Times they are a changin’… Oh and it’s Chinese New Year.

I was looking back through my blog at older posts and I have realised that I don’t do half so many posts as I used to. I also realised that I don’t post about a lot of the same stuff that I used to. I’m sorry about that. But if you guys want more variety in my posts please let me know. If you’re happy to have updates about my life in Kuantan let me know. If you want a mix of old and new let me know.

So on Friday this happened:

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I also had a great night out with some new friends. Then on Saturday I had another great evening with some other new friends. Gosh I’m being vague. Let’s just say that it made up for the fact that I missed out on Australia Day celebrations due to gastrointestinal upset.

Also:

Middle of my Pau as requested.

Middle of my Pau as requested.

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Small Adventures

When I was younger I was a little bit more adventurous. I enjoyed festivals and rallies and protests, as any young student socialist/activist/hippy/liberal/journalist would. Despite this I’ve never been a huge dare devil. I like quiet and peaceful activities like knitting and reading, occasionally listening to a podcast. As I’ve gotten older this love of the indoors and quiet has grown. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete introvert, but neither am I a full extrovert. I sit happily in the middle of the spectrum, enjoying quiet solitude and the occasional party. Which is why I was able to travel around Europe mostly on my own. It is also why I was able (only just) to put myself on a plane and move to Malaysia.

Unfortunately it is also why I’m a little bit scared about dining out or exploring on my own.

Here are three reasons why it’s difficult for me to venture out:

  1. Until one month ago I was solely reliant on the generousity of others or cabs to get about. A trip to the supermarket was a large hoo-ha.
  2. Unless I have a specific purpose in mind the idea of strolling about in this heat and humidity is awful.
  3. It’s bloody scary out there! I’m the odd one, no matter what I wear or how I walk I’m still obviously not from around here.

This week I said “Enough! I am brave and strong and true!”

  • *I marched myself out of the house and down to the satay house, Satay Zul and I ordered in English a takeaway! Huzzah! Not so scary after all are you counter man!?
  • *I waltzed into the furniture shop and wandered happily until I got to the lighting section where I met Uncle U.

Uncle U: What are you looking for?

Me: A lamp.

Uncle U: This is the right place.

Insert minor chit chat about Australia and weather and my length of stay etc.

Me: I like this lamp.

Uncle U: Well I can give it to you cheaper than the price.

Me: Really? (I still don’t know how to haggle)

Uncle U: Yes. 200 Ringgitt.

Me: That’s great. That’s 40 Ringgitt off.

Uncle U: Do you want a yellow or white globe? They’re 10.

Me: Yellow. I think you know my friend, T.

Uncle U: Hmm? With the goatee? Yes! I know him. The light globe is free!

Me: Are you sure?

Uncle U: That’s how we work in Malaysia. We give friends and friends of friends discounts!

That’s right, I accidentally haggled. Plus I got a lamp!

  • I  ordered Chinese take away, alone at the local Chinese restaurant.
  • I drove passed my “city limits” into unknown territory, finding both the state mosque and the bus station. I even managed to drive myself home without the GPS.
  • And tonight, I went on a date, with myself. I took myself to a western restaurant, alone and ordered steak! I sat alone, I ate alone, I paid alone. It was wonderful.

These things that I took for granted in my home town were alien and scary in a new place. I’m glad that my quest for adventure can be quelled, at the moment, by a trip to a restaurant on my own. I don’t know what I’ll do if I start needing a bigger hit. I don’t see bungee jumping in my future.

Going a little stir crazy. (Or why I need a crafty type project)

It’s very important to have some sort of creative outlet. I’ve been going a little bit crazy not having something to keep my fingers busy and my mind creative, and there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of finishing an object. I’ve always been a bit of a crafty type of person. I’m a keen knitter, but that doesn’t suit my current climate. So I thought I might swap needles!

That’s right I’m thinking of taking up embroidery, and this kit might be the perfect place to start. In the China Town/Sushi Bar combo, as a nod to my current Asian location.
What do you think? Could this be my new craft?

One month in Kuantan

I arrived in Kuantan in the middle of Ramadan. The fasting month for Muslims. It’s unfortunate because all the restaurants are closed. But soon after, Hari Raya began. The month long celebration of the end of fasting. I was invited to celebrate with some people. It’s very exciting to be included.

