Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back in Kuala Lumpur.

Fortunately Cathay Pacific is such a great airline with spacious seating, good food and excellent service as we had a very long haul from the States to Hong Kong. We had a five hour delaying H.K. and then caught our connection for the last leg, which was a three and a half hour journey arriving in Malaysia at five thirty in the morning on Monday morning? What happened to Sunday?

Poppie Warren is trying to watch the Olympics and read fairy tales to Joshua.

It is always lovely being back in K.L. and as Nick is in London at the Olympics, we were invited to stay in Glen Marie with Moira and Joshua.( and Tom Tom, the cat)
Joshua has no school until next month, so we have the privilege of having him full time. Joshie is "Thomas the tank engine" crazy and has at least four train tracks set up all over the house.

Joshua can name all and has many of the 63 " Thomas " family.
He wears "Thomas" pants, tee shirts, pyjamas, carries his trains in a Thomas bag and back pack. He eats off a "Thomas train" plate and watches Thomas on the iPad. I wonder what Rev Awdry would say if he was a fly on the wall? His son, Christopher, born in 1940, for whom the original stories were created, must be reaping the huge financial benefits of this phenomena! It is interesting to read that Christopher also wrote Thomas books and added a considerable number of books to the series.

It is that special time in the year for all Muslims and it is fun being in Malaysian to see the preparations for Hari Raya.

It is Ramadam for Malaysians, a time of fasting, and during the day the restaurants are empty but the shops are packed as people stock up with new household goods and lovely new outfits in preparation for Hari Raya next week. By 6:45 p.m. It is difficult to find a seat in any eating establishment, as families wait for the end of their day of fasting and can start eating again by 7:00. How to cope without even water passing your lips all day, in this never ending heat, is unimaginable!

Hari Raya, the day of celebration, marks the end of Ramadam and is known as Eid-ul- fitr in other parts of Asia. Last year, back home, I referred to Hari Raya, and my Muslim friend, Shawana, was puzzled by this reference, as unbeknown to me, the term "Hari Raya" is limited to Malaysia and Singapore.

The shops have generous sales on the go as it is traditional for everyone to end this period of abstinence, wearing new outfits and looking your best. For the family feasts that follow during Hari Raya, new linen, cutlery and crockery is purchased by those who can afford it. I love wondering through the shops at this time to see the amazing selection which is far fancier than I could ever imagine. This time is comparible in some ways to Christmas time for Christians!

The Malaysian women wear beautiful clothes including tudongs( head scarves) kept together with gorgeous brooches. The variety available is amazing and are several steps up from our "doeke".

Batik and beadwork features prominently in much of the clothing.

Pantries are filled with delightful treats to welcome guests at the Open House parties which will follow this time of fasting.

We are making the most of the two weeks we have left before we return to South Africa. I am dreading packing and trying to fit all my acquired goodies into my suitcase. Anyone have any requests before I leave? I am thinking of hiring a trailer to attach to the back of the plane!! So no problem.

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