Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 4: Christmas Cheer!

And then it was Christmas!  Time to give rather than receive, and the gift to my visitors was a trip to Kuching, Malaysia.  I wanted to share a little bit of Asia outside of Singapore.  Because, let's face it, Singapore is like Asia-lite. :)  I say that with great love, because coming to Asia can be scary and Singapore helps newbies ease into it.  I always say, Singapore is the easiest place to move to/live in.

Borrowed from another website, here is a map to show where we went.  Singapore is in the middle to the left and Kuching is a straight shot to the east on the island of Borneo, which consists of three nations: Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.

It was a bit of a rainy, stormy morning in Singapore.  I love that here I can see the big black clouds rolling in and across the city.  Mom was up taking pictures while Curtis and I slept in.

And across the street, they men were hard at work.  On Christmas morning.  That is how things get done in Asia.  Work on the weekend, work more than 8 hours, work on the holiday. Work.

Our "teksi" from the Kuching airport to the Pullman Hotel.  It cost 26 Malaysian Ringit.  For our rough conversion purposes, we assumed USD was one third of the Ringit.  So, roughly US$9-10.  It was a 20-30 minute drive.  You had to buy a ticket at the counter inside and then give your receipt to the teksi driver.

The "family room".  The only of its kind that I've seen in Asia.  Either you get two single beds or one double bed.  We had a king and an extra single - no roll away.  Curtis is happy because I'm sure we would have stuck him with that ;).

Hotel view.  No one got an outside pic of our hotel or Cecil.  Cecil was our bellman who was oh-so-happy and caused a big discussion on whether to tip or not.  Another thing I love about Asia, generally, no tipping required!

We went to an interesting local night market to round out Christmas day.  This is not the market (it was in the surrounding alleys), but evidence of our western spread.  Don't think I've been to an Asian country without a KFC! (We did dine there one night.)

The market was interesting.  Everything from house plants to machetes to pet bunny rabbits to freshly plucked chickens (and a couple of live ones!).  But, what made the biggest impression on Mom and Curtis? I think it was all the locals staring at us.  I have become a bit immune.  I ignore it and don't realise* it anymore.  

*Oops, without realizing it, I used the British spelling :)!  British English is the norm here and I have attempted to conform.

I attempted to order a leg and thigh of grilled chicken (it smelled awesome) from a local market vendor.  I was successful.  He laughed at me and chopped it up.  We headed back to the hotel and Mom & Curtis got room service ;).  I do admit that I'm braver with an audience than I am on my own.  Chicken was good though!

Day 4: Complete

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