Friday, September 30, 2011
After putting her back in her crib, I went to the craft room (yes, I have a craft room) and started the computer. I created this iron-on using inkjet iron on paper (which yes, I have on hand) and then printed them, and ironed them on some onesies I had lying around. From idea to fruition at 2:00 a.m. I love a house that is fully stocked!
I miss teaching Chemistry. But someone sent this little photo to me and it makes me smile. So I thought I would share it with you and you could appreciate how smart people can be so creative too!
Nothing says fall like pumpkins. And nothing screams "nerd" like this!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
But if a thumb and a blankie can make all your troubles go away, then I would say life is pretty good. I currently have a system wide error created by a fire drill occurring during a preprogrammed high stakes exam. I wish a blankie would fix it...
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I miss the food already. But am trying to fit back into my work pants, so am glad I am not being force-fed anymore. I am still sorting through photos each night and trying to put together a photo book about our trip. I still have a few holes to fill in so I will be contacting Doris and Weng Wah for more information and names.
I have been using my new teakettle and having hot tea every night. I am still not adjusted to the time difference. I am very sleepy during the day and wide awake at night. I hope this jet lag ends soon.
I found a tiny bit of white sand in my purse this morning from Penang and I thought of the sun on my skin and the wind in my face. But I think the water of Lake Oologah will have to do.
Monday, September 19, 2011
I start early trying to figure out the best choice. I am peeking over the seats in front of me trying to catch a glimpse of the choices or possibly just a whiff to give me an idea of which is the better choice. The row in front of me is being served but they are not peeling back the foil in time and now she is looking at me and asking "chicken or beef?" I don't know! I don't have enough information! I am jammed into a full flight with no way to get out of this seat, food is all I have to distract me from my cramping legs. If I make the wrong decision on this 10 hour flight, my blood sugar will drop and I will get shaky and weird and angry that I made the wrong choice. Oh god, she is asking again... um...I...I...um....well.......ok, the chicken!
And the girl sitting next to me orders the beef. This is the worst possible situation. If I ordered wrong then I will be presented with the superior choice right next to me. Had she ordered the same thing as me I might have someone to commiserate about the poor meal we were having. This is terrible! I am waiting for her to pull back the foil. This is a must. Do not reveal your hand until you have seen theirs. As she pulls back the foil, I hold my breath. Oh god... It is disgusting. Awful! Brown and smothered in gravy with no clear idea of what the side dish is because it is covered in gravy. It is time for the moment of truth. I pull back my foil and reveal a beautiful display of chicken with white rice and the most beautiful green beans. I mentally pump my fists in the air! I am not going to go into a blood sugar coma on board the 10 hour flight! I out ordered the total stranger sitting next to me! I gambled, had a fifty-fifty chance, and won! I am feeling victorious!
I enjoy my chicken and rice while she picks through her beef gravy concoction. It turns out the red car has the heated leather seats and the great sound system. She is in the blue subcompact with no AC. I am the superior orderer.
So that she can stave off starvation, she is eating her dessert first. I, on the other hand, am saving my chocolate brownie for later in the 10 hour flight. Now, here comes the drink cart. I order a diet coke and am just popping the top on my can when she says "Bud Light Lime, please". What????? They have Bud Light Lime? Wait! What? What just happened...? Um, can I change my mind? I take it back! Please! I did not know you had BLL! Dammit! I am defeated. I look longingly at her beer and think of offering her my chicken and rice. A Bud Light Lime. It has been over 10 days. Suddenly, my smugness is gone.
I think I will finish my chicken and rice and pop a benadryl and go to sleep. I am so depressed.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
An 8 hour flight and I am going to be flanked by 2 people...yuck.
Tim told me to pin a note to myself that says "wake for meals". I hope someone snaps a picture of me sleeping with my mouth agape and a note pinned to my chest. That will be just perfect. Now that you have that visual image I am going to sign off from southeast Asia. Off to look at the Koi pond and see if I can buy my way into a window seat.
Goodbye for now
Friday, September 16, 2011
We have been welcomed with open arms by every second sister, sixth brother, second cousin, fifth brother's second son... We have been missing out on this whole part of our family we never knew. They were just names until now.
Pooi Fong and How King and Irene sew. Ronnie is the life of the party. Sharon is a talented artist and singer. Lew is warm and generous. Doris is fun loving and the historian of the family. Cynthia, Kitty are my sisters. Weng Wah is the patriarch and story teller of the family who took such good care of us and filled us in on my grandparents history. Kin Kin is our brother, our translator, chauffeur, tour guide, and Ludicrous DJ.
I will miss you all so much. Goodbye Malaysia. This journey has provided insight and taught me the importance of history. I am forever changed.
I am so glad I got to experience with my brother. Greg, I wish so much you could have been here with us. You were in spirit.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
So our dear sweet Uncle Weng Wah is delivering us my car to KL where we will be taken round by our other Uncle Ronnie.
I wish I were going to be able to take the train. Goodnight.
I had the first blue skies in Penang with bright sun. Since we have been here there has been a diffuse haze. We are told that it is open burning season in Indonesia. And the haze is the pollution from those fires.
