Friday, April 9, 2010

Malaysia Trip (March'10)

OK, here's the promised update of our trip (lasting almost 4 weeks from March 9 to April 3, 2010).

Boy did the days pass by too quickly. Please excuse the lack of creative adjectives due to my still jetlag-addled brain cells.

We left for Kuala Lumpur (better known as KL), the Malaysian capital, via Singapore Airlines. Hubby dropped us off at the San Francisco Airport and we spent some time taking photos and having snacks while waiting for boarding.

We arrived in Singapore at 1.05am and put up at Changi Terminal 3 Transit Hotel till 7am. Lots of thumbs up for the Terminal 3. It really fits its reputation as an award-winning airport.
We then took a cab to Singapore's Harborfront Center to get bus tickets for KL. Since it'd been about 4 years since I'd seen Singapore properly, the island city seemed vastly changed.  What was especially new was seeing signboards about casinos and catching a glimpse of the Singapore Flyer.

We managed to catch a 9am coach to KL just in time. Kiddo spent much of the bus ride working on the Penny Press Puzzle Book his Dad had bought him at an SFO bookstore, despite my pleas to enjoy whatever he could of the Malaysian North-South Highway's countryside view.
We reached KL at about 3pm (still on the 9th) and headed for my folks' home. It was lovely seeing them again after 2 years. My sis came home from work that evening and so began two weeks of helping her fold her 600 wedding favor boxes (for giving away fruitcake) and just overall kicking back and having our first proper homeschooling holiday in about a year (not counting the Christmas/Winter Break of course).

The first two weeks (March 9 - 21) went by a little slowly for the man. I think it was a bit of a culture shock for him, not having much to do, other than watch TV and eat all that yummy Malaysian food and put up with the heat and mosquitoes. Typically, he was still besotted by his puzzle book and my sis' book collection. Luckily for him (or I'd have sworn off packing books forever), he also read sporadically from the bunch of books we'd brought from home.

I managed to catch up with C, my dearest ex-school buddy. C had agreed to help me out with performing for my sister's wedding dinner ceremony so we met several times during those two weeks to practice our acapella numbers. Here's a pix of C with her really sweet hubby, R. It's always lovely catching up with these two. C's brother J (who studied at the same college as my hubby and I) was there too and the kiddo was very much taken by J's obvious gift for music as well as his interest and patience with all of the kiddo's intense questioning. Thanks J!

The second leg of our trip (March 22 - Apr 1) was when most of the excitement occured. My brother and my lovely sis-in-law arrived from the UK with their 3 kids, one of whom is a 2-month-old. All of us immediately fell in love with the little one, including the kiddo. I didn't realize how fond he is of babies! Thankfully, culture shock over, the kiddo immediately bonded with his cousins and took to playing card games and carrom with them.  It was awesome seeing the three of them pick up from where they'd left off about 4 years ago.

After my brother arrived, preparations for the wedding spiked but we still managed to spend a lot of time together playing and chatting while also tickling the baby and singing to her. We also caught a screening of How To Train Your Dragon at MidValley MegaMall. C and I continued our acapella rehearsals and a few days later, my mom-in-law arrived. My folks' place was already bursting at the seams with 12 people living under the same roof but it was a lovely difference from the usual loneliness the kiddo and I experience in our own home.

Here's a pix of my mom-in-law (hubby's mom) holding the sleeping baby. She not only looks young (my MIL I mean) but is also incredibly young-at-heart and a real sweetie. And  on the right, a pix of the cousins enjoying my mother's famous chicken curry.

The wedding day dawned nice and pretty on March 28. The temple ceremony came first (early in the morning) followed by a dinner ceremony at night.

C and I actually managed quite a good performance if I should say so myself. Most important, we had so much fun and the bride and groom were obviously happy with our little re-writing of the lyrics to reflect how they'd met in college and courted for 10 years before finally tying the knot. I also sang a solo in Tamil, dedicated to the parents of the bride and groom. Thankfully, no glasses cracked! And everyone commented on how pretty the wedding favor boxes were :) Hurray for all the hours we've spent practising origami!

Here's my sis and her hubby after the temple ceremony. Don't they look awesome?
Do excuse the blurriness of photos! The newlyweds headed to Bali for their honeymoon while kiddo and I spent a few days with my folks, brother and family and mom-in-law before leaving for Singapore to spend two days there with hubby's relatives and catch our flight back.

We took an Air Asia flight to Singapore on April 1 and put up at the hubby's uncle place in Bukit Panjang. Bukit Panjang is where we ourselves had lived prior to moving to the US so it was really delightful to be back there and enjoy all the sights the kiddo had grown up with. Since he left Singapore at age 3, however, he didn't remember too much.  He was however, very spot on about where to find his preschool/ daycare center! He didn't want to enter it or look for any of his old teachers though because he hadn't enjoyed preschool at all.

Here, the kiddo is staring at the Bukit Panjang LRT (Light Rail Transit) route map. I managed to take him around by LRT and the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) on April 2 so that he could experience what that's like. I also brought him to the Pizza Hut in Causeway Point, Woodlands, the same outlet where he had read out his first word (pizza!) when he was 9 months old. We of course had to have lunch there :)

We then returned to hubby's uncle's place and met up with other uncles and aunts and hubby's wonderful grandma (kiddo's great-grandma). My mom-in-law joined us there as well (she's my hubby's mom so these are all her immediate family).

Early morning on April 3, we left Singapore for San Francisco. Although we'd been warned about heavy turbulence, the flight back was uneventful...but I missed my folks so much! It had been a lovely 4 weeks despite my initial reservations about the whole trip. We were however, looking forward very much to seeing the hubby again since he hadn't joined us in Malaysia.

We are still in the throes of jetlag now so the kiddo will likely be "on holiday" till that's over LOL. Yippee for natural learning!!


  1. Sounds like a great trip; I'm so pleased things went well for you. Your sister is gorgeous! I love the henna! :)

  2. It sounds like a very busy, but incredibly fun time!! I'm glad to have you back though :)

  3. Thanks ladies! We are glad to be back but just missing my parents so very much.

  4. We had a lovely time together. had a good laugh too. Bijou, Juan, Poo Poo (he insists sitting next to me), and Lucia all talking what we did there. Really nice to see how wonderful the time was.

  5. Oh thank you for dropping by Anni! I am so glad you managed to visit. Lots of love to the kids and PooPoo too (he he he).


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