Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Losing touch with my mother tongue, am I?

To my horror I discovered that i lost touch with my mother tongue, the first few days I arrived in Malaysia. I knew what i wanted to say, but the sentences did not come out right. The simplest thing like asking a receptionist, on how much
the fare to KL from KLIA stumped me. I went like " berapa harga nak ke KL dan cara mana yg terbaik" sounded so foreign even to my very own ears. I could not compute in my head, the way people 'normally ask". I was ashamed as well as felt lost for a while. Three days in KL I could muster enough courage to go on my Penang accent. Then I felt at home.

It felt bad that i could not communicate in my colloquial language. It was not so bad to communicate with hotel receptionists or sales persons, but I was not comfortable talking to friends. I did not want them to think that I was putting on airs by refusing to speak in bahasa melayu. I tried to explain, but i do not think that they could empathize with me

I could think in my head what to say in malay and even have personal conversations in malay in my head, but it was hard to speak it out loud. I could even chat in malay most time on the internet. believe me it was different when you have not used the language verbally for quite a while.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

PJs at Gurney Plaza

We decided to spend a night a beach hotel as to be able to go to the famous mile long night market in Batu Feringgi. We stayed at this little hotel that has a beach. I think it is somewhere between Tg. Tokong and Tanjung Bungah. After checking in, Debbie and I went to survey the vicinity. I remembered the area, as it was near the chinese swimming club where I used to go swimming a long time ago. It was also near Motel Sri Pantai where rumours had it, that it was a place for rich people "simpan" their mistresses.

Well, when walking to find some drinks, we were directed to the pasar malam that was just starting. We had sugar cane water freshly squeezed. We bought ketupat palas and rendang, various foods as well a kilo of the great dokong for 3 ringgit. On the way back we bought a bunch of pisang goreng and cempedak goreng.

We saw 2 singapore registerd SUVs parked at the double yellow lines and at the busy traffic light. The Pisang Goreng man was saying that these singaporean have no respect forMalaysian law. I agreed with him. These people apparently went to the pasar malam earlier and were parked there to enjoy their food. They were still parked there when I left. One guy walking across the zebra crossing with us commented that, if he had a big lorry he would certainly run over those suvs which were obstructing the traffic.

We ate or food in the hotel room and then went down to the swimming pool where my little niec and nephew had a gala time. We just walked along the beach collecting sand dollars.
At night we went to the market and of course there were all fake branded goods, like coach handbags and pirated cds and dvds. bought some, but did not browse the whole mile.

The next morning we went to the beach and the tide was coming in and of course the kids want to chase the wave and we got wet.

my jeans and debbie's jeans were wet up to our thighs and thus had to change. we had no change of clothes, so we decided to go back in our jammies. When we reached Gurney drive, my sis in law wanted to stop at Gurney Plaza. Well, Debbie and I shopped in our pajamas. Me in my pirate of the Caribbean with skulls all over my pants and Debbie in her calf length pajama pants walked in the plaza very confidently. We even ate our lunch at that restaurant that faces the sea and nobody bid an eye lid.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Berkibar bendera ku

This morning my husband helped me hoist-up the Jalur Gemilang on the bell post and the Penang flag at the gate post. In a jest he said that not to be surprised if a red neck comes and shoot the flags down. The reason being, to some, it is unthinkable for someone to fly any other flags other than the US flag. I told him I will be ready with my shotgun. After all the flags are hanging on my private property.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

What a Blast

I had the most memorable visit back to Malaysia this time around. I visited my family and my friends and so much enjoyed their companies.

I met with all my closed family members and friends. There were friends that I newly acquired and there were old friends that I kept in touch and there were friends (classmates that I have not seen since 1970.)

There was a friend who was my boss. The was the mother of my friend (who considered my husband and I as keluarga angkat) who were so gracious, so hospitable that I can't find words to described. Rashidah and family and kak Munah, thank you so much.

I enjoyed my trip to taman negara with the family of fellow blogger whose friendship and generosity I can never repay or reciprocate. I hope I did not embarrass her and family by making a fool of myself gorging the fruits by the roadside. MakAndeh and family and jedi thank you.

I am so much indebted to the "KL tour guide" who made herself available all her time to make my shopping and visiting during my stay in KL. I hope she enjoyed tagging along 2 ladies who could not make their minds what to shop. Bella we appreciate your patience and time you were with us. Please thank Korbau for letting us share his precious wife with us.

There was the "judge" who arranged for a reunion of my old classmates and offering the use of her personal chauffeur to take us around.

Of Course I will never forget the generousity and the hospitality of my dearest friend who put us up at her house for the duration of our stay in KL.

My brother and sister in law and their family who put us up while in Penang. They share their children with us too. Delightable kids. Thank you all.

I will write about my adventure later. This piece is to tell all my friends and family that they made my visit so memorable.

I also want to apologise to those friends that I could not meet or make contact due to my tight schedule.

Thank you all