Saturday, June 16, 2012

Taman Sahabat (and other glories of my life) -- QM

This morning Ethan and James went out and about and left Dorie and me at home. While I was on the computer in our office, Dorie appeared in the window and said, "Come here Mom, I have something for you"!

Look at that lovely cake that my daughter had made for me! Yum. After this feast we decided that since Dad and James were out having fun (paying for the car and shopping), we would go out too. So we packed snacks and drinks and went for a walk to Friendship Park. Here is our walk, in pictures:
That's Dorie, in front of our house (We live on the left side). Today her umbrella was a parasol--shade is much coveted around here!

Friendship Park (or Taman Sahabat) is a recent gift to Malaysia from China. The Chinese Malaysians are a minority here, but it seems everywhere I go I hear the local Chinese dialect spoken. I love trying out my little bit of Mandarin here! Our temporary house is about three blocks away, and I love to jog there in the mornings.

Our picnic spot overlooked the reflexology path; many believe a walk over these stones is good for your health.
Anyone barefoot and ready to try it out? I like it, but can only take a few minutes of the 'massage.'

What a fun morning!

 Here are some random pictures taken sometime during the last two weeks:

Ants are everywhere! From the fire ants that swarmed all over Dorie when she climbed their tree, to itsy-bitsy ants that will find any speck of food on the floor, these little creatures are a force to be reckoned with!

Dorie found a friend at a nearby food-court. Incidentally, this little girl's parents make the best Singapore Chicken and hot sauce we've had! Her dad even gave me the recipe for the sauce!
James and a snail behind our house. It wanted to get away, as you can see.
 And now, for your parting shot...
Dorie and James hanging out in the wet kitchen. Yes, there was some risk involved.
Oh, and Happy Father's day! Dad, I realized that with the time difference, I could wait to write you a Father's day email until Monday morning and still be on time, and that is probably what will happen because we are going to the beach tomorrow. :)  Love you lots!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

To Do -- E.

  • move into temporary house
  • buy car
  • find new house/apartment
  • begin to learn Bahasa Melayu

As you can see, our initial to-do list is coming along okay.

A video of the temporary housing is on Facebook.

A picture of our new car (hopefully not so temporary!) is right here.  I am so happy with our little 2001 Perodua Kelisa.  What you can't quite tell from this photo is that the Kelisa is narrow.  Very nice for city driving and city parking.


Now that we have our own vehicle, it's time to start looking around for a place to rent.  Say a prayer!

As for Bahasa (Malay language): the idea is that we begin serious language learning after we've taken care of the basics of moving in.  I guess that means that finding a home is more urgent than learning to speak Bahasa. 

For the time being, we are getting by with English and Queena's Mandarin Chinese, as most of our neighbors can speak at least one of these languages.  But there are exceptions!  Last Saturday, the lawn service guy showed up at our gate, and this man knew no English at all.  When he had finished trimming our lawn and was hitching his weed whacker back up to his motorbike, I tried to pay him.

Well, I did pay him -- but probably too much.  I knew I wasn't in a good situation when I found myself standing outside my gate with my wallet open, pulling out 10-ringgit notes one by one and saying, "This much, or more?"  He didn't know the word "more", but he got the idea.  He finally held up four fingers so I paid him 40 ringgit.  I'm pretty sure that was a little steep, but I was in no place to argue.

After he drove away, I went inside, grabbed the English-Malay dictionary, and turned to the 'Numbers' section.  Satu, dua, tiga, empat, lima . . . .