Been battling a lousy cold/unwellness thing the past several days… I’ve been slowly winning.. I think I’ve almost got it beat, on good behavior…
i lost my watch today. somewhere amidst the markets, my watch is either lying on some dirty street, or — far more likely — it’s in someone’s hand or on a stand being resold already. who knows. when i realized it was missing from my wrist (unlikely snatched.. it just fell off along the way, during some shuffling of bags on my wrist or something) i felt physically sick. for one thing, i rely on having a watch on my wrist — i always check the time consciously/unconsciously. but i also feel sick at the thought of just buying some whatever watch to put on my wrist now as replacement. i’ve always found it to be perfect, and feel perfect. and now it’s not where it’s been and i won’t see it again. i’ve had it for years, and it’s only ever ever taken off when i shower/immerse in water. i’m terribly unhappy without it.
while i’m in this mood, i’m going to go ahead and note how displeased i am about this unhealthy/unsafe/ungood thing that seems prevalent in Malaysia/Asia/the world these days. I can’t eat the fruits/order fruitjuice/have drinks with ice in it/order coffee, because: they spray pesticides, they put the ice on the dirty floor, they use poisonous coloring, etc.etc. and every few second’s i’m reminded to hold my purse close because it might get snatched from me. but holding my purse close to me doesn’t solve any problem as far as i see — if i act like the purse/contents are so valuable, they’re more likely to eye it.. and if I hold it tight, i’m more likely to get hurt when i hit the pavement from them grabbing it, or have my head smashed in so that i’ll let go.
whatever. none of that is new news. none of that is unique to this country/region.
and i miss my watch.
over in Melaka. never been here before. quite nice. lazy cousins could’ve come, but chose to miss out on enjoying incredible food, beautiful beautiful house, comfy cars, and particularly gracious hospitality of our hosts, extremely happy mangosteens and langsats/dukongs (again found despite out of season! booyah!!), very nice breezy weather, and again incredible food.
anyway, it’s good. and it’s fun talking with aunties and making plans too…..
after a huge steamboat dinner, and a whole happy baby coconut, i’m happily really full….
not getting to see eldeest cousin again tonight.. but was good to see him last night.. maybe get a bit more time later this trip too. never quite enough time..
Lor is happy with his Carlsberg. meh.
got internet to work over here at cousin’s house, where i couldn’t yesterday…
one of my cousins (not in Malaysia) is online, and going to start construction on an an online home (finally!)
had mangosteen and dukong/langsat today! yayyyyy! that was such happiness.
had wontonmee/kwanlomee also, but junhoe’s right—that stall isn’t quite the best. still, no one in the U.S. seems capable of making it, despite many assurances to me that it’s an easy dish to make.
got my new passport. yay Malaysian me.
cousin’s loft up here is very happy.
looking forward to seeing the younglings.. it’s weird to think of the cousins/kids as growing up too fast… but they are. i want them to stay little and pick-up-able and ridiculously adorable. not that i don’t love and cherish them when they’re big and distinguished-looking and stuff… but there’s a cousin i will always remember his tiny-fist-wrapped around one finger tightly, big chipmunk cheeked, pouty cute face, that he was back when he was baby of the famiily. now: off in europe becoming a doctor. i guess i’m okay with that. i don’t see him as a baby or a child anymore at all.. but i won’t forget that that he was so little once.
am i really that old? i am not..
i love my family, i love my cousins.. i’m just really hoping we all stay close over the next many many decades, and that our kids get a chance to be just as close if not more so.
passport stuff dealt with… both ready for pickup tomorrow.
we jumped all the queues.. it’s good to know people in useful places.
afterward, mom set up a new account with Maybank (some hassle there… the had issues with setting her maiden name as her account name, which was necessary to have them do. ...
went to visit place that deals with EPF transfer afterward… basically equivalent of U.S. social security.
now, going to move photos into flickr.
then i think i’d like a nap.
in the yard outside the living room in KL
those little shrew creatures squeak. loudly. at each other.
and that cat… for such a hideous roar, it seems to be a pretty sorry hunter. at least it’s kinda cute. but so are those shrew creatures.
Heh. I didn’t know there was a Malaysian Idol show. Surprised, I am not.
