Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sugar is the "Gellical" cat of Malaysia

Here is a wonderful comparison of a fat American and a fat Chinese.....cat. The cat above weighs 15 kilos or 31 pounds to westerners. Our cat on the left, Sugar, weighs 11 kilos or 23pounds. People come into our home and they are caught totally off guard by the freakishly fat and very big boned cat. Once the scare factor is over, they are totally enthralled and cannot belive what they are seeing. We had a big party last Christmas and Sugar was the "freak" at the show. We should have charged one dollar a peek, it would have paid for the party. There was a constant stream of people lined up to see her laying on Jordan's bed.

Sugar is totally unlike a Malaysian cat. Malaysian cats are 99% scrawny , short haired and stubby tailed. The gene pool likely has not had very much influx for centuries. Any pure bred cats are kept indoors and well guarded and strays are shooed away . The street cats are on their own to face the harsh realites of life here. Dogs, huge rats, disease , abandonment and humans and all that that entails.

(the clipping of the fat cat from China comes from APpic , taken from the Star Newspaper one year ago)

Monday, August 28, 2006

From Mullet to Magical

Malaina got a wild hair literally a week ago or so. She impulsively got it cut at a really bad place by a really bad hair stylist. She went home nearly in tears and totally disgusted. Long story short, she called my niece Toni and went up to Sandy to get it fixed. It is probably the best haircut she ever had. Not only is it cute as can be, it is easy for her to fix. Shown here is my beautiful 18 year old BYU freshman.
Malaina says "Hat's off to Toni". I agree.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

AWAS (caution) Cindy on crutches

Okay, I was getting up from a nap to answer the phone tripped on some slippers, WHAM went down, and I conciously made an effort to avoid a twisted ankle so I fell on the hardwood floor on the side of my foot and snaped a bone. I was laying on the floor, and I called to my maid Kanit, to get me some ice. She comes in with a big bag of ice and plops it on my painfully sore foot. Then she tries to rub the pain out of my foot. I ask her as nicely as I can to "please take her hands off my broken foot and stop rubbing it!' She just walks away shaking her head saying "Aye-yah!" Thinking that I must be a namby-pamby to whine about a tiny little bruise.

Really, I am doing as well as can be expected. I have good neighbors and friends buying groceries and bringing me cookies. Next week I will trying swimming some laps to maintain some sort of cardio health. Speaking of health. The doctor I go to is excellent. They have excellent digital x-rays, and state of the art phyisotherapy as well. As soon as I figure out how to post pictures here on this site I will do so. Any one out there have any ideas? When I am creating a message, I click on the add image button, but nothing happens.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pioneer Day in Malaysia

Last night we had the greatest Pioneer Day Celebration as a branch. We had a great pot luck. Oh my gosh... the variety of food we get is fantastic. Curries, salads, desserts, noodles, rice dishes. My favorite new Malaysian hybrid is the curry puff. A tender piece of deep fried pastry folded around succulent curried potatoes and chicken. The only "pioneer"food we had was the potato salad (boring) that I brought.
We had fun games, the primary sang a pioneer song, and one of the Elders gave a presentation on Pioneers. We may not be in Utah, but the Saints here know all about faith in every footstep. What a great bunch of people, pioneering together right here in Penang.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Road Rules

Have you ever watched a motor cross race on ESPN or some channel on tv? You know how all those motorcycles are lined up in no particular order and then someone waves a flag and KABOOM! They're taking off like bats out of hell? Well that is what every single red light / green light is like here in Penang.
No matter how far the first car in line is hugging the intersection line all the small little one or two stroke engine motorcycles and their drivers butt in line ahead of you. They zig zag in and out of cars and in between the lanes until they are as far to the front of the line as they can get. It can get really crazy when you are surrounded my these motorcycles. Sometimes there are as many as 2 dozen motorcycles.
  • No doubt you will have about five or six Indians. Some are big boys too.
  • Four or five ancient Chinese men with smokes hanging out of their mouths ( these old guys all have ramrod straight backs and their legs poking out in very wide obsene angles... )
  • And at least one or two Malay families with at least 2 children illegally and unsafely mounted between both parents.
  • And at least one third of these drivers will have on a jacket turned backwards just covering their arms. I think some of the drivers are in the sun so much that it burns their uncovered forearms and they have come up with this "back-jack" method. Other reasons are to keep dust off their clothes, and for wind resistance. What ever the reason it looks stupid.

The light turns green and those that haven't run the red light already, roar off down the street. Because you are in a much bigger car, you can't accelerate or you will hit someone, so you have no choice but to sit there for a few seconds and let them clear out. And clear out they do, at great speed. Except, the families whose weight prevents them from moving too quickly. These folks don't care that they are holding you up with their pokey departure, some drivers get so impatient with these slow pokes that they will drive around them even if it means forcing the car in the next lane into a tree. Dave said it perfectly "Their problem, becomes my problem. "

Anyway, the rest of the motorcycles are zooming down the street. There is usually one young crazy driver who thinks that he is the most important and has to show off his driving skills by weaving in and out of the others. He is the one who runs the red lights, and thinks "nothing" can touch or hurt him and will probably cause or be in an accident

6,500 motorcyclists a year die in Malaysia. It think this is among the highest in the world. Keep in mind that these are not the motorcycles we have in the U.S. The Malaysian motorcycle is by our standards a small little 150cc scooter. Any bigger and the taxes go up and the average user cannot afford it. But these little buggers can move and they have the strength of a little mule. Some of the abuses I to these motorcycles I have seen would boggle the mind. I will try to get some photos and download them soon. Dave was going to get a Harley and drive it here in Penang, and I (for the first time in my marriage) put my foot down and said over my dead body!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I have a maid

This may seem like a lame topic, but how did I ever live without Kanti? My Indonesian maid or "amah" in the old Hokkien Chinese, is my best friend. I never realized what a slob I was. Why you ask? Well here is my theory:
As a young girl, my mother used to force us into slave labor on Saturdays, my sister and I would rotate chores each week. I dreaded when it was my turn to do kitchen duty. I had to mop, scrub the stove, and worst of all clean the refrigerator. I mean it had to be dismantled weekly. Shelves removed, every bottle cleaned, every egg dusted you name it. We would not be allowed to go anywhere or make any plans unless our work was done and checked over by my freakishly, complusivlely clean mother. My complaints fell on deaf ears. My mother would always respond..."Do you want to be a pig when you have your own house?" Well guess what mom.... I have a maid now na, na, na, na, naaah.. Here are the facts.

Before Kanti After Kanti

Sheets washed once a month if lucky. Sheets washed weekly (or more).
Floor mopped once a month if lucky. Floor mopped every other day.

Bathroom cleaned once a month if lucky. Bathroom cleaned every day.

Fridge cleaned twice a year if lucky. Fridge cleaned every other day.

Laundry done by Cindy without love. Laundry done by Kanti w/o love.

Cat crap cleaned by me. Cat crap cleaned by Kanti.

Okay so you get the picture. My maid is doing everything for me but bathing me and powdering my bottom. Whew!... this blog is helping me unload years of resentment toward the matriarchal figure of my teens . Don't get me wrong. I would have loved to have been as clean and maticulous as mom when I was my own housekeeper, but thanks to Kanti, I am now the woman of my mom's dreams.