27 January 2009

Chinese New Year

Hey Peeps,

Criticism of lack of posts noted. In my defense, the only internet I have had the last few days has been in the "member's lounge" of the flash hotel we stayed at in KL, under the watchful eyes of hotel staff who ejected me fairly quickly due to scruffy appearance and cheese thievery.

We're back in Singapore at Natalia's dad's place after a couple of fun filled days in Malaysia. Well they were fun filled for me - Natalia was on the family "leash" and spent most of the time stuffing her face with grandmas and aunts etc. We would both come back to the hotel at pre-arranged times, Natalia in a nice dress, heels, makeup, me in sweaty fishermans skirt, birks and singlet. She would bitch about how bloated she was from eating constantly and I'd tell her of the $2 meal I had on the street watching the world go by. I crammed a fair bit in our 48 hours in KL, there was plenty more I would like to have done but of course there were time constraints and also the odd thing I didn't feel comfortable as a single female whitey. Not much, but longer distances and the odd small and dodgy market that I would have preferred a buddy.

So in my time in KL I went to many many shops and noticed that all the clothes were designed for people much smaller (and more feminine) than myself. But that's ok, as the weak dollar has made things not that much cheaper there anyway. At first I was intimidated by the street sellers hassling me to buy/eat/look etc but by the end I had fun bantering with them... "a pink watch? what do you take me for, a little girl? Ha!" they they would scramble to find something else and I'd dash off. I swanned around in our very luxurious hotel and managed to sneak into the 'members lounge' a few times to use internet and eat nibblies (free cheese!!) that they always had out. I visited the KL bird park which was good but not amazing - birds were good but the place they were in was not quite up to our high animal facility sort of standards. Went on the monorail, walked and walked, watched a Chinese NY lion dance, had taxi drivers try to rip me off until you call their bluff, all the usual tourist things.

Before Australia day I scoped out a whole bunch of places that might serve as potentials for pub celebrations. This was challenging due to the fact that it was chinese new year public holidays and everything was closed, and also the bars tended to serve as places where small women with padded bras picked up old fat white men or places where people went for quiet and expensive drinks. Not so much music and free flowing cheap beer. Nonetheless I wore my Australian flag for 2 days straight trying to find other aussies to celebrate with and only came across TWO, can you believe it. But they were there for work and staying out of town so no luck. We ended up just having wine in our hotel room (insert complaints about overeating here) and tiger beers on a humid and food filled street with people everywhere... lovely :) Of course we covered ourselves in AU flag tattoos, flag sarong and took our shakers out with us. Ended the night with some poor sods massaging our feet for a few bucks at 2am. Somehow that didn't sit right with me but apparently it's the done thing.

Today on the way home I was honorary whitey at Natalia's grandma's lunch... second whitey ever to be invited there after Natalia's mum. Not even long term boyfriends have been there. Big responsibility! Fortunately I can pretend to be charming and apparently my name is easy to pronounce. Also the universal language of food appreciation goes down well and is something I am good at :)

Traffic was absolutely mad on the way back in to Singapore, all 4 lanes of the 1km bridge were crawling to the passport checks, not helped by buses which squoze (thanks, Karl P) through the emergency lanes almost wiping off car mirrors. eeeek!

Next few days I will be in Singapore checking a few things out, Natalia's here till Sun, then I might try to spend a few days in Bangkok before Japan (there's only so much to see in Singapore).

Hope you all had lovely Australia Days,
Judy xx

Photos here; http://picasaweb.google.com/judy.dunlop/TravelPhotosJanuary?feat=directlink


  1. Don't eat the cheese it is a trap!!

    Thanks for the update and photos. Lots of impressive birds, though I particularly like the grey bird without a face. Also some good 'hi I'm a photographer and I'm showing off' photos.

    Keep the updates coming - no internet is not a valid excuse!

    P.S. I hope you both lose your shakers down a drain.

  2. Thanks for the update, enjoyed the visual display of your travels so far. Will you cope with the transition from 5 star to backpackers????? I wouldn't eat the cheese laying around at a backpackers :-)

    There are never enough movers and shakers really!!

    Happy & safe travels
    Mum & Neil

  3. Good to hear you are having fun and getting some use of the camera!!! Are you going the the Singapore zoo at night? I remember it being quite good.

    Have fun..
    Wendy, Richard and Winnie