Saturday, 27 February 2010

the diary 4

photos unrelated to text, just an excuse to show you my mug

that buffet under the marquee is the first i have ever partaken of though i have seen many, it is a common way to hold a wake, a birthday party or even a wedding. it is with some surprise that the following night i find myself at another, much larger marquee party, a housewarming.
there are three large marquees covering the front yard and spanning the whole road. the buffet is lavish with a laden table of vegetarian food for the local indians (hindus?) and another full of chinese favourites featuring pork, duck and chicken.
children play as adults watch indulgently, dirty plates are stacked on the gutter and a tailless cat wanders through the crowd.
the next day early rain brings some relief from the heat and a cool breeze blows for a while before the heat becomes oppressive again.
i lend a hand with some schoolwork before the kids go swimming with their older cousins.
i go out for lunch with those who dont want to swim and although i enjoy a fried noodle or two i am relieved to find steamed buns and sticky rice on the menu. the sticky rice is sweet and moist with a morsel of tender chicken and a dried mushroom. there are steamed greens and tofu in an eggy sauce and all eyes are on me as i struggle with chopsticks for the first few moments. my B.I.L offers me a fork but i refuse, wishing to show some competence, at which H agrees "yes, you are half chinese, why should you use a fork?"

malaysia is a land of flip flops and slip ons and i laugh to myself as i notice that crocs, that sartorial crime so often derided in the fashion world, are on many feet in many colours and styles.

i am wearing orthotics every waking moment in hopes of clearing up a pressure wound on my foot so i wear runners everywhere. they are expensive runners in an attractive style but i still feel that my footwear stands out like a beacon and i doubt that my situation has been properly explained. i wonder whether i am regarded as odd, or worse, rude because i even wear shoes in the house.

i bought my house shoes shortly before the trip and kept them new so they wouldnt sully the clean floors but to wear shoes indoors is bizarre in the extreme.

eventually a young niece asks why i choose such hot footwear and i show her the orthotic. i doubt she understands fully but it is clear that i cant put it in a flip flop. i should have told her how much they cost. money talks loud around here and and the price might excuse me almost any faux pas :)


  1. The thing I see in the pictures, besides your mug Kylie, is that remove the language on the signs and the photo could have been taken in any North American city.

  2. hey mark,
    i know what you mean, the buildings are styled a bit differently to what i'm used to, the roads are a little different....
    but yeah, everyone drives a car and watches tv and all that average stuff.
    i hope north america is cleaner. the grottiness doesnt bother me but i noticed it this time more than i ever have in the past

  3. I know what you mean about the embarrassment of orthotics. My GP and podiatrist recommended them for knee pains but they didn't actually make much difference. And yes, it's a pain when you want to wear flipflops (surely thongs?) or go barefoot.

    Looks like you sampled a lot of interesting dishes while you were vacationing. Steamed greens and tofu in eggy sauce sounds good, must try that one.

  4. nick,
    yes we call em thongs but that would just make the americans laugh so in this case i adjust my language


go on, leave a comment or four.