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Thursday, September 27, 2007

poor lula


She has to go back to doctor for re-dressing of her cut.


Maya can speak words in three languages: English, Spanish and Chinese. She says zai-chen goodbye in Chinese.
The girls are referred to as Mei Mei (little sister) Che Che (big sister) at their school.
We are going to a birthday party for a one year old today.

Roti Prata at the Hawker stands

Roti Prata is a yummy food. A pancake dipped in (curry? )sauce. I like watching him make the thin pancake. Gradually we are finding more and more things to eat. I think I may be gaining weight. video

Krabi Resort

To celebrate Rob's birthday we are going to Krabi, Thailand to stay at this resort.

I think that RESORT = RIP-OFF THE TOURIST (any suggestions for a catchier phrase here?)

But until we know our way around I am not comfortable being daring and staying at more marginal places with our children. Unfortunately this is mostly a place to swim and Lula is not allowed to swim for one week. I'm hoping we can cheat and let her wade and sit in the sand but I don't want to jeopardize her eye recovery. It looks kind of bad now. I may go take a photo of her sleeping now...

No more monkeys jumping on the bed

videoAt the hotel in Desaru Malaysia.

More Malaysia





GOING TO THAILAND

Hi there,
Just to let you all know. We're leaving for Thailand tomorrow to "Krabi."

Lula fell and cut her eyelid today just before nap. I had to take her to the doctor and expected a butterfly bandaid but instead was given the option of stitches by plastic surgeon or glue by her ped. Glue will leave a line scar and stitches would have meant that if she didn't cooperate getting her eye stitched then they would have to sedate her with a general anaethesia. We went with glue because we were both unsettled by the idea of her being put under.

She screamed a lot for the glue but was back to climbing all over the furniture (what originally caused the fall) when we got home. That "Blessing of the Skinned Knee" theory might not work after all.

So I apologize to those who I owed e-mails but since I thought I'd have nap time today to catch up I now might not be able to do so until we get back from Thailand.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

This woman is from the wedding photos. She is a good cook. She prepared curry fish for the crew even though its Ramadan for her.


The lady in the wedding photos here wears a head scarfe outside the house. She says she is darker now that they have moved to this town but it toughens their skin agains the bugs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Malaysia






In the little town called Pasir Gogok in Malaysia it was extremely common to ride on a motorcycle or moped with a baby or drive a car with a baby on the lap. It was another shock. They also spent all their time with their children forgoing not cleanliness but neglecting laundry in the two homes I saw. At the evening dinner hosted by Jay, all the children and babies came too. Meanwhile we got a baby-sitter to stay in our room while the children slept. Babysitters are not common where we were. They charged us $80 RM which is about 12 an hour meaning that they made the prices super high since it was a resort but most things in Malaysia aren't priced equivalently.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Malaysian Baby Sleeps

During the filming of the movie in a town called Pasir Gogok the girls & I were invited to hang out at one of the families homes. It was pretty neat to get to see life in another country that is not revealed by staying at hotels. There were also some awkward things... it is Ramadan and they don't eat until 7pm and Lula, Maya & I eat about five times a day... I asked about lunch and they ran out and bought me a loaf of white bread and a tub of margerine. It was pretty good. Their daughter Nasha joined in on the bread feast. I think she is about 5 years old. They had a tiny baby who fell asleep in a nice little hammock. Maya kept trying to wake him up. The other thing I was unsure of was breastfeeding but they said it was fine since the mom was still breastfeeding her baby too. I am still not sure of why some people where head scarves and some not and of those who do they don't at home but will answer the door without the scarf on... I'm sure that all of this will be revealed to me. Rob was the lead of the film and spent most of the time tied up in a dirty crumbling building. Lula had a speaking role in which she had to wander in sight of him and say hello and then return to me. She did a good job at playing pretend. My job was to look like a tourist. This of course came naturally though I'm not sure I'll actually be in the final cut. They have invited us back to join them at the feast honoring the end of Ramadan. I think that would be a lot of fun and hopefully we'll go.
video

MALAYSIA!!

The biggest shock was seeing monkey's by the side of the road because I didn't know to expect this. I have lots of photos and some stories. This is Maya waving a Malaysian flag.
video

Thursday, September 20, 2007



Suggestions for orderly entering and alighting the train.


