Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Ali and The Beast

Me and my new beast of a car. I love him! Not the best picture I know, but I was proud of my parking which is proving somewhat of an issue. I know I shouldn't admit that but it is more than double the size of my old Skoda! I'm sure it won't be long before I take out a pillar in a carpark. Watch this space.

Mooncake Festival

Tonight is the Chinese mooncake festival. I'm not sure that this is the correct name but this is how it has been explained to me. My favourite visit from a parent at school has to be when they are bearing gifts and yesterday it was a box full of mooncakes. This very kind parent then explained that in the middle ages-ish (could research it but I'm knackered) the peasants in China wanted to plan an uprising so they sent messages inside mooncakes. Eventually they were victorious so now it is celebrated. Hey any excuse for a party eh - and cake!

So for the celebration we headed up to the chinese temple nearby. The manic drumming heralded the dragon dance - I've always been a fan - and we watch entranced as they danced around and then negotiated the steep steps until they were balancing on top of each other on a tiny podium. We were surrounded by people with glowing lanterns and happily joined in the festive atmosphere. Happy mooncake festival everyone.

Saturday, 22 September 2007


Speeding along the highway in the back of a taxi on our way into town the other day I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye. Trying not to unduly freak out my new bug-phobic friend I suggested gently that she move forward thinking that it was just a gecko or fly. However, her movement forward frightened the the giant bug which proceeded to run all round the back of the cab accompanied by the sound high pitch screeching. Unable to get out we tried to bat it back and fowards between us with whatever came to hand. Our initially alarmed taxi driver glanced back and, while weaving from lane to lane, informed us with huge grin on his face that it was only a cockroach. Needless to say this did not calm poor Hannah down nor endear me to the crawlie. When we were finally able to pull over and tumble out of the car a very large glass of wine was in order and shopping was well and truly out of the window.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Room With a View

I'm loving the view from my balcony. I can see the most famous of Malaysia's landmarks the Petronas Towers with the highlands just visible in the background. Below me is the local mosque which wakes me each morning with a very melodic call to prayer. I can sit for ages just taking in the view. Loving it!

Wednesday, 12 September 2007


In the middle of untold amounts of form filling recently a Chinese lady hung on to my passport with glee. Apparently the last digits of my passport are very auspicious.

6 - Always likely to get work
33 - Alive
8 - prosperous!

Sounds good to me. Bring it on!

Monday, 10 September 2007

Grown up? Moi!

Having never actually purchased a mobile phone for myself, having relied on hand-me-downs, I decided it was time to get a brand new one. This was not a decision I took lightly. Concerned about the mobile phone mountain (yes it exists) I justified my new purchase due to the temperamentality of my current phone that once belonged to my ex. Those of you who know me well will now realise that it was from the ark.

So off I headed with my only requirements being to be able to phone and text and if possible to be pink (I'm going through a pink phase!). Needless to say this didn't actually impress the salesman who wanted to set me up with camera phone, bluetooth, etc etc. No really, I assured him, I just want to phone and text. Sneeringly informed me that there were no pink phones in production at the moment (I stuck with what I know - Nokia - and wasn't about to trail round just to find a pink one).

Displaying the available phones in my price bracket only one caught my eye. Compact and black, with slidy pop up thing I loved the secret agent look of it. I could see myself doing commando rolls and abseiling off the roof of the mall while talking to MI5 on my new toy. The salesman did look amused as explained to me that this was actually the last limited edition TRANSFORMERS phone. I had to have it! Sorry kids, Miss Ali got there first.

Monday, 3 September 2007

A Bad Day

Saturday arvo I moved into my new pad – admittedly a tad hungover from the night before - when I realized that the new place was in need of a damn good clean. That is only to be expected in a new place and I scrubbed for a couple of hours before sampling the local cuisine in my new area. Not so bad.

Sunday, however, was a different matter. I awoke and thought I would enjoy the sunshine streaming through my window and finish my book, after all how better to start a Sunday morning. This was my first fatal error. Despite realizing within the first chapter that my book was going to take me on an emotional rollercoaster I didn’t quite expect the number of tears that flowed by the final page.

However, although sad it was also very uplifting and I set about on my first challenge for the day: assembling my IKEA chest of drawers. I possibly should have realized that this shouldn’t be attempted on my own when the instructions had diagrams of two people doing but being an independent kinda gall I continued regardless. Using my feet and knees as the extra pairs on hands I required whilst balancing on my bum and hammering all at the same time I was actually doing ok. Then I made a mistake and try as I might I just couldn’t pull the bugger apart. The lump in my throat started to rear its head so I changed focus.

Turning the music up as loud as I could I set about cleaning. I always find a strange kind of satisfaction from a good clean and yelling along to some loud drums and rock guitar – but even I wasn’t prepared for this flat. I scrubbed and scrubbed every single tile on the floor and walls of both the bathrooms and the kitchen until they changed colour completely and all my nail varnish had been scraped of my newly manicured fingers. However, despite being at it a fair few hours, instead of looking around and surveying a beautiful flat I only saw more grime. No I will not cry.

Instead I will have a closer inspection of what needs doing. It was at this point that I realized that the sink was broken and leaking on the floor, one toilet seat was bust, the other didn’t quite flush, the aircon was being temperamental and my fridge had a life of its own. What had I done?

OK – back to the chest of drawers. A change is as good as a rest. I pulled and yanked and pushed and grabbed but still it would not budge. I used hammer, screwdriver, wrench and pliers. But to no avail. The only thing I managed to do was drop planks on my toe and pop something in my back.

Only one thing was going to salvage this day. A nice cold beer.

Upon opening the fridge I remembered putting the beers in the freezer the previous day as I had only just turned the fridge on. Cautiously opening the freezer door I gently took the bottle out – whereupon it promptly exploded all over me. That was the beer that broke this camels back. What came out of my mouth shall never again be repeated and as for the water that came out of my eyes


What a great time to arrive in Malaysia! On the 31st August the country celebrated 50 years of independence. Up bright and early we headed down to Merdeka square to watch the procession. We had had varying pieces of information regarding what time it started and when we should leave the hotel to get there erring on the side of caution we got there dead early which ensured us a good spot. I would like to say ‘good seat’ but we didn’t have seats –however we were compelled to sit on the floor – and but like good little primary teachers we did (he was in uniform and had a large baton!).
There was much cheering, singing and flag waving (I’m very proud of my new Malaysia flag!) but the prize for enthusiasm has to go to the very entertaining ladies infront of us who not only sang heartily, heckled loudest and laughed longest, but had also made their own outfits out of the Malaysian Flag.

We had marching bands, dancers, flag twirlers, firemen, jungle ops, ex-ministers in old fashioned cars, floats and not so scantily clad women (it is Malaysia after all). Strangely there also seemed to be a group of Flash Gordon wannabees and an invasion of astronauts. However, the show was stolen by the airforce and their wonderful aerobatics accompanied by the appropriate Oooohs and aahhhhs.

Happy Independence Day Malaysia!