Kin Kin is driving and we are so grateful for this. First of all they drive on the left side of the road, which I don't think I could get used to. Second they have a very loose definition of lanes. The lines on the road are merely a suggestion and as Tim put it, a waste of paint. Two lanes will often have three cars across with a motorcycle on the edge. And people are very relaxed about being cut off. I have only seen people get angry a couple of times and that was in Penang. Most of the driving considered normal here would end up in a road rage fueled shooting. The motorcyclists are dare devils. They weave in and out of traffic like bike messengers in new york city.
We are also grateful for our hosts Cynthia and Desmond who drove us all over the island in the last 24 hours. They kept saying we need more time in Penang and I agree. I need 2 weeks to explore and another week to sleep on the beach. You two live on a beautiful island and I just might be able to give up the seasons to live there. Know any tech jobs open????
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
We had stingray, chicken Kapitan, spring rolls, juhu char and Lobka This was my first time having Stingray and I loved it. Cynthia tells me I can find all these recipes for Nyonya food at
Rasamalaysia.com. It is a blogger who lives in California but is from here.
An excerpt from Wikipedia on Penang
The pre-War houses in the historic centre of George Town was for half a century until January 2001 protected from urban development due to the Rent Control Act which prohibited landlords from arbitrarily raising rentals as a measure to provide affordable housing to the low-income population. Its eventual repeal visibly changed the landscape of Penang's demographic pattern and economic activity: it led to overnight appreciation of house and real estate prices, forcing out tenants of multiple generations out of their homes to the city outskirts and the development of new townships and hitherto sparsely populated areas of Penang; the demolition of many pre-War houses and the mushrooming of high-rise residences and office buildings; and the emptying out and dilapidation of many areas in the city centre. Unperturbed development sparked concerns of the continued existence of heritage buildings and Penang's collection of pre-War houses (southeast Asia's largest), leading to more vigorous conservation efforts. This was paid handsomely when on 7 July 2008, George Town, the historic capital of Penang, was formally inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alongside Malacca. It is officially recognised as having "a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia".
Then at 11:00 on Friday night we leave KL on an overnight train to Singapore, arriving at 6:30 in the morning. We waited too long to get our train reservations and all the sleeper cars are sold out. Tim and I are thinking about flashing a $50 US bill around the sleeper train and asking if there is anybody who wants to give up their berth.
Then we spend all day Saturday exploring Singapore and I fly out very early Sunday morning. (which for you all is Saturday evening.)
I love this country. I really do. I would love to live here near this amazing side of our family. They are so warm and close and raucous and loud and sweet and full of life. But I would miss the changing of the seasons too much.
Good evening everyone
We went to eat in an open air cafe and I had the best Won Ton Mee. I was in heaven. We really got to see the less wealthy parts of Ipoh. The streets have open sewers running along a cement gutter. So at first the smell of that was overpowering the smell of the food. But then we got to the cafe and it was all noodles and oil and fried rice and curry and spices I can't identify. Amazing.
We then went to Gunung Lang, which is an outdoor park. There is a big lake in the middle of the limestone cliffs. And we got to see a monkey up close and personal (with the help of some strategically placed potato chips). Then we went back to Aunt How King's other house and got ready to leave for Penang.
In the middle of the afternoon we left Ipoh with our cousin Kin Kin driving us to the Island of Georgetown. The city of Penang is on this island. It is northwest of Ipoh and it took us a couple of hours to get here. Our first stop was on the mainland side in Butterworth at the home of second sister. Kitty is the second daughter of second sister. We met her and her husband and her beautiful grandson, Zi Yang. I played with him for an hour or so until his mother, third sister, came in and honed in on my little baby. The nerve! (just kidding Cecelia)
Zi Yang's mom is Cecelia. She and her husband work for Intel.
Tim and Kin Kin finally pulled me away from Zi Yang and we crossed the suspension bridge and onto the island of Georgetown. We met first sister, Cynthia and her husband Desmond at a Japanese restaurant for dinner. We also attempted to have dinner with their brother but his son wanted nothing to do with the foreigners and started crying and would not stop. They decided to take him home. We once again had delicious food and I indulged. We laughed and talked and laughed and Cynthia had to get a tissue she was laughing so hard. Now that is what I call a successful dinner!
After dinner our hosts took us driving around Penang. Desmond drove and loaned me his Nikon to shoot pictures with. We drove through a UNESCO world heritage site, which is a designated site that is so significant to world history that they cannot be altered or torn down. These were pre-war row houses and shops. There were temples and restaurants and shops. We stopped to take pictures at the opening of one of the temples and a pigeon pooped in my hair. Yup, you read that correctly. A pigeon pooped in my hair. I joked with Cynthia and Desmond and Kin Kin, please tell me that in Chinese culture it is good luck to have a pigeon poop on you. Desmond said, it's okay, I know the owner of this little pub up here and we can use her washroom.
This little pub was called Edelweiss and Tim and I fell in love with this place. It is more than a century old and was converted into a cafe and pub. We met the owners and after I washed the poop out of my hair they let us explore their second floor which is not open to customers. Wow, it was a museum of antique artifacts. They had all kinds of things. From tiny chinese shoes from when they used to bound the feet, to antique tiffins. It was a like walking back in time. It was indeed good luck to have a pigeon poop in your hair.
We continued our sightseeing and drove down by the shore. We walked around a shopping district with a marina and a lighthouse. Then our hosts could tell I was fading so they brought us home to their beautiful house. We arrived here around 11:45 and I took pictures (of course) of their distinctive home.
I am barely able to stay awake. I must stop typing and go to bed. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.