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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Malaysian/Tioman Trip - catching up with Dragon

The aircond is too cold for me, and I get up in the middle of the night to turn it off. A fairly restless night and I don't sleep too well.

Paps and I walk through the morning markets for breakfast. Here, you can get your fresh veggies, fish, dried food (such as ikan bilis/anchovies), kitchen stuff, clothes, shoes.

My imagination is a bit rusty and I opt for wantan noodles (RM4.50) and teh ais (iced tea). The coffee-shop system can be a bit confusing for foreigners I guess. There will be a few different food-stalls within the shop, selling traditional hawker food like fried kuay teow, curry laksa etc. When you get a free table, you find a way to "chop" (claim it), usually leaving one person to guard it. Then you go up to whatever food-stall and order. They bring the food to your table, somehow remembering the order without writing anything down and without table numbers. You pay for your food then.

In the afternoon, I visit my cousin who's had twins recently then paps drops me at Subang Parade to meet an old friend, Dragon for coffee. (Prices for coffee are around RM12-14, still the same if you convert to Aus dollars but still gives me a slight heart-attack ...)

The last time I met up with Dragon is during the school reunion in 2009, and in 2007.


This time, I brought along all the old letters which I'd kept from her, from way back in 1983 (13-year olds). We read them and laughed, the memories are warm and unforgettable.

My best friend/pet-friend from school days, a bond that can never be forgotten and catching up with Dragon was one of the highlights of my trip.

A quick dinner of lut-lut (which I think means boiling/hot in Hokkien) - kinda like kebabs on a stick which you then dip in boiling water to cook. Meat, fish balls, squid and other weird stuff which I don't even know, but they taste delicious dipped in some chilli sauce and straight into my mouth.

As I stand there with my father, eating one of his favourite foods, it's one of those "moments". A moment of being there, in the moment, sharing a memory with him.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Malaysian/Tioman Trip - flying solo with Malaysian Airlines

I've just come back from a 10-day holiday in Malaysia, volunteering with Juara Turtle Project. It's been 6 years since my last trip back to Malaysia. In 2009 the whole family made the trip back to celebrate Chinese New Year, a school reunion, Batu Caves caving, Genting theme park. It was a good trip, and our last one as a whole Soh family now that the Triang house has been sold and demolished.

Flying solo and enjoying it
The Malaysian Airlines flight is delayed by about an hour so it's after 6pm before we finally take off. I'm seated right at the back next to the toilets, but I have an aisle seat which is comfy enough although I can't recline.

Reminders of all the recent plane tragedies play on my mind, and I must admit to a few trembling nerves during the flight. You can't control how or when you go, I guess you try and do all the right things and hope this isn't your time yet.

I flick on 2 movies and watch "Wild" (Reece Witherspoon) which I've been wanting to watch and "Transcendence" (Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman). The first one is slower, and I had expected it to be deeper and more meaningful ..... the latter is so so bad, so bad that I cannot recommend anyone to see it. Super-silly stuff  like flying bits of dust rising up from the ground, supposedly liquid metal I guess, that touch other people and ensnare them, Terminator-like townspeople jumping over cars and self-regenerating from injuries ... OMG.

Anyways, with my earphones plugged in I tuck into dinner and after the 2 movies, soon arrive at Kuala Lumpur at 11.30pm. Immigration, baggage and customs is quite fast, I walk out and dad is on hand to greet me. It's about 1am before we finally get to Ber Chik's house (last uncle on father's side) in Klang.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wedding ring and broken promises

Oh the promises that have been broken... The most sacred of promises... Wedding vows.

In November 2008, Rob and I said our vows and exchanged wedding rings. Among our vows were these:

I give you this ring as a symbol of my intense love and my commitment to you, as long as you promise not do any gardening with it.

That was Rob's question to me. But one of the main reasons I wanted a strong, unfussy wedding ring was so that I didn't have to keep taking it off! I rarely wear my engagement rings for that reason.

Our beautiful shiny wedding rings when they first arrived

And now ....

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