Friday, December 13, 2013

"Malay-tham City"

I'm absolutely convinced that all drivers in Kuala Lumpur has the game of Chicken on their brain. What's astonishing is to witness drivers who are the proud owners and behind the wheel of a BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Bentley, Ferrari... who actually want to play the game. It's one thing risking your life and the lives of others, but it's another to survive the crash only to watch your money, and more importantly YOUR SOUL, dwindle down to nothing.

"When In Rome Do What The Romans Do"

I, regretfully, confess that I’ve turned into one of those lawless, reckless, balls-of-steel, 'Malaysian Style' drivers, who also has the game of Chicken on the brain. The truth of the matter is if I had stuck with my morals and stayed a law-abiding individual, in the Wild West, I'd never seize the chance to get by, like EVER. Because in KL, that is, I'm up against villains who will seize the opportunity and overtake me in an unprecedented move, leaving me to wonder how on earth did they make it past me without a single scratch. And baffled as to why it's half past the hour and we still haven't made it through the damn traffic light yet. Could I've been daydreaming? For that long? It's possible.

"Our Children Are Watching"

I am perfectly aware that something has got to give, and soon. Or else, possibly one of our kids are going to grow up to become a legendary superlative villain, with severe road rage issues. Like their Momma. (See below.) Who when behind the wheel is on the death-defying mission from point A to point B.

Taking our kids to school every morning is becoming something like a Marvel Comic scene...
Pokerfacemom in Malay-tham City

Early Morning In "Malay-tham" City...

I proceed to walk out our front door. Everything appears to slow-down in cosmic mode as if I'm entering sandman. I'm walking steadily and confidently into an abyss of smog. We're on the page where we're getting inside our vehicle, dreadfully predicting a war-zone of hell, battling traffic on the streets of Malaysia, better-known as the streets of "Malay-tham" City. I hear a fainted voice in the cloudy distance. “DON'T FORGET YOUR PURSE, MOMMY!” I quickly run back inside the house and grab my effin' purse (always something), holding weapons of mass destruction. "Uhhh...Thanks, sweetie", I reply cautiously in a subdued voice.

I have to be extremely careful. I'm psychologically prepared and ready to commence battle with a potty mouth half-cocked and fully loaded, ready to ignite at anyone who dares to push my buttons. I'm sporting the Look-To-Kill on my face that I'm pretty sure reads, "Don't fuck with me, Morons, or else." If they dared, they'll have realized too late in the game that they've messed with the wrong bitch on the wrong side of the planet.

Scene 1. "Fruit-flies, LIKE WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE!"

Swiftly approaching a swarm of fruit-flies riding motorcycles. Luckily, my intuitive sense tells me to check all three of my rear view mirrors and turn my head, so as not to pulverize one of them named 'Ahmad' (made-up name), who's sporting flip-flops buzzing around in my blind-spot on a so-called motorbike that spells DISASTER!
Mission accomplished.

Scene 2. "Moron Alert"

AWAS (CAUTION! ONCOMING MORONS!) I'm weening through in a zigzagging motion to avoid a head-on collision. Because the impatient Morons on the oncoming lane have absolutely no patience and cannot stay-put on their fucking side of the road. Apparently, the MORONS desperately feel the need to pass-up vehicles to be at work on time for 9AM, only to leave again for breakfast at 10AM! "LOOK, KIDS, IT'S SANTA!" I've successfully distracted the kids, inconspicuously shot-the-bird at every moron, and managed to get us through safely.
Mission accomplished.

Scene 3. "Berhenti... What Does It Even Mean?"

In Malay-tham City, it means STOP, BUT ONLY IF YOU'RE A CHICKEN. I'm no Chicken. And, when pigs fly, the Obama Care actually works, my mom wins the lottery, and a Malaysian officer happens to pull me over for running a BERHENTI sign, with a deranged look on my face, I will ask them, "Why Berhenti?", "Why not join the majority of the planet and spell it S-T-O-P?" "Apparently, OFFICER..." "Villains, 'Chang', 'Feng' and 'Lee' (made-up names), aren't getting it either."