In an interview, one of the judges said “the 2nd season [of Malaysian Idol] will attract more contestants because they saw how Malaysian Idol changed some peoples lives”. Yea. For the worse. Carrie Underwood gets a recording contract which will garuntee CD sales of at least a million copies, a red hot convertable and a personal freakin JET to take her anywhere she damn well pleases! Lets see what the winner of Malaysian Idol got. Congratulations Jaclyn Victor! We’re giving you a one way ticket to go sing in Jakarta! Hooray! Of course you get a recording contract too, but whos gonna buy your CD with piracy here as rampant as marsupials with rabies? Oh, and heres a piece of gum. You can thank us for changing your life later.
Lets face it. Malaysians are not cut out to entertain. I say lets just leave the entertaining to the Americans and concentrate at what we do best: Palm oil exporting.
from Lat’s Lot (Second Edition)
Tourist says to Translator: Can she say how far the kebun is from here?
Translator says to Native Woman: Berapa jauh kebun tu dari sini kak?
We are quite conservative when it comes to measuring distance.
Native woman says to Translator: Mmmm… tak berapa jauh, Encik… lebih kurang setanak nasi saja…
Translator to Tourist: That means if you are cooking rice now, it would be perfectly cooked the moment you get there.
This was a forwarded email to me; some of it’s so true.. more than anything, it’s the accents and references that i love so.
You love to talk about food. You’re already thinking about what to have for dinner while eating lunch. “I’m stuffed. What shall we have for dinner?”
You pepper every sentence with lah. “No-lah, I can’t see you today-lah. I have to study-lah. You know-lah, the prison warden aka mak is watching me like a hawk”
Your accent and language style vary according to the race of the person you are conversing with.
Seems Ferrydust was down for a while..dunno how long..but it’s okay now (thanks Jason)..
We’re still in Penang..i’m currently in an internet ‘cafe’ in an arcade game place on the top floor of One Stop… the nearby mall near my grandfather’s house.. dad’s on the ground floor accessing wireless at Dave’s Deli..
This will be brief cuz time is limited and this keyboard is kind of tough to type on (gotta slam the keys like a typewriter..)
On the evening of January 1, 2005, my grandfather passed away in his home..surrounded by 7 of his 8 children (the 8th was in transit from Japan)..and many of his 17 grandchildren. He did make it to the new year, though not to Chinese New Year nor his birthday (which he had basically told us a few months before, he was not expecting to be around then.) Leukemia finally claimed him..though he didn’t exactly know that’s what was killing him… He was going to turn 90 in April, by some accounts… by others he was already 93. My grandmother passed away two years earlier; she also died with all her children around her. My mother was here (in Malaysia) at that time. This time, my brother and father and I were also here for my grandfather’s passing. Ultimately, this is why we came to Malaysia this time, at this time—to spend time with Kong-Kong one last time before he left. The resting place of his physical remains are with Ma-Ma now at Kek Lok Si temple. The past week has since been a series of funeral processions and prayers… I will certainly have photographs (a good hundred or so to put together) and a more involved written account of all of that eventually…
Emotions are mixed… he lived a very strong and full life… the family is strong and well… Kong-Kong’s dog, Mole (often called Mole-Mole which sounds like ‘Moh-Moh’ or Moles), seems to me to be the saddest one of all. The younger cousins (age 4-11) asked questions: “Why did Kong-Kong go to heaven?”, and when the hearse brought the coffin to the house and left it there and drove away, one asked anxiously: “Then who will take Kong-Kong to heaven??”, and when we were all walking behind the car carrying the coffin with Kong-Kong in it, and all of the 8 children (my mother and her siblings) each had a hand on the car to show support, the little kids thought they were pushing the car, and all ran to the back of the car and really put their backs into it, to make sure the car kept moving…later asked about it, they said they knew it wasn’t their strength alone that was moving the car, but they’d thought “cuz Kong-Kong is so heavy-one, so they need help!”
Near my grandfather’s resting place at Kek Lok Si is the marker of someone who apparently was a Penang fisherman..passed away on December 26, 2004… the tsunami took him. The tsunami continues to be the dominating subject in the newspaper and on the television.
We’re not sure where we’ll be over the next couple weeks… There’s talk of travelling around Malaysia… We’ll see.
I do hope things are well with everyone else…. I do feel rather cut off from the world and people/places familiar, without constant internet access… but it really is good to be around my family here, and back ‘home’.. in some ways..
Very best regards,