Sunday, March 30, 2008

Moving house

Many of you have asked about our housing situation - if we've found a place or if we've moved. Well, we have found a place - a 2-bedroom apartment close to our current one. It's not ideal in terms of floor space as we're currently in a 3-bedroom, 2 baths, 2 storage room double story apartment and we're absolutely spoilt! However, it is what we can afford for now and since it belongs to my colleague, she's renting it to us at a very good price. As the place is basically bare, we'll have to put in money to furnish it with bookshelves, wardrobe, etc.

We're scheduled to move end of May. Since my trip to the US in early June has been canceled, I am feeling less stressed over the move. Nonetheless, it will be challenging as moving house ranks high on life's most stressful events. We've designed a detailed checklist to help us keep up with our tasks. We've also identified some people from church who can help us with the move.

Meanwhile, our immediate chore is to go through our stuff and see what we can either give away or throw out. Ahh...a heart-rending task!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wanton noodles

Our last weekend in Malaysia was quite eventful. First, my talk to students at University Malaya went really well. Though I couldn't finish presenting all I had intended, I think I covered the main points. Immediately after my talk, I picked up Brian from the bus terminal (he was arriving from Singapore). My good friend, Pari, was very generous in letting me use her car for the day. That Friday evening itself, we drove with my sister to Ipoh to visit my parents.

As our visit coincided with Malaysia's General Elections, traffic on the freeways was very heavy. The drive took four hours when it usually takes less than three. Needless to say there was a lot of excitement as well as anxiety in the air with the impending change in government. We were all glued to our tv set till late at night as we cheered the wins of the Opposition Coalition. (Below is a banner by the Opposition Party - Democratic Action Party) As Malaysian politics is too complex to be discussed here, if you are interested, you can check out,_2008Another highlight of this visit was breakfasts at my uncle's (dad's younger half-brother) wanton noodle stall (and no, my uncle's not wanton, he's a decent guy). Many of you know what wantons are. Well, wanton noodles are just blanched noodles drizzled with soysauce and oil and served with wanton (and sometimes topped with sliced Chinese barbecue pork). Since Brian loves wanton noodles (as does my best friend, Fong) we decided it was time to pay my uncle a visit.

He and his wife serve up one of the best wanton noodles we've had (and I'm not saying this because we're related!). His stall is famous for its seafood-meat dumplings (
suikow) and humongous wantons (served in delicious pork broth). On top of that, he makes his own barbecue pork every day (unlike other stalls which buy them wholesale). If you're ever visiting Ipoh, let me know and I'll let you know where to find my uncle! And, oh, interestingly enough, his two sisters in Penang are also in the hawker food business. One also runs a wanton noodle stall and another a sweet hot Chinese desserts stall. She was featured in a food guide program on tv recently and apparently since then, her business has been roaring!

Meanwhile, here are some pixs from our trip.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Staring right back at ya!

It's a sight I sort of grew up with - so it's hardly noticeable for me but not so for those who grew up on fillet (head-less pieces of boneless fish meat) like Brian. We were shopping at the fresh food section of the grocery store here the other day when he, in passing, remarked that in the US one would never see fish's head being displayed for sale like in Asia. It's true and I think his mom would scream if she saw those eyes staring back at her from the freezer shelf. For our friends and relatives in the US, we thought you may like to see it for yourself, hence we snapped the following. Fish heads, anyone??? Other than making cultural comparisons, we've been busy with various things. Brian has been busy with his doctoral research as well as getting ready to teach a class on Apologetics at Singapore's Biblical Graduates' School of Theology. This is the second time he's teaching there and this year he's scheduled to teach two semesters. He's quite excited to be able to do so again.

I've been keeping up with various projects at work. I haven't traveled since we returned from our CNY trip - has been a treat to be home for a stretch. But this week I travel to Malaysia to speak to students at the renowned University of Malaya - oldest university in Malaysia. I'm looking forward to it. The meeting is on Friday and we plan to travel to see my parents again over the weekend. Brian has to teach on Thursday evening - hence he'll join me in Malaysia on Friday afternoon before we travel to Ipoh with my sister on Saturday. I'm looking froward to the visit but I'm not looking forward to the week after our return as I've quite a few speaking engagements that I'm still not quite prepared for - this means, much burning of the midnight oil then!

Meanwhile, have a good week ahead!