And what is this fish. Why did they kill it? I saw this swimming at the aquarium.

Back to Little India







Today Ganesh shared the delicious Appam and so I was able to introduce Rob to this food back at Bhavan Ananda the vegetarian Indian restaurant. There is a big sign that explains that humans are physiologically better suited to vegetarianism.




Little India was filled with wonderful smells and beautiful fabrics, bright colored fruits, flowers and basically all things to bombard the senses.




I went to Rupini's beauty salon and also price checked a neighboring salon that was quite a bit less expensive.
I purchased a two foot strand from the ball of jasmine above for S$2. It's worth it because the jasmine scent fills the whole room.







Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sshh don't tell

...people in Singapore - jay-walk, litter and chew gum.

Someone gave me a piece today and I don't know when to chew it!

Lula and Maya go to school







They are going to Moral Childcare. The staff seems very kind and attentive to them. I know because I spy on them when I get the chance. The school is across the street from our house. The yard is filled with life-sized zoo animals. The majority of the children and staff are Chinese but there is one Indian girl and two Indian staff including the principal, Miss Geetha.




The girls have Chinese class once a day. They go from 8 or 9am to 12:30 or 1pm when I pick them up. It gives me a chance to go grocery shopping, go to the chiropracter (my neck has been hurting for over a month) to pay bills or relax! Tomorrow Rob & I will try once again to get Appam and then I'm going to go to Rupini's beauty salon. I will get my eyebrows threaded like I was doing back in the States. I stopped by last week and the place looks very nice, it was recommended by Moushumi.




Meals









I'm trying to save money and save time and eat the delicious food at the hawker stands. I expect to gain a lot of weight.

Dinner:
Glutinous Rice S$1.30
Bok Choy with garlic S$2

I had the carrot cake for breakfast. I had to wait on line for that but got to take photos to pass the time.


I bought a nice cook book on how to cook Chinese food. It seems quite simple and there are clear photos. I have most of the ingredients for the sauces at the house already.
I'm not sure how to reply to comments or how to move photos to some place other than at the front before the text.

Our "maid"



* We have found a nice lady named Aisha to help out once a week in the evening. She is Muslim. She has a very sing songy sweet voice and she laughs a lot which the children love. She arrives and immediately changes into more comfortable clothes. It turns out that what I was thinking of the utility room is the "maids" room. There is a toilet and a shower above next to the washer and then a room smaller than a bed where we keep our luggage and the dryer. She said that many people have live-in maids that sleep in that room. I was wondering where all the live-in maids sleep. Part-time help seems to be less common but I haven't figured that out yet. I know no statistics on that but everyone talks (guides books, people I meet) about the live-in help. Apparently these jobs are the big break of someone from another country probably the Philipines.


We're going to be movie stars!

Rob's colleague Jay Anania is making a film this weekend in Malaysia. He asked Rob to be in and found parts for Lula, Maya & I as well.

On Friday we'll take a ferry from Changi to Johor - Desaru Beach. I'm not positive but I think we'll be staying at the Desaru Golden Beach Hotel. I am very intrigued and excited by this expedition. Of course I'll let you know how it goes.

Lula rides again

video

More mechanical rides

video

Going out for Breakfast






We like to go out for breakfast on Sunday's and recently ended up at this Dim Sum restaurant.
On the way out I saw that they were making the dumplings by hand by the window.


Afterwards we walked around and saw that one of the local apartment buildings has a jogging loop and circuit training opportunities along the way. They also have a kids park with a place to learn a little bit of braille.


Sunday, September 16, 2007




Ladies at Lantern Festival

These ladies did a special song for me.


video

Singapore is Good for Kids


There are so many places geared for kids in Singapore. Today I went to Go Go Bambini where there was a four level gym matted climbing area. It was very insane for me because its not always high enough to walk in and I wanted to follow Maya through the maze of passages, climbing areas and a long tube slide.







In the afternoon I went to Kindermusik with Maya while Lula stayed with the staff at the counter drawing and reading.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Lantern Festival



In the evening we purchased our dinner from the hawker stands. We had chicken rice and carrot cake. Not the kind of carrot cake I'm used to but a kind I like much more.

Then we we purchased a lantern and joined the parade.