Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year!!!!!!!!

My use of exclamation marks in the title should help you know the enthusiasm Malaysia feels for Chinese New Year.

Malaysia is a good chunk ethnically Chinese and Chinese New Year is big deal.  Luckily this year we got to celebrate with my parents who came out for two weeks.

We saw decor and lion dance, and lion dance, and lion dances.
Beautiful CNY decor in Chinatown

Red lanterns everywhere

Kids celebrated CNY at school.

Some lion dance dancers waiting

If you think Pavillion does Christmas big, watch out, CNY is amazing!

Everyone gets into the festivities.

Lion Dance #10 of the 21 days.

Total tangent here but Ayam Goreng Spicy at McDonalds is AMAZING.  FYI, order this if you go to McD in Malaysia.

My Tiger celebrating CNY

In fact it has now been three weeks and I just saw a lion dance yesterday, yes, yes, yes it is very cool but I find myself running away instead of towards it.   It is very very very loud, a once a year thing, max not a 21 day cycle of cymbals.  If you do ever get a chance to see Chinese Acrobatic Lion Dance, go for it.  It is not to be missed.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Investing in Sunny

This past week I applied for a job at the embassy.  To be fair, in my opinion it was the absolute best job out there.  It was the highest I could get paid (less than the hourly rate I made in my first job out of college, but still, I am only an EFM after all) and it had a little bit of respect that came with it.  The tasks were things I felt I would be good at: organizing events, coordinating newcomers, dealing with schools, and helping liaise with the local community.  Not a bad gig at all, if I do say so.  Best part: part time.  I could still hang with the kids.

The problem is, I had this nagging feeling about it.  I have the most free time ever in my life, now.  It has been a blissful seven months since the kids have been in school and I have had my days relatively free.  I have still be doing a bit of instructional design contract work but overall I have had my life back and it is TERRIFYING.

Getting a job at the embassy kind of fills a gap, but not the way I want that filled.  It fills my time and pays me a few cents but it takes me NO WHERE.  I am never going to get promoted as CLO, I am never going to take that to the next level.  It is the best job at the embassy for a family member but it is still picking at bones, and I don't want any bones, but I don't blame those who take those bones and love them.  The pickings are slim for the trailing spouse.

So, I declined the interview.  I chose to invest in myself, maybe I won't make money, maybe I will fail at something new but it will be my choice.

The very afternoon of my decision I met a real estate agent who on the spot asked me if I wanted a job (apparently you don't need a license to be a realtor here), I don't think I am interested but it was the universe tell me, "It will be okay Sunny." My point is this, there are opportunities out there if you get out, believe in yourself, and fill your time holes with things have direction.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Missing the Miss USA QA

Last night I went to Australia Day.  Australia Day is hands down my favorite national day as a guest.  They have the best food, amazing decor, fun music, and it is friendly and happy, a lot like Australians themselves.

We meet a lot of interesting people and last night was no different, except I didn't know I was going to finally have my debut as the anti-Miss USA Ms USA.

A gentleman came up to me and asked me my feelings about the Miss Universe pageant.  Being a mother, a feminist, and a jaded consumer of television I did not put much effort into my response.

G: How do you feel about the Miss Universe pageant?

Me: Well, I think it is a sexist competition that has women seek approval from men to be the most attractive and poised and touts itself as a contest that promotes women when in reality it keeps women oppressed and promotes a sexist outlook on women where they seek approval from men.

G: Ahh, but, you know, you are wrong.  It is a wonderful competition that has empowered women in my country and can make great changes to the community.

Me: I think it is time we move on from pageants and empower women in other ways besides who has the nicest body and can answer a question with showing her pearly whites.  (I say this showing my pearly whites).

And down the rabbit hole we went until I found myself having this weird argument about a pageant I am not painfully passionate about and feeling as if I was Miss USA herself.  Sometimes my life feels like a 1/2 asleep 1/2 awake dream.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Why Can't I Quit You?

I has been six weeks since I last blogged.  Part of me is tired of this obligation, always having to keep the blog up and part of me wants to quit but I have eight years of momentum behind this blog and I can't quit...habits.

At the same time there are a lot of things I feel like I can't talk about and I want to blog about, that stifles me creatively.  I will say this, we love, love, love Malaysia but it is complex and fascinating.

This past December the kids had their end-of-2014 festivities.  We had a wonderfully nice long break where we stayed in town.  Instead of traveling we bought a new washer, dryer, HVAC, and heater for our house in McLean.  Sigh.  So we had a staycation.

I am not feeling wordy today so take a look at our last six weeks:
The Christmas card shot.

Family Photos at KLCC Park.  The Banyan tree that hosted a million mosquitos.

Stella in charge at 7.  Love her.  

My sweet amazing Tiger.  Love him.

My two kids.

I went to Chinatown a lot to pick up stocking stuffers.

Stella and her original Manila BFF together again, Batu caves.

Ate street food with friends.

Went to Merdekka Square

Saw cool stuff near Imbi Market

Drove to Port Dickson, gorgeous sand littered with garbage. Wuh Wah.

Don't worry my days at BYU prepped me for this moment. 

Went to science museums.

And cat birthday parties.

And had playdates.

And our eighth ceiling water leak.

Saw santa

Stella actually sat on his lap this year. Hi Bill!

Realized we won the war on Christmas when I went to a mall in a Muslim country and it was the biggest Christmas display I have ever seen in my life, complete with religious carols. 
The flood in the ceiling kept leaking for ten days until someone came to fix it.  The ceiling fell.

Went to Chinatown, again.

Spent time with this kid.

Played at our neighbor's house.

Did batik painting.

Saw friends.

Went to the mall with friends.

Had Christmas.
We fed Santa's reindeer in this household.

Lost a second tooth Christmas Eve.

Had an amazing Christmas brunch at the Mandarin Oriental.

My helper got this for me for Christmas.

Went to the aquarium.

Spent New Years with my family.
Rang in the New Year with this cutie in his PJs.

Saw our old Manila peeps and hosted them for three days.

Batu caves.

Ate fish head curry.

Street food with Seth.

Climbed our neighbors rock climbing wall.

Went on a boat and saw the fireflies.

Played with garbage and built a house using proper housing materials at Port Dickson.

Who needs a resort?