We’re on our way: The men visit Malaysia

Someone recently told me that January is the Monday of months. They were not wrong- I always used to blame it on the British weather- but now I am in year 3 of hot Januarys and I realise there is more to it. It is straight after christmas and it is certainly a long old month.  Luckily now we’re at the end and the rest of the year can begin with more purpose!

At some point in September last year, I woke up to a fancy new whatsapp group which only meant one thing- David and Adam are coming to Malaysia!

screenshot_20161117-070142

This year, we were treated to a four day weekend in celebration of Chinese New Year. Winner. As life has this knack of flying in a blink of an eye, by the time I got round to looking at flights everything was 5 times more expensive than usual. Therefore a road trip was the obvious choice. At this point I drafted in Ron, our resident Malaysian photography expert for David and also Sarah. A team of 5: 4 Angmohs and our tour guide.

Before setting off I had a bad feeling about the traffic. This was mainly caused by the faces made by Malaysians when I said where I was planning on going for CNY. You know that face when you’re smiling but your eyes are wincing imagining the pain? Eyebrows raised trying to think of something positive to say? Yes that face. ‘Are you really going on that day?’ Why yes….

But the plan still went ahead. Setting off at 6am wide eyed and bushy tailed (well those of us who had not arrived in KL a mere 12 hours before) ready to take on this traffic. I made a load of brownies the night before and bought enough snacks for the day. We made a bet: I said it would take 6 hours, Ron 4 and Sarah 2. Normally it takes an easy 2 hours.

Well I’d love to say that the Malaysians I had spoken to were wrong. I’d also love to say that we zoomed to Malacca without a care in the world.

It took under 2 hours. We arrived in Malacca just before 8 and it was absolutely dead. We had to wait for breakfast! Becca’s Tour: 1- Malaysia’s traffic: 0. I didn’t win the bet but I’m  ok with that.

Coffee-breakfast-walking-lunch-walking- dinner proves to be a winning Melacca combination.

In the evening we headed to the Portuguese settlement a little bit outside the main area- which is where at some point in the past Portuguese people came and never left: people now who look Malaysian Portuguese and serve what seems to be seafood a little bit like Chinese food. They are largely catholic which is reflected at christmas by the amount of christmas lights!  The night consisted of a huge dinner, firecrackers and fireworks. So much fun. Nobody got hurt.

Tour Guide Becca

Of course I also brought them around the city: China Town, Sentral market, a Hindu temple, a Buddhist temple, the City Gallery, hipster coffee shop, thai food. The main things. Of course we went to the helipad, however unfortunately it was raining so we didn’t stay long. Fortunately the Skybar had a beautiful view in the dry! David now will have enough photos to last him a few weeks.

 

The next morning we left our condo at 5am to hit Broga Hill for sunrise. I thought it was worth it- not sure about how the boys felt! I am loving the short hikes to the beautiful views, and luckily Malaysia has an abundance of such things.

While I worked for the next week the boys went to Penang, Langkawi, the Cameron Highlands and everywhere in between. I’m masking my jealousy by ignoring it! They came back to KL with Gin and Tea so all is right with the world.

img-20170216-wa0042

Miss you guys already! Hope you come back soon!

 

 

 

 

Hello September

This year is the new beginning. I feel like I should either say yes now and go forward, or turn back. I’m choosing the first.

This is the year I truly say yes, I’m all in. Not, I’m in when I feel like it, but yes to the uncertain, yes to the downright scary, yes to new adventures. This week I am listening to God call me to start the preparations for the future that He has called me to. I’m finally accepting that these future plans won’t just suddenly roll out from nowhere, but in fact they are real and foundations need to be built, paths need to be cleared.

So yes, this is me saying I’m planning on going for it. I am terrified. I will most certainly be tired. But wow I am excited!

 

Learning the Saxophone ft. Snorkeling: They’re exactly the same.

The sea in the Perhentians is so clear you can see everything. It is absolutely gorgeous.

Last month when we went there, Leah and Cat naturally jumped at the chance to go Snorkeling. Why not? 40 Ringos for 5 places, you can’t go wrong. I was a bit unsure as I’ve never done it before and I was soooo very happy just lying on the beach. But, I absolutely hate missing out. And it would be great right? So off we went the next morning.

To start with I had a right ‘mare. At the first stop we were thrown snorkels and left to get on with it.  I remember I was like, ‘yeah I can do this!’ I jumped right in. Then I swiftly had the beginnings of a panic attack. Suddenly breathing was a bit of an issue.

Every time my breathing calmed down above water, I went right back to square one the minute I tried to go under. I could see everyone else having a great time,  it was fine. Easy in fact. But my brain wouldn’t accept it. Under water means you cannot breathe.

I very nearly gave up and went back to the boat, thinking I would just sunbathe for the rest of the morning and watch everyone. Then something in me told me to keep going. So I slowly, slowly got my head around the fact that even though I shouldn’t be able to breathe under the water… I could! And I could see beautiful fish too! This process took me a while, I looked like a weirdo, but I got there.

The feeling when I finally managed it was incredible. It felt like a real adventure. The coral was gorgeous, we saw 5 sharks, a turtle AND Nemo!

 

This is the same battle with the saxophone. Bare with me…

I know I can physically do it. The facts tell me that by 18 years I grade 8 clarinet under my belt, and my dad will happily tell you I have the voice of a foghorn. The foundations are there.

But there is the same mental block. There is one note, the upper octave D, that I repeatedly cannot manage to produce. I could do it in the past, but I have lost it. My voice can do it, my hands can also. We’ve tried. But together, and the stress of an imminent exam is just making this a bigger ordeal than it should be.

I just need to train my brain.

Once that barrier is broken (and maybe practise more…. I guess that never hurts) I’m well on the way. In the same way as in the Perhentians, I need to train (perhaps trick?) my brain into creating this note.

The exam is in 8 weeks.. plenty of time!

 

So it’s the same right? On a side note, who wants to come to the Perhentians again soon?