28 Sep 2007

Bored out of my skull

This is the second week I'm here at Poh Ling's house taking care of my cucu. She's a doll but I do feel bored at times even though Poh Ling has said that I can make use of her pc and read any of the books I like. It is lovely... being able to sit and read... though taking care of Sophie is no joke. She's sleeping right now so I can make use of this computer as you can see but I sometimes wonder if my brains will shrivel for want of anything challenging to do.

Sometimes I wonder what other people my age do - apart from looking after their grand children I mean. I dont want to end up being a nanny to my grand kids. Repin asked the other day if I wanted to teach some English classes - that would be ok I think. But what I'd really love to do is write some stories for children. For this I need to be in Malacca permanently - not have to travel to and fro all the time. Writing,I think needs to be done in a quiet place - at least the kind of writing I want to do. Also here in Malaysia its so difficult to get your books published - unless its for school and are workbooks. Two years ago I gave Joyce my jazzchant which I had prepared for lower primary kids - complete with exercises and activities in case parents feel its not educational enough - and she still said that they couldn't publish it because there was no market. It's kind of sad that our people here don't appreciate good books for children and only see workbooks as reading material for their children. And yet, the ones that you see in the market (published overseas or in Singapore) are nothing much - mainly pictures.

26 Sep 2007

Sophia Meiyin Rizal

Looking at my little Sophie sleeping I can't believe she's two months already. In fact she's now slightly over two months. Chubby, large black eyes watching you and suddenly a smile breaks out. That's Sophia, my grand daughter. I feel so proud just looking at her. She's quite a smart little cookie too. The moment you try to put her in the cot she'll start screaming but if you quickly take her up again the screaming will stop - as if with a switch. She loves bathing, smiling happily when you splash her with the warm water and after her bath likes to take a little nap. Today for the first time she slept in the cot and not in her cradle where she normally sleeps. I didnt even have to sing her favourite lullaby - she slept in my arms and didnt wake up when I put her in the cot to continue her sleep.

16 Sep 2007

Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu has not changed much since I came here two years ago. Then, I was at the Beverly Hotel. This time however we stayed at the Promenade, closer to the waterfront. Its a relaxing place though and gave us time to sit back and just enjoy ourselves, catch up with much needed reading and walks along the waterfront. I noticed though that it is much cleaner, compared to the last time I was here. For one thing the waterfront is a pleasure to walk now. Clean clear view of the sea and islands beyond... and the apartments and hotels opposite enhance rather than detract. Even the Philippine market near the waterfront is cleaner too - the first time I was here it looked almost like a wet market, and the smells, or rather pong beat description!!

Repin and I spent three days here - relaxing and just lazing around. I even had time to go for a hairwash! We read, tasted the local fare and had a good time with each other.

A trip to Tawau

Last week Repin and I were in Tawau. It's changed so much since I last visited it. That was in 1996, when I was still working at the Exams Syndicate. Today its no longer a clutch of old tin roofed houses but a bustling modern city as can be seen here. We stayed at the reliable Belmont Marco Polo Hotel, just a stone's throw from the Philippine market, which is much as I remembered it. The place is busier than before however - there were at least two meetings going on when we were there. But its a comfortable hotel with a fairly good coffee house. We were there for only one night though - the next day we flew off to KK