a curry leaf tree in our yard.
- a covered car park right outside our door so i don't have to take 2 elevators, 2 long hallways and an underground ramp to get to and from my car!
- an island in my huge kitchen. again the problem with empty cupboards in there because it's so freaking big.
- a bigger, top-loading washing machine. (although there's sometimes brown water running through the pipes which leads to brown-water stains on my WHITE clothes...argh. anyone know how to get that out? i'd be much obliged if you'd leave a comment.)
- apparently frogs come up the drain pipes and push their way into houses...we've found three in our kitchen over the last week.
- we wake up to birds chirping happily in our garden (and all day as well, since there's a nest right outside the master bedroom window)

ok, that's probably enough of a list for now. we hope you are all doing well and i can't wait to check up on everyone now that we have internet again. i feel awful because i missed 2 of my best friends' birthdays (sorry, guys!! i love you!!!!!!) and couldn't even send them an email but i'm back on track now. happy november!