May 27, 2009

Mr. & Mrs. for 5 Years!

We have been married for 5 incredible years! We can't believe it's been that long and we marvel at everything we've done and been through (see ALL the former posts on this blog for reference:)
God has truly blessed us far beyond anything we could have dreamed and we have "as long as we both shall live" to experience the rest of what He has in store for us. If the first 5 years have been are any indication of what the rest will be like, we can't imagine what life will be like at year 10, 25, or 50!

May 25, 2009

10 Things to Miss...

We’ll be returning to the US at the end of June. With one month left in the place we’ve happily called home for the last (almost) 3 years, there are inevitably things we’ll miss. This list isn’t the major things, but the “little” things we’ve come to love and that seem all too normal here… In no particular order…

1. Choosing our own seats for a $3.00 movie.
Here, when you go to the movies, you pick your seat when you buy the ticket. At first we thought this was weird… it’s best to go early or buy your tickets online (no, we don’t live in a hut!) but then, even if you end up getting there 5 minutes late or in the middle of the previews, your seat is there waiting for you. They even have “Couple Seats” in the back couple of rows that don’t have arm rests between them. And the theaters here are all stadium seating, very much up to US standards. I definitely think the US though, could learn from Asian ticket buying- When I think about going to the movies in the states I’m already whining because I know I’m going to have to buy tickets early, then make sure I get to the theater early (or wait in line early) then try not to get into a yelling match with the bozo saving 8 seats for all his friends who haven’t shown up yet! Grrrr.

2. Full-Service Petrol Stations. Do these even exist in the US anymore? I think in the entire time I’ve been here, I’ve pumped my own gas less than 10 times. Thanks to the (more than likely) illegal Bangladeshi workers, going to the gas station is less of a hassle.

3. Gargantuan Malls. If there is one thing Asia does hands-down better than America, it’s malls. There is no such thing as a single storey mall here. And I can only think of one 2-Storey one…wait, nevermind, the bowling alley and movie theater are on a lower 3rd level. So yeah. Malls here are big. And there are tons of them. “Malling” is definitely a cultural thing. It doesn’t matter that a new 5 storey mall goes up 2 miles from the last one, on the weekends, they are ALL ALWAYS packed. I’m going to miss participating in this part of the culture!

4. Parking Garages. These are a necessary accompaniment to the mega malls. If I make a “10 things I won’t miss” list, these will probably be on it too. But under the hot equatorial sun, never having to get into a car that is suffocatingly hot or never having a seatbelt brand my hand or leg, and never having to worry that anything in my car might be melting is nice.

5. The Ice Cream counter at McDonald’s. I have no clue if these exist in the US, but they’re standard here. Nearly every McDonald’s has an entirely separate counter that’s just for ice cream so you don’t have to wait behind all those burger eaters for your choco-top cone. Nice.

6. Head Massage with any Shampoo. At salons here it’s a given that you will get a head massage. You don’t have to ask for one. They shampoo your hair as you’re sitting up in the chair (I know, and it’s not messy, I have no clue how they do it) and while shampooing they work their magic on your scalp. I’ve noticed that if I compliment the stylist as they’re massaging, they go a little longer. Even at barber shops they do it (and Anthony’s barber also does a neck crack that would cause any chiropractor to applaud)…the best part is there’s no extra charge!

7. Weather reports not-necessary.
Here there’s no “Weather on the 10’s” during newscasts. It’s either hot and dry or hot and wet 365 days a year. Bring an umbrella and you’re prepared for either (people use umbrellas more for keeping sun off than rain). My news watching must be proportional to weather forecasts because I think I’ve watched less than 10 newscasts since being here because I already knew what the weather would be!

8. Roundabouts. This is also one that could end up on a “won’t miss” list, but I think I’ll be missing the sight of them. It’s not that they’re better than a four- way intersection (though for 5 way intersections they’re nice) it’s just that they’ve become part of what I expect to encounter when I drive…so they’re a distinct part of my experience here. It’s a good feeling navigating one without feeling scared...almost like a rite of passage. And if I ever get on the Amazing Race, I’m sure it will give me a leg-up by expertly maneuvering through the mess as the other confused Americans wait nervously for the ‘break’ that never comes in a roundabout traffic! Ha!

9. Being called “Madam.” I’ve never googled or wikipedia-ed this, but I’m fairly confident that the word “Madam” replaces “Mrs.” for a married woman’s title in British English. At hospitals, clinics, and other places where formality reigns, “Madam Sharon” just sounds so British Colonial and I love it. Also young boys are called “Master” so when we fill out Isaac’s medical forms and what not, he’s called “Master Isaac.” Very cute and very Un-American sounding.