The food was amazing. The first day of Hari Raya and it was a huge feast. People were coming and going the whole time I was there. I ate curried just about everything and drank a delicious guava punch. The whole idea is that people eat for the whole day right after Ramadan. One ad for Hari Raya said “This is our reward. We just eat and be happy.” How can anyone not love a celebration like this? And everything was so delicious.

Pool

I’ve moved into a lovely little apartment. It’s one bedroom and has some plumbing issues but it’s nice and has air con! I’ve had some problems with cooking, because the gas elements aren’t self lighting. I nearly lost both eyebrows! I’m now using the rice cooker to make my meals. The ones I have at home anyway. There’s a pool for me to swim in and a gym, to work out in. My bedroom window looks out over the South China Sea and the balcony has a view of the gardens where wild pigs roam in the evening.  It’s possible that there is an illegal dojo in the flat above me! All the crashing and banging and crying out!

I’m addicted to this drink they have here called 100 Plus. It’s like Gatorade but fizzy and not as sweet. It tastes a bit like fruitsaline, you know that powder stuff you have when you’re young and sick and need to get rehydrated. It’s bloody good.

Something that you’ll love about MY is that they add la to everything. It’s like a verbal exclamation point. OK-la?! Hurry up-la! Chinta-la (means love).

 

 

 

Presents!!

Completely unexpectedly, my darling friend (who is also very crafty!) 2paw, made this cute little zippy-up bag as a going away present! It was discussed which knitting projects would fit in it and thought that a very small pair of socks might and maybe I will use it for that. But for now it’s for all my little treasures that I’m taking with me when I venture overseas! I’ll show you later what I’m keeping in here.

Life in Pictures…

This week in my life.

Painted my nails with gold glitter! Love sparkly nails.

I sent some mail out to my pen pals Tracy and Laura. And I started reading Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.

Bought Tawny Scrawny Lion for my friend Fee and wrote on the Where’s Wally postcard to send off. I also started the lace pattern on my Ishbel shawl and made a little bookmark.

Life in Pictures.

My life of late has:

Seen me peruse the Op Shops around my town. I found this amazing lounge suite in one outside of my city! Awesome right?

Imagine them with a really dark red or purple corduroy upholstery. Fabulous for reading. With a brown alpaca afghan and a nice big mug of strong tea. Brilliant. But alas I have no where to put them and I doubt they’ll still be there when I do.

This guy survived the whole trip to and from the supermarket, clinging to my rear vision mirror. It reminded me of that scene in A Bee Movie where the insects are clinging to the windshield (or was it A Bug’s Life?).

I have also been reading a lot and knitting like a trooper! And watching Speed for the 15 millionth time! Although I didn’t see it to the end, the perils of sharing a television!

And finally, on a cold and rainy day, I took refuge in the delightful cafe Nanna’s for a pot of piping hot tea and a slice of fruit toast, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

How’s your week been?

Bell’s Palsy

On Tuesday I woke up and my face wasn’t working. I didn’t really notice until I was brushing my teeth. I couldn’t rinse my mouth properly. After a mini freak out I found went to the doctor and discovered that I had partial face paralysis, known as Bell’s Palsy. Basically the right side of my face, from my eye to my chin has stopped working. Something about my facial nerve. The good news is that it’s temporary.

Enjoy the relief.

I do look silly and it’s frustrating but it’s not the end of the world.

 

Ah Wednesday. Pronounced: Wed nes day

Yes that’s right for a long time I have, in my head pronounced Wednesday as above in order to help spell it correctly. It’s a throw back to primary school years when I thought, well probably thought “Wenesday has no d in it! Just like nife has no k.” I find myself often using phonetics to help me with spelling, or other little tricks. Like goose and loose rhyme so that’s how I tell the difference between lose and loose. Also I use special effects to help discern which affect/effect I’m after, effect is a noun and therefore a thing, whereas affect is a verb and therefore something that is done/that you do. OK enough spelling. Although now that I’ve used OK you’re probably wondering why I spell it that way.

So you’re not. I’ll leave that for another post.

Here’s GPOYW:

Near Montezuma Falls.