Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Joy Juice

All for trying 'local' produce, and with a little encouragement from Briony and Scott, I have finally risked tasting Kickapoo Joy Juice. Needless to say I wasn't overly enamoured with the idea of drinking something named joy juice but I had to succumb to the peer pressure. Amazingly it is not actually that bad. A bit sweet and not something I would drink again, but not as gross as you might imagine. Next up fried cockroach?

Monday, 28 January 2008


It was off to Melaka this weekend to enjoy beautiful blue skies, chinese lanterns and random walks around the streets of this lovely town.We spent ages wandering round Chinatown, admiring the architecture, and browsing through the craft shops and art galleries. As well as managing to stop for a fruit shake or two we visited some chinese temples and saw the oldest Dutch building in Asia.
It was back to Chinatown in the evening and after browsing through the nightmarket a swift cold one was necessary at The Geographer. The place was heaving and the band were fantastic. Of course the only way to travel home in style is in one of these cheesy rickshaws complete with sound system belting out love ballads!
On Sunday, after a leisurely brunch, we stopped at Villa Sentosa, the living museum. The villa is a traditional Kampung house in Kampung Morten and is crammed full of antiques and collectibles. We were shown around the house by the 70-odd-year old son of the founder of Kampung Morten who still lives in the house. It was lovely to be guided by someone who was so proud of his family's history, his culture and his country. He was one of 12 children and uncle to no fewer than 85! Among the things he showed us were the seats that the King and Queen of Malaysia sat on when they visited the house, which we were encouraged to sit on emulating the photo of their Royal Highnesses, a wishing gong that you hit 3 times for good luck and various photos of the changes to Melaka over the years. He was a mine of information, some of it a bit random but all of it entertaining. He was particularly keen to show Malay hospitality and blessed us several times as well as plenty of hand shaking. Definintely worth a visit if you are in town.

All in all a fantastic weekend apart from having to abandon the beast after something bounced of the road making a hole in the radiator causing quite an impressive leak. Needless to say within minutes of popping the hood we were offered the services of two friendly mechanics who just happened to be passing (really is everyone a mechanic in this country?). Unfortunately after 5 hours of failed attempts to fix it we had to leave it in the service station and take a taxi back. However, Burn has managed to rectify the problem and all seems fine and dandy now. Hopefully we will be able to manage some more road trips in the future without the car giving up the ghost completely.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Bank Holiday Bonanza

As if 14 public holidays weren't enough our genourous Prime Minisiter decided on Monday that we deserved another one. With just two days notice today has been a very unexpected, yet welcome day off. I really think that 4 day weeks are the way forward. A day off here or there at the whim of our leaders is fantastic and should be replicated the world over. Right off to the pool.....

Friday, 18 January 2008

Big Brother

A reminder that censorship is alive and well here in Asia the papers today reported the 3 month live broadcast ban imposed on 8TV and specifically on Faizal Tahir. His crime? Taking off his shirt during a live televised concert to reveal the superman logo painted on his chest! Apparently this is offensive to Malaysians. I wonder what they would make of some British TV?

Meanwhile the radio stations are single-handly trying to educate the general public as to how to improve their moral conduct. Despite the assumption that their audience are moronic I actually quite enjoy these public service announcements - it has to better than listen to the inane chatter of the DJ's.

Some of these include:

Don't leave your baby unattended when you are shopping, this is an invitation for childsnatchers.

Don't walk through graveyards or dark areas at night. If you think you are being followed trust your instincts and take a taxi.

A simple please and thank you go a long way!

But the Winner is:

If you see a blind person trying to cross the road, slow down! Chances are they won't have seen you!

Too good to be true!!!!

Every Cloud.....

Despite the fact that I have started dreaming about cool, crisp glasses of white wine I have to admit that there is an upside to this body is a temple thing. I now have an excuse not to try illuminous cakes and deserts which taste, unsurprisingly, like the e-numbers they contain. Now I can just smile, shake my head and tap my slowly shrinking stomach. Yey!

Friday, 11 January 2008


Having managed to get over my crisis at turning 30, and the mini-freakout that happened at 31, I am feeling age sensitive again. In the space of 3 weeks 3 friends have announced their engagement and news of 3 pregnancies reached me (all good things come in threes eh!). While I am so incredibly and pleased and happy for all of my friends I have to admit a little bit of me feels that it just highlights my singleton status and while the alarm bells of impending old age ring I am left wondering why we all have to grow up? Can't I continue in my world where I never mature?

If the tick-tock of the old biological clock isn't enough to contend with nearly every taxi driver encounter goes through the usual questions and is shocked that no I am not in KL to support my husbands career, no I don't have a husband and children, or boyfriend, and yes I am over 30. At which point they generally look at me with utter pity, shake their head and announce that it is probably too late for me. What was I thinking!

To top this off my beautician has found new faults to criticise me about. Obviously I've been used to the big, fat, hairy, freckly farang comments for a couple of years now, but I was taken aback when she announced that my wrinkles were getting worse and maybe I should try this new laser treatment to reduce them. She was silenced with a death stare, but now all I see is wrinkles.

But the icing on the cake happened while Helen and Kate were staying. We were shopping in Central Market and embarking on some serious haggling when the shopkeeper turned and asked if Helen was my daughter. While tears pricked my eyes Hels announced that she was infact my sister. I would like to say that we stormed out the shop but Kate really wanted the picture. I really must be looking haggard!

So I'm now on a mission. No booze (at least for January), lots more exercise, and I've even got my gas reconnected so I can cook lovely healthy food. From now my body is a temple and I intend to look 5 years younger by the end of the month...... without the aid of laser treatment. Wish me luck.

Friday, 4 January 2008


The headlines today warn consumers that they will only be able to buy 5 litres of cooking oil per shop for the next couple of weeks. After rumours of a price hike the general public have been stockpiling and now there is a national shortage of cooking oil. The government have ordered increased production and hope the rationing will slow the problem!

Really, how much cooking oil does one need? I know I barely cook but surely 5 litres should keep the average family going for quite some time. But I'm sure the government have it all under control and that crisis will be averted.

Hanging out in the Highlands

Despite having to push The Beast off the highway and leave it abandoned on some wasteland just days earlier, we headed off to the Cameron Highlands for a change of scenery. We stayed at Bala's guesthouse, a mock tudor old boarding school, which served tea and scones in the afternoon and delicious curries in the evening. It is slightly surreal visiting what can only be described as little england smack bang in the middle of malaysia. Stopping in for yet more tea at The Smokehouse you would think you were in the English countryside.

Of course we visited the Boh Tea Plantation and enjoyed pots of tea. We (very laziliy) drove to the top of Gunung Brinchang and marvelled at the undulating patterns of perfectly clipped tea plants that stretched as far as the eye could see. We wrapped up warm in front of the fire in the evening and Kate and I followed one of the trails around Tana Rata and enjoyed a spot of bird watching and jungle scrambling.

We also payed a visit to the butterfly farm which can only be described as the farm of death. Littered all over the floor were the carcasses of dead butterflies. In a small glass case a 3-horned rhinoceros beetle lay rigid on its back. A neglected fish floated on top of the pond while all its friends swam idly by. Finally, in an overcrowded case 4 baby jungle geckos lay massacred by their parents. Not a place to brind the kids!
Not far out of KL I think the Cameron Highlands will become a bit of retreat.

Happy New Year!

OK so it is a little belated but hey I was busy with morning after movies and

McDelivery. Not a good way to start the new year I know but from now on my body will be a temple!