Dreadfully approaching bottleneck traffic. This refers to 10 lanes opened on the tolls, then having to SQUEEZE your way into 3 lanes, leaving you baffled once again. I'd love to know who were the brilliant, undermining authorities and developers who came up with this ingenious plan. I'd like to get together with the imbeciles, probe them over whiskey, AND A MACHETE.




Friday, November 1, 2013

A Letter To Gia


Rest In Peace, My Sweet Gia.
 December 31, 2000 to November 1, 2013

Merely one look of that awry day, that moment when we must part

Yet it grew near, I felt dismayed. Do I have to face it one day?

That as I imagined,

It was the saddest days of my life.

I miss you dearly and wish so badly I had just one more chance.

I'd do things differently and spent more time for walks at the park

Coming home is not the same, my shadow no longer follows me.

 Although for now I must have faith and trust you are in a better place

Guarding over us from above with your invincible, fearsome bark

I can still hear them sometimes, echoing inside my head.

Courageous. Loyal. Honorable. Playful and loving.  

Just a few words to describe who you were.

A true friend, 

who will never be forgotten. 

Rest for now, my Sweet Gia,

Till we meet again. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Airport Adventures


I've officially become an 'American' worldly traveler. This gains me huge appraisal as one cannot easily become a worldly traveler without lots of experience... and children. When I first arrived in Malaysia, I was informed that Americans are rarely known to be worldly travelers. I, for one, did not dispute this bit of insignificant information. As far as I'm concerned, the French can take top recognition for this particular category followed by the Dutch. And because once upon a time, not long ago, traveling was one of my biggest nightmares. I was perfectly content staying in my country than jumping on a plane and flying my entire family thousands of miles to live in an underdeveloped one.

From our first big move from Houston to Malaysia to all other subsequent trips, I would lose sleep, night after night, before the 'giant leap for mankind'. I'd become completely stressed out over the idea of getting on a plane and traveling halfway across the planet overseas. Not because of a possible devastating plane crash, but because I anticipated how our kids were going to cope during those grueling hours while traveling on an airplane for 2 days straight with several transits along the way. Let alone, embarking and disembarking the aircraft with children, I suspected would be a challenge in itself. Walking (More like carrying) them out of the aircraft, chasing them down at security checkpoints, followed by piggyback rides to terminal gate 99. And in the midst of it all, I'd be hanging on to that single glimpse of hope that ONE DAY we will have finally arrived at our final destination in one piece.

I remember those grueling flights as if it were yesterday. My three-year-old running up and down the aisles of the plane, climbing over seats, wreaking havoc and discomfort to all the passengers on board...Myself included! Having to change my uncooperative two-year-old's poopy diapers in a toilet room the size of a telephone booth. Restless nights and days, traveling from dusk till dawn, through thunderstorms and rain. Delayed flights accompanied by hours of crying and entertaining anxious children in a cold, deserted terminal of an airport. Not to mention, the moment of zombification. Yes, zombification. We are utterly exhausted and disillusioned by the lack of oxygen inside the aircraft. Our bodies shriveled from dehydration and kinked from being stuck in a lotus pose on a plane 30,000 feet above sea level for OVER 18 hours! We grovel from terminal to terminal, security checkpoint to security checkpoint, followed by queuing up in endless rows in immigration. Then, finally, 3 to 4 planes later (I've lost count) and hours of disillusionment, WE, MIRACULOUSLY are on our last flight... READY FOR TAKE OFF.

Three years later. The children are now five and six, and they cope much better on plane rides. The stress that comes from the thought of flying with my kids has dissipated.

How do I conquer the madness?
'drum roll.'


I dive right into the pit of doom. I endure it and conquer it. Do I enjoy it? no, not exactly. It's how expats and locals travel in and around Asia. Thankfully, the children are getting used to it.

So here's my thought process at a glance: Once I hit the check-out button on, I, eventually, pack our bags, then think fast forward into our destination. I don't dare to think about the travel part in between. Once I'm on the plane, it's a done deal. And here's the best part! It's worth any bit of anxiety that lingers within me because most destinations in Asia are ISLANDS, surrounded by beautiful beaches with astonishing views! I need not mention, the scheduled Spa treatment that's waiting for me on those beautiful beaches as we arrive.

And all the while, I have a blast taking photos and videos of our children having a blast!
Here's a video of Nicholas when he was five at one of those forsaken airports, needing a break in a massage chair.