Saturday, 30 March 2013

Knuckle Down

Father (trying to teach my mother how to drink from a waterbottle without touching the rim): It's easy. Just rest your thumb knuckle on your chin and pour, and then you have all the control you could want.

Mother (attempting to do so): Okay

Mother suddenly discovers she has no knuckle. We inspect her and true enough, she has no visible thumb knuckle. How? Why? What?

Father: You're deformed.

Me: Quasimodo. (A pause.) But we love you anyway. 

George Town

I call this one Tourist Crossing Street. 

Street art on the streets of George Town 

Our hotel Lodging House. Just kidding. 

This adorable tourist posed for me. 

Trickshaws, another dying trade 

Which way to go, which way to go? 

A restored cafe for tourists in the historic district 

Three types of tile 

A beautiful mosque 

A nap in the hot afternoon hours 

A church gazebo, town hall, courthouse all in the traditional colonial style


On our way to George Town, the historic district of this former British colony, we walked past a good many shophouses, each one devoted to a specific product--eggs, milk, brushes, rice, paint, etc. The owners are often the last of their kind as their children have moved on to higher-paying jobs elsewhere and their business is slowly overtaken by corporate warehouses. It is a little sad to think this may be the end.

While the owner's away, the cat the store? 

Fish set out for drying 

This man smiled and let me take his picture. 

One of the few shops with booming business: a bike rental shop for the tourists


Penang is a historic former British colony with long beaches and an extensive night market. I bought two dresses, an Aladdin lamp, two sets of silk pouches, salt and pepper shakers for a friend, and a few presents I can't mention here because they are gifts. I am most pleased with my Aladdin lamp. It'll go nicely on my shelf.

Seaside cafe

Cat naps with man

Night market

My father's friends invited us out to a vegan dinner, and the restaurant served the most delicious vege rolls in lemon sauce. The above picture is of the fruit salad topped with ground black sesame seeds. Despite knowing it was sesame seed powder, I kept thinking it was black pepper and was equally surprised with each bite.

A Word on My Health

Dear Friends,

I'm sorry to say I have been the worse for wear these last few days. I took time off work to spend with my parents and together we set off for Penang, Malaysia to redeem those hotel vouchers to our name. Unfortunately, the sandfly bites I had gotten on the beach a week before became infected--thirteen of them--and they oozed rather alarmingly whenever the bandages were removed. Despite my mother's best efforts as a nurse, changing my bandages in the morning and evening, my leg remained too swollen to stand on for extended periods of time and I ended up rudely propping it up on chairs and tables wherever we went. It become clear after the third day that stronger measures were in order, and my mother and I visited the hotel doctor, who prescribed me antibiotics and ibuprofen. Since then then the bites have slowly been healing, though at the moment  I think I feel a cold coming on.

Still, the bites kept me from swimming or even lying around by the pool, as I had hoped, and the bandages would certainly get me noticed. Shopkeepers would stop and stare, and the only upside was that I really did have an excuse not to take them up on their offer of pedicures or foot massages or water sports. Thankfully, family time is not dependent on the amount of things you do together but rather the time you have.

Islands, Continued

Little over a week ago I was on the shores of the quiet Coral Island, and though I am quite ready to take up work again and fall back into a schedule, I can remember its peace and quiet days in the midst of my Busy.

I miss sleeping in my princess tent

and waking to jungle and sun outside my window 

 and watching the cat sleep effortlessly

having a whole beach for myself

Rebecca thought it would be appropriate to do the dead man's float for the picture. 

And was it not the perfect place for Treasure Island?

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Last year for Christmas I bought a bag of English Blend tea and sent it off to my friend Matt in Australia. It never arrived but chose instead to circumnavigate the  globe at its leisure (Matt muses that it may have been carried by directionally-challenged pigeons), visiting various parts of the world. It only arrived today in Marin, California, in the good ole' U.S. of A, fifteen months too late. Matt brewed himself a cup to test its mettle.

English tea for the English man.

 "Is tea like wine?" he asks. "Does it get better with age?"

 So far so good.


Apparently I have killed yet another friend. And this one really was an accident.
Note to self: must be more careful. They are getting harder to replace.