31 Jan 2012

Can this be true?

Lots of nasty things have been happening lately in this country - I'm not talking about politically nasty but real, hard core downright nasty and ugly - like the murder and burning of  four people , one a wealthy business woman and the others her lawyer, an accountant and her driver. And to date, even though every one knows who the murderers are, they are still debating about it at court. The main reason is that the bodies have been burned to ashes and thrown into a river so there is little evidence. This is when we wish that CSI is here in Malaysia to help out. Or that defence lawyers have a conscience and not defend so vigorously or that our police are smarter.

Closer to home something else has happened (much too close for comfort actually) - our neighbour's house was burned on the night of December 24 (Christmas eve). It happened at 3 am in the morning when my helper woke up shouting, " Fire! Fire!" I woke up groggily and looked out the window and to my horror she was right. The fire was just next door, a mere 7 feet from our house.

I called out to my neighbours but luckily they were already up and the fire brigade had been called. Meanwhile I used our garden hose and shot some water at the neighbour's flaming window, hosing the water right up to the roof which was already in flames. When the firemen arrived about 5-6 minutes later they put out the fire in less than half an hour but the damage was still quite extensive.Most of the back bedroom was totally burned down and the windows on her kitchen were charred. We all thought it was caused by an electricity short circuit. But horrible news awaited us the next day - it wasn't caused by a short circuit but a deliberate attempt by an arsonist. A wooden stool used to open the kitchen window was found outside and the iron grill was bent inside - which the police said could have been pushed by a crowbar or something similar. There were print marks on the wall that showed parts of a man's shoe.

So who could have done such a thing? Robbers? There was nothing much to steal there because the couple were old pensioners and who would keep money in the house these days? We hardly carry any cash - what we carry is just to buy the necessary. I often wonder what our police are doing to curb such activities. Crime is on the increase and nothing much has been done. I seldom see police cars doing their rounds, especially here in Malacca.

Gone are the days when we can allow our children to walk to the grocer or the pasar malam (night market) for fear they will be abducted, tortured and killed. Remember that little girl whose body was found in a bag and left on the steps of an apartment? Till today the killer has not been apprehended. She only wanted to go to the pasar malam. Just a few months later another little girl went missing and has never been seen again. I shall not state all the horrible things that is happening here nowadays... enough I think that you read just that little bit. But I wish, oh how I wish we had a more competent and efficient police force, better enforcement and a kinder public.

21 Jan 2012

Our cats come to Malacca

Actually I haven't written for so long my brain must have stagnated. And I blame the Ipad for this! Too many games, apps that are so interesting and lots of magazines online. So I promised myself I will start writing again - even if its only one paragraph each day. So thinking about it I grapple around for ideas. Hmmm... what shall I write about ? Shall I write about my cats? Now that we are staying in Malacca we've brought back all of them - yes, even Apin and Momo the two black monsters.

Momo has control of the staircase

They came about two weeks ago - the two of them amidst a heavy January drizzle. Repin grumbled that they meowed the whole way - two hours on the road, each creating his own cacophony of meows.The moment they were let out of their travel cage they bounded out and started roaming this much bigger area (well bigger compared to the apartment where they lived mainly in the balcony and living room). Momo quickly appropriated the stairs, much to Mulan and Ginger's disgust. In fact Mulan was so unhappy, every time she passed Momo on the staircase, she took a swipe at  Momo for good measure. The poor thing got the fright of his life - who is this little upstart who dares swipe his monsterness?

Apin meanwhile quickly adjusted to the new house, first going to the kitchen where he sensed some food lay in wait. Ginger and Bear Bear both remained upstairs, uncertain about these two new creatures.The first two nights both Momo and Apin made a lot of noise - especially Momo who showed his uncertainty about the new environment by prowling around the house and meowing his discontent.

Bear Bear hiding in the closet

Bear took to the wardrobe during the day to hide from the new 'people' and Ginger took to the window sill, to get away. As for Mulan - she's still the princess, terrorising everyone who happens  her way.

18 Jan 2012

Books read recently

I'm stuck here in the boondocks - at least where books are concerned. There are no good bookstores in Malacca. What passes for a bookstore is Popular Bookstore which sells mainly school texts, revision and examination books as well as outdated popular novels. Afte two trips and returning with nothing I decided to at least get one or two books, even if they are outdated or even worse, expensive! So I came home with one Nora Roberts (she's always a good one if you have nothing to read) and The White Queen which I had wanted to read before but didnt want to pay through the nose for.

Anyway the Nora Roberts was new -its called The Next Always and one of her family/relationship stories which she is very good for.The book is centred in a small town called Boonsboro where 3 brothers have bought over an old hotel and renovating it. The hotel had been there for centuries, surviving war and peace, watching the town grow and now that it is very old, the Montgomery brothers have bought it and they are going to turn it back into what it once was - a beautiful classic looking hotel. But the old hotel has its secrets too and its own ghost, staying there. Beckett Montgomery is the architect and is the only one of his brothers who had seen the ghost. Clare Brewster is the owner of the local bookshop, as well as the girl Beckett dreamed of long ago in his student days. Now she's a young widow with 3 boisterous boys to bring up.She does not believe in ghosts or spirits but one day when she was visiting with Beckett at the slowly developing hotel she 'sees' the ghost and is quite shaken by the experience. Her relationship with Beckett is also getting closer and she's even thinking of marrying again - until one day a crazy suitor traps her and plans to elope with her!

Nora Roberts is at her best writing about family and relationships and this book is no different. Boonsboro comes alive with details of the characters and their lives with a little adventure and mystery thrown in.