10. “COMELNYA! MATA BIRU!” That’s “He’s so cute! Wow blue eyes!” in Bahasa. Isaac gets this everywhere we go. And though a lot of the time I crave anonymity, being told constantly that your baby is beautiful…to the point where Isaac gets at least 2 spontaneous photo ops when we’re out in public each time, is nice and boosts the ol’ mommy self-esteem. Camera phones come out and people hold up their peace signs with the blue-eyed, fair skinned baby and everyone walks away smiling. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still “cute” in American terms, but I wonder how much my ego will suffer when no one randomly asks for my baby’s picture when we’re in a sea of blue, green, and hazel eyes. ☺

May 11, 2009

Stylo Mum

Mother’s Day weekend was fun this year…is it wrong to say it was fun because of the free stuff I got? No. I’m the Mommy and I say no.

Since most of you will only look at pictures, I’ll put this part of the story first…
The most unexpected Mother’s Day surprise happened as I was walking to the nail salon in the mall. This girl stopped me before getting on an escalator and said, “Hi! I’ve spotted you as a Stylo Mom!” (and then handed me a slip of paper with the same thing written on it) “Go to the concierge desk to collect your prize.”


She then said, “ You’re a stylish mum. Can I take your picture?” She held up the camera and snapped a photo of me holding Isaac. Then she was gone and I got my mani/pedi.

Later I went to the desk to receive my prize, still a bit confused. The prize was a new wallet, eye shadow, blush, and some lipstick. The guy at the desk wrote my name and phone number on the back of the slip of paper, then he took my picture too. Confused, I asked what all this was and as far as I could understand there’s some judging or something for the pictures and then the “mum” chosen wins another prize. Anthony saw a wardrobe (as in clothes, not the C.S. Lewis kind) on display and he thought that could be the prize. I highly doubt it, but if anything comes of it I’ll post pics here for sure!

My husband snuck and bought me the last two books in the “Twilight” series while I was getting my Mother’s Day Manicure/Pedicure. For those of you who don’t know me personally, no, I’m not a teenage mom… I just happen to find the adolescent vampire love story interesting. Don’t argue with me about it either.

On Sunday morning I woke up and Isaac had made me his first ever Mother’s Day card (with help from Daddy of course).

We went to eat at Bubba Gump’s with some friends (her first mother’s day!)…we went there last year, so maybe every year we’re here for Mother’s Day we’ll make it an official tradition. The kids meals there are so cute served in the shrimp boats…though Isaac was really into the tartar sauce.

It was a great weekend and to reward all of you who so faithfully read all the way to the bottom of this post… I woke up this morning to my sister calling from the US (where it was still Mother’s Day) to tell us that their birthmom was in labor with the child they’re hoping to adopt! So, no doubt this post will soon be replaced with a birth announcement!

May 05, 2009

10 Things About Where We Live

1. Where we live there is a very slight chance of getting hit in the head from a falling durian... which kills an average of 1 person a year (true fact).

2. Where we live Crocs are just as popular as they are in the US (and just as ugly).

3. Where we live people believe cold drinks can make you sick (the food below: sweet lime tea and char kuey teow... mmmm... soooo goooood).

4. Where we live there are wild tigers, elephants, rhinoceroses and monkeys in the rainforest.

5. Where we live there's WiFi in every McDonald's and the employees bring home the chicken bacon (no pork here :) by making RM4.50/sejam ($1.27/hour).

6. Where we live my wife takes unflattering pictures with her friends in Starbucks (she doesn't know I found this... he he he).

7. Where we live many people bloodlet to get rid of headaches.

8. Where we live nearly every local restaurant is open 24 hours and they're often packed at 2am.

9. Where we live little kids commonly go to sleep at midnight.

10. Where we live the word for heart (as in "you'll always be in my heart" or "I'll keep your memories in my heart") in the local language, when directly translated, means "liver."

What's cool about where you live? Leave a comment!

May 01, 2009

Krispy Kreme. A Poem.

Krispy Kreme
How I love thee.
So sweet, so melty.
Hot now.
I see your light.
Double dozen?
I think I might.

Us at the Grand Opening...Anthony eating one while waiting in line...the baby is not mine. (that last part wasn't part of the poem...just a coincidence that it rhymed.)