Sunday, November 15, 2009

Facing My Fears

I did it!!! I drove across the Penang bridge without any sedatives whatsoever. :) It was scary but pretty cool at the same time. I still wouldn't want to do it often but at least I know I can do it without having a panic attack!

Halloween Malaysia-Style

Halloween is not a recognized holiday in Malaysia so imagine how bummed out my poor boys were when they realized there would be no trick or treating this year. But Dalat did not let us down! Because we have so many North American families working at the school (and many attending the school) Dalat organizes its own trick or treat parade! My boys were so happy! However, costumes are an issue since you can't really find them here very easily. Luckily for us, we have tons of superhero dress-up clothes and we were able to provide costumes for our boys and a few other kids as well. It also lent itself to some very creative homemade costumes.

All the kids wore their costumes to school, paraded around the campus and then went trick or treating later that night. It was a little piece of home for those of us feeling a little homesick.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Leader of the Pack

I got John a motorcycle for his birthday. He has wanted one as long as I have known him but I have always thought they were too dangerous. Well in Penang EVERYONE has a motorcycle. But the good news is it is a very small island and the roads are pretty curvy and pretty crowded so there aren't any places to "open it up". Also, the government regulates the motor size on the motorcycles and so they aren't as fast as some you see in the U.S. All that to say, I finally caved! Here is his baby.

FZ150i upgrades

Shortly after getting it he hooked up with a group of motorcycle enthusiasts here. They are all Malaysian except for him and they have been very warm and friendly and they are very excited to have an American in their group. They even invited him to a day trip to the Sedim River in Kedah on the mainland. It was a 3 hour motorcycle ride there and then they went swimming in the river, hung out for a while, then rode back. He had a great time and has made some new friends. They are planning more trips in the upcoming weeks. It's a good thing gas is cheap here!

The No Petting Zoo

We had another 4-day weekend (we get at least one long weekend per month due to various religious holidays) so we decided to take the kids to the Lost World of Tambun in amusement park with water slides, rides, and a petting zoo. This meant we had to venture off the island and onto the mainland and then find our way to this place which was about two hours away. We got slightly lost but we finally found it. It was absolutely beautiful and the kids had a blast.

The best part by far was the petting zoo. It was interesting and bizarre at the same time. We've been to petting zoos know...some bunnies, some sheep, a cow or two. But this place was NOT like that. As we walked in, the first exhibit was RACCOONS!!! I was like, ummm...what? You don't PET raccoons! You AVOID raccoons. In fact, you sometimes pay a company good money to GET RID OF raccoons! The funniest part was when the tour guide told us they "imported" the raccoons from the U.S. I almost fell over laughing! I told him, "Wow, I would have brought you one for free!"

Other "unusual" animals at this "petting zoo"? Porcupines, skunks, boa constrictors, hedgehogs, and monitor lizards. Obviously their idea of a petting zoo and my idea of a petting zoo are VERY different.

There was also this incredible aviary with some of the most unusual birds I have ever seen. We got to feed them and they swarmed us and ate right out of our hands! It was so fun. John also got to hold a 18 foot burmese python and Kyle had a huge scarlet macaw on his shoulder. And the entire park was carved right out of the center of the jungle. As we were looking at all the venomous snakes and vicious lizards, I asked the tour guide where they imported the animals from. He looked at me quizzically, pointed to the jungle right behind us, and said "we just go out there and catch them!"

OK, time to go kids.....