Bamboo thrusts dramatically out of the soil, clean, symmetrical, very sharp. The shoots grow fast, shooting over my head within a matter of days. Only once they have reached their final height, long slender swaying canes 25 feet tall, will they leaf out and send stiff woody side branches out from the nodes. They can grow so fast because all […]
Cot melukut Berambang gantang. Mana tikus ‘nyorok? Celah kangkang! A popular nursery rhyme for youngsters. Begin by poking the bottom of the kid’s foot, then race up their leg to tickle the inner thigh. Conceptually similar to the American “This Little Piggy Went To Market”, the Malay version has the advantage of being certified Halal […]
Coffee beans spread upon a tray Jasmine blooms on the ledge do rest I’ve been dreaming till break of day My sweetheart sleeping upon my chest “Buah kopi di atas loyang Kembang melati letak di bangku Saya bermimpi hampirkan siang Jantung hati tidur di pangku” Island South-east Asia produces a lot of coffee. The word Java, now […]
Last weekend featured the most exciting Malaysian cultural event I’ve heard of in a long time: a flash mob of people wearing sarongs descended on the LRT lines in Kuala Lumpur. I would have joined in solidarity from Kuching, but, alas, we have no trains. We have Jalan Keretapi, but the train, tracks and station […]
The last two weeks saw a number of milestones pass for me. 20 years as a muslim. 10 years in Malaysia. 10 years running this website. 6 years of keeping chickens! In Malaysia, my first personal encounter with chickens beyond the dinner table was over 12 years back, when a neighbor’s rooster attacked my firstborn […]
Who should come into town but HijabMan, fresh from a posh international wedding photography gig in Penang! Scarcely had he set foot in my house but my children were hopping around with balloon helmets, balloon flowers, balloon swords and balloon dogs (strictly halal). Uncle HijabMan knows how to get in good with the little ones.
While wandering around the Jalan Masjid India area last December during my sisters’ brief visit, we stumbled on a live performance in a small plaza. The show was of traditional Malay song and dance. There was a large squad of men sitting crosslegged, some with drums, some clapping, some singing lead, some chorus. The dancers […]
Though I’ve been here in Kuching over a year now, I’ve barely been outside of the city. Partly because of that, I had the impression that all the “real” nature was to be found far into the uplands. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I visited Semenggoh just a half an hour’s drive from […]