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!

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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.

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Miss you guys already! Hope you come back soon!

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas Lah!

Of year two in Malaysia, term one is nearly over.

This term I’ve hit Ipoh, Bali and Malacca and it’s been great. Malaysia you are beautiful and you are forever surprising me. There has been survival of the first term of School of Leadership- even managing to complete the majority of my tasks, and as I haven’t been asked to leave my job yet I must’ve done ok! Overall I would consider it a success.
Considering Malaysia is a largely Muslim country it certainly looks pretty christmassy. The Malls are looking beautiful and Micheal Buble is playing around every corner. Everyone is going all out.

It cannot be argued that it is a little strange. Last week we had sports day (it is december, that just NEVER happens in the UK, with the weather and all) christmas party in quick succession, and christmas party at the weekend. Throw in the tropical weather, the sweat and the continuous frizzy hair and then ask me why I’m a little confused! My body has had about 22 years of seasons, and is used to cold weather (wearing countless layers and mostly darkness) on the build up to christmas. I do have very kind friends that encourage this christmas excitement by making their AC in their car freeeezzinggggg and singing christmas songs at me. It does help a little I guess.

So with this in mind I took matters into my own hands: dug out the old spotify playlist- whacked up the AC and commenced the creation of christmas bunting. My icy attitude is beginning to thaw… I WILL get excited no matter what it takes!

Having said all that, I’m totally gearing up to hit the only place I want to be at christmas. This girl is flying northwest for the winter! At home in the shire with the Gatland clan. (In Sussex, England with my family- for all of you who don’t speak Becca!) I can’t wait to catch up with all, bake a ridiculous amount of treats (including the annual alternative gingerbread house) eat meat again, see London all lit up, breathe fresh air, drive again and let’s not forget enjoy the beauty of the Sussex countryside. You can take the girl out of Sussex but you can’t take Sussex out of the girl.

This is our ‘Dinsoaurs have invaded’ gingerbread house from last year.

Oh yeah, there is the small matter of giving Ying Ying her first english christmas. Are you ready for the social media frenzy that is Ying Ying on tour? Because it is certainly coming whether you like it or not!

I cannot forget how lucky I am that I am even able to travel home. It is a big journey and it certainly is not cheap. I would not be going if it wasn’t for my super generous grandfather and parents who I appreciate so much! Every christmas that I am living abroad but am able to make it home I will value so so much.

 

4 days and counting! Sussex we are coming for you!

Tomorrow…

I’m flying to Kuala Lumpur TOMORROW! Yes that went fast, and no I don’t know where the time has gone. I have had the best time in Sussex for the past 5 weeks, managing to have a full ‘MOT’, and becoming a very brief sew-a-holic (notable achievements include 2 kimonos, 2 t-shirts and a pair of shorts!).

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I love hanging out with friends and family, it’s so easy when you’ve known them a long time and you know you’re for them and they’re for you.

So, I am physically ready with healthy hair, eyes, teeth and blood but there was the small problem of packing. A few weeks ago I started to have dreams about packing nightmares, involving my suitcase and its contents in a very large, very full, bath. The last week has consisted mainly of: thinking about packing, doing things to avoid packing, and a little bit of packing. Packing turns me into a more stressed version of myself which tries to look into the future, but instead panic packs things I will never need. I should know what I need by now right? Ha.ha. Thank you Frankie as always for the ever so useful advice a few days ago!

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But about an hour ago I finished packing! Yes miracles are happening today, as for the first time in my life my bags are (currently) under the weight limit. It is taking all the strength I have to not add anything else. Now I can finally get excited!!

So what now?

My new job title is Literacy TA at the British International School of Kuala Lumpur. The other day I was wondering whether this is a step down, but I reckon its a step sideways. I’m going to be working for the English department in the secondary school which is only a few years old, helping in the classroom and outside with all things literacy. Maybe a bit of subbing too. The company has paid for flights, medical insurance, VISA and accommodation! So yes I may not be teaching in the way I was last year but I’m going to use this year to see if I might be cut out for a career in secondary teaching. This idea has mostly stemmed from the ‘educating’ series’  on the channel 4 which I binged watched last summer, and my summer job after graduation teaching teenagers from around the world English. Also after last year I sort of want an easy life!

Yes, I think it will be a bit of hard work again getting into life somewhere else, but I am so very lucky to have the opportunity to go an experience somewhere new. It does help to be young and single! My aspirations are the following….

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So with that I’ll say that I am as ready as I’ll ever be. Bring on the sunshine! See ya at christmas England!

xxx