Climbing Mount Santubong

Mount Santubong looms ahead of my morning commute every morning, as it has for a dozen years. I’ve skirted the base of the mountain countless times, on the way to Damai beach or Sultan Tengah’s tomb, but I’d never made it to the top.  Not for lack of trying.  Two years ago, my son, my father […]

Spelling Champions of Sarawak

The biggest annual national spelling tournament in Malaysia is Spell-It-Right. Starting early in the year, several of my daughters had participated in rounds starting within the school itself and moving to wider competitions from there.  Inattentive father that I am, I didn’t realize this was the big day, the State Finals, when I dropped Kak Yang […]

36 hours in KL

Time for my semi-annual ritual humiliation at the Immigration Department. After 12 years here married to a Malaysian, I ought to be well on my way to Permanent Resident status. But permanent residency is predicated on holding a Spouse Visa, and I have as yet been able to get one. Kuching says I’m married to […]

Duit Pisang

[dropcap background=”yes”]A [/dropcap]house needs people to live.  Empty, a house slowly decays.  In the humid tropics, it decays with a startling quickness.  Mak moved out of my wife’s childhood home, temporarily, to start a child-care business at [tooltip text=”Simpang Empat” trigger=”hover”]Four Corners[/tooltip], the small town connecting Bagan Datoh with the rest of the world.  Nothing […]