Thursday, 29 November 2007

Walk like an Egyptian

Kay'patra and Sharmanraman

And another dress up day! Today I was Sharmanraman, high priestess at the Temple of Osiris and the chief embalmer of both Upper and Lower Egypt. Our apprentice embalmers were accorded the great honour of preparing the royal pet of Rameses II, Bubbles the fish, for his journey through the underworld to the afterlife.

It was particularly gruesome and disgusting as my assistant Mr Gaskillkhamun slit poor Bubbles down the side and removed his internal organs so the children could place them in the canopic jars. There was lots of screaming, screeching and hiding behind hands. A few fingers pinching noses too. However, bubbles has been successfully mummified, placed in his sarcophagus and entombed at a secret location (so graverobbers won't find it).

Fabulous day! (yes there is a video!)

Monday, 26 November 2007

I've found my horn!

I am now truly a local. Instead of being frustrated by the suspect driving seen everyday on the roads of Kuala Lumpur I have decided to go with the flow. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

I am particularly enjoying the frequent, and very satisfying, blasts on my horn. With varying degrees of length it can mean; hey I'm here, get out of my way, yes I am going that way and what the hell do you think you are doing?

I also now just change lane at will without feeling the need to indicate in any way. I push my way into whichever lane I want -Hey afterall I am very big in my beast, and he's old and tough. And of course I change my mind about the direction I wish to take whenever I feel like it.

I know some of you will be shocked, but to be honest, it is a necessary response to the driving conditions here. The road signs are random at best, the roads loop round and round - aided by u-turn after u-turn, and the muppets on the road clearly learnt to drive at the demolition derby. Let's see if I can make it through two years here in one piece!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Sad Singleton

I had a horribly stereotypical sad singleton saturday night last night! Pizza, wine and a Bridget Jones double bill. Lordy! I really am going to be found weeks after my death being eaten by the geckos that share my apartment. Come on Mr Darcy where are you?

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Long Live the Queen!

My Thai experience has left me under the misconception that royal families are revered and that criticism not tolerated. Neither should they be part of any joke or be ridiculed in any way. A fact that a Swiss tourist soon realised after he was sentenced to 7 years in jail for defacing a picture of the King.

Imagine my surprise then when listening to the radio on my drive to work I heard Shaz and Will, possibly the worst radio djs in the world, taking the piss out of The Queen. I am no royalist but I was shocked to hear Will mimicing Her Royal Highness, alluding to her sex life and marriage to Philip. Perhaps if there had been anything even remotely clever or witty about their skit then I might have found it funny, however, I don't think these two have it in them.

Please don't think I am condoning the restrictions on freedom of speech in Thailand as I am not. I was just astonished how I reacted to a silly bit of bad radio! What has happened to me? Have I been brainwashed?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Half Term Part Deux

I am particularly pleased with how the holidays have fallen this term - instead of 1 week of half term in the middle we have had two 5 day breaks - fabulous! For this trip Sue and I headed off to Kuching and while the rest of the trip might not have been as side-splitting as the Cat museum we really enjoyed all that was on offer.

Kuching itself is really laid back and a great place just to wander round. The shopping is fantastic and the restaurants divine. We very much enjoyed the special offer wine and the beers that were sent over by the friendly locals.

Up bright and early the first day we headed to the orangutan rehabilitation centre and we weren't disappointed. We saw four orangutans - two adults, a young one and a gorgeous little baby. There were lots of ooohs and aaaahs and it was fab to watch them swing through the trees.

We also headed out to the beautiful Bako National Park. After a slightly damp boat ride we waded onto the beach to be met immediately by some cheeky Macaques and some rather large wild pigs. Although hot work it was great to walk along the trails and we were very excited to see proboscis monkeys. Not very pretty but there is certainly something very endearing about them.
I'm thinking that a return trip to Sarawak is certainly in order. Let's see what else they have to offer.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

The Crazy World of the Kuching Cat Museum

I am pretty sure I have NEVER laughed so much in my life as I did in the Kuching Cat Museum. From the minute we walked through the open jaws of a giant cat face that marked the entrance we were giggling but the further we got into the 'museum' the louder our laughs became. Soon we were clutching our stomachs, shoulders shaking and tears running down our faces. The disapproving looks from the attendant doing nothing to calm us down.

Although Kuching means cat opening a museum about them surely is one step too far. There were stuffed cats, photos of cats dressed up, cat trivia and even pet food on display. I was particularly impressed to see the Guiness Book of Records certificate giving the museum the honour of being the first Cat museum! I'm hoping one is enough and I doubt any other cat museum would be a patch on the one in Kuching. To whoever came up with the concept thankyou for a most entertaining half hour.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Deepavali Dress Up!

Yet another excuse to dress up - hoorah! Like the good little teacher I donned my punjabi suit for Deepavali dress up today.

All dressed up and nowhere to go? Not us! We headed off to Passage to India to eat delicious indian food off banana leaves. Mmmmmm.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Terry Fox Run

Me and Louise sporting the Terry Fox t-shirt

Bright and early this morning we joined the crowds heading to the Lake Gardens for the Terry Fox run for cancer research. The difficult bit was not the 5 km run, but actually navigating our way to the event. 25 minutes after leaving our apartment I realised that I had been directed in a huge circle and we were going to have to start again - clearly Jane has never seen a road map and the randomness of the road signs here didn't help Taras navigating.

Finally we made it and caught the tail end of the crowds of runners, walkers, roller bladers and cyclists. It was a lovely route and great to see so many people out. The monkeys were a bit bemused though!

Friday, 2 November 2007

Amazing Asia

Amazing Asia was the title of our activity week this week. Each year group took a different country in Asia and organised activities to do with it. Needless to say Year 4 took Thailand and our incredibly creative parents turned our shared area into Thailand complete with temple, beach and kickboxing arena!
Foolishly I said I would teach a bit of Thai dancing. Therefore, using you-tube as a teaching aid, the dancing could be described as 'experimental'. However, by the end of the week I had perfected the Loy Krathong dance and Sam's class were actually looking quite proficient!

The highlight of the week has to have been visiting each year groups shared area. We have been to China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and India. My favourite was Japan where the kids got to make origami and take turns singing karaoke! Poor little munchkins soon had to relinquish control of the mic so Miss Ali could belt out Gloria Gaynor and a bit of Brittany - they weren't impressed - but I had a ball!

We tasted delicious delicacies from all round asia, sang songs and participated in the chopstick challenge. We made origami cranes, vietnamese hats, chinese horoscope bookmarks and clay buddhas (which unfortunately looked more like BFG's).

The week was rounded off with a parade with all the classes in costume and performing either a dance or a song from their country. It was quite a spectacle! I particularly enjoyed the Air Asia uniforms worn by the specialist teachers - although I have to admit our Thai fishermen pants and yellow 'I love the King' teachers were particularly comfy.
I have to admit though it was terribly exhausting having so much fun! But I really appreciated the fizzy wine that was put on in the staffroom to thank us for all our hard work - but whoever decided that bringing the karaoke machine into the staffroom surely soon regretted it!