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The past few weeks have been a whirlwind with our first visitors (my parents) and lots of traveling. We are approaching 3 months in Malaysia and I can feel the honeymoon stage coming to an end. When researching living overseas, we had read about the end of the honeymoon stage, when the homesickness sinks in and the novelty of living abroad fades. This week I have way less patience for all the little nuances of Malaysia. Little things like my croissants coming in individually wrapped plastic bags, the beaurcracy involved in the simplest things, the ridiculous humidity rolled off my back initially. I’ve reached the stage where I miss being able to do things the North American way and the realization that we are not headed “home” any time soon has sunk in. I love spring in Canada. I miss the excitement of the flowers pushing through the earth, the thrill of not wearing a jacket, and the thought of summer long weekends. I miss our house and all our stuff. The internet, Facebook, Skype, Blackberry Messenger and all the other great technology have made it easy to keep in touch. But it is still not the same and I think I have really realized that it will be a long time before we see family & friends from home (Christmas). Enough of the pity post. I knew this stage would eventually come and I’m sure it won’t last long.
I’ll cover the beginning of my parent’s visit and our trips around Ipoh in this blog and save Bali for another blog. We were so excited to have our first visitors with my parents spontaneously deciding on a 4 week visit. My Mom has been to Asia once to visit my brother in Singapore, but this would be my Dad’s first trip to the region. He was dreading the long flight, but survived it and myself and the kids drove the 3 hours to the airport in Kuala Lumpur to pick them up. It was a great reunion and the kids were thrilled to see “Nana & Papa”.
After giving them a day to recover from the jetleg, we headed to the Lost World of Tambun, a waterpark 20 minutes from here. It was our first time there and it was a pretty impressive place. Set in limestone karst cliffs, the park featured a great preschool slide area, the laziest river I have been on, a wave pool and numerous other attractions that we didn’t have time to sample.
We spent a few days in Ipoh before commencing the Ipoh visitor trail (we will take you to these places if you visit!) We heading to Palau Pangkor for a couple of days, which is an island about 2 hours from here that we visited when we first arrived. Since it was midweek, it was just us and some backpackers on the beautiful white sand beach. We stayed in a great little hotel with a very neat boat shaped pool. We ate some great food on the beach and soaked up the sun. The weekend allowed Paul to tag along and so we headed up to the Cameron Highlands, the tea growing region 2 hours from here. The Cameron Highlands are always a nice treat because they allow you to escape the humidity of Ipoh and the scenery is stunning. Back in Ipoh we packed and got ready for our next trip, Bali (next blog).
It was great having extra hands around for the kids. We got to indulge in the odd sleep in and the kids loved all the extra attention. My Dad entertained Ella for hours with stories of his childhood and mine and Ella soaked it all up. Gavin loved hanging out with his Papa and always wanted to hold his hand while walking around. Both kids loved playing music and singing along with my Dad on the guitar, which he toted around. My Mom and Ella enjoyed lots of crafts and baking and Gavin loved to drive his cars all over Mom. It is interesting to see other peoples reactions to Malaysia and our life abroad. I don’t think my parents are ready to pack up and move over here anytime soon, but I know they really enjoyed seeing Malaysia. My Dad even ate some Asian food (and we’re not talking chicken balls with red sauce!).
Monday is labour day in Malaysia and so we have an unplanned long weekend. Of course, we like to take full advantage of our holidays and so are off to the island Langkawi for the weekend. We are going with our British friends (Paul works with Colin and their daughter Tasha is Ella’s friend) and so even though I just feel like a relaxing weekend at home, it will be a nice getaway. Hanging out at a nice beach resort does help cure the homesickness.
We like staying at Anjungan Resort, (200 RM/triple) – good value hotels, rooms nice enough and the ship shaped pool is great. We ate our meals at Daddy’s Restaurant on the beach – best food ever!