Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm going,going,back,back to Cali,Cali....

"Case closed, suitcase filled with clothes
Linens and things, I begin things
People start to flash, 818's, 213's

-B.I.G aka Biggie Smalls (and if you don't know, now ya know!)

Yup ya'll, it's that time, almost a month has past. The baby is just a week shy of being a month old, he's healthy and getting fat. His momma is breastfeeding constantly and shriveling away to nothing, and the big brother...well he's adjusting.

Of course my last day in KL my camera dies for realz, I think the beach water & sand combo did it in. So, unfortunately there are no pics of me grubbing on Bao (Soft sweet bun filled w/veggies), or fried bananas, or my prawns & Cesar salad? It was the last dinner with the family, they picked the spot. (Thanks for dinner family!) There are no pics of my boy assaulting a medium margarita pizza (minus 1 slice) by himself!!! ( I was slightly embarrassed and then realized he's not even out of toddler hood yet- yikes!)

There aren't any pics of me & A.L.B.B eating fresh hot Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Pecan cookies in the cab ride home from Chinatown. Me buying a small "Coach" piece of luggage, for all of the stuff I bought while I was here!!!

There are certainly no pics of me failing my oldest child as a mother, and NOT finding him knock off Lacost shirts or the Louis Vuitton mini back pack he wanted. (The kid asked me for nothing except more "Alligator shirts and a backpack like the cool guys"- thanks Kanye). Due to Mister West, there are no L.V. backpack knock offs in the signature pattern. I was assured of this multiple times by multiple street and store vendors.

So that was our last day in KL folks, we're packed, I'm charging the MAC and BB while typing this and thinking positively about the morning's flights. I look forward to talking to everyone that shared the journey with us, and sharing all of the pics I didn't/couldn't upload.

May all your days be filled with peace, and a sense of urgency.....and in the words of L.L. Cool J

"Going back to cali, stylin, profilin
Growlin, and smilin, while in the sun"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Can Go Home...Now

So I didn't make it to a KH, I didn't make it to the branch, I didn't even make it to the countryside where batiks are made and you can buy them still warm from the wax.....but, in the top 5 things I wanted to do before I left Malaysia, I did make it to the BEACH!

Port Dickson, it's 1.5hrs drive from KL and has all kinds of cool history....unfortunately all I cared about was laying in warm white sand, frolicking in warm water and turning a lovely shade of chocolate. We got a taxi ride from the father of one of the women that works in the condo. So with ONE very large bag packed (I refused to be a pack mule), and A.L.B.B & little buddy Miles in tow we made our way. Once we arrived (11-ish in the am) we quickly figured out that the public beach was both dirty (crazy unmentionables folks), and without public restrooms. With two little boys, one potty trained and the other circling the idea I NEEDED the restroom factor. So we booked a room at a 4 star hotel that I had heard good reviews about. The decor was very traditional East Asian, sharp lines, A line roofs, dark woods everywhere with amazing engraving.

After getting settled in the room, the boys had their lunch on our "Garden View" patio. Here they are noshing on PB&J and Korean Strawberries!

The Beach

Helping Miles take a picture of me, at least the suit is cute- thanks Targ-ay

In an abstract effort to work our way back to the room to eventually shower, dress and pack up to leave....we went to the pool. A.L.B.B thinks he can swim now, with that little vest on he doggie paddles the whole pool!

A.L.B.B having a bit of my fresh (I watched them juice it) Starfruit Water

Good Bye Selesa Beach & Resort!

Ok So:
  • 1.5 hr taxi two ways $200 Ringgit (A gift from my lovely host)
  • Tip for GREAT taxi driver $50 Ringgit
  • 4 Star Beach & Resort stay for 4hrs $198 Ringgit
  • One FRESH Starfruit water $12 Ringgit
  • Total : $460 Ringgit = $ USD $124.92

Playing on the beach with my kid in Malaysia.... PRICELESS!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Can I get some ravaging HOT chilies with that? Thanks!

"Penang Village", a franchise, in a fancy (think back to the spot w/Cartier, Hermes, Tiffany's) mall. Seeing how I ate at a street spot yesterday I wanted to give all aspects of KL a chance. The quote seen above is what greets you when you first walk in, the restaurant is beautiful. Dim orange lights, chandaliers, velvet overstuffed chairs & booths. (My personal FAVE- you can NEVER go wrong w/a booth) The linens were exquisite batiks, silks and simple cotton gauze...I would have stayed in to eat there but I had the boys in tow and we had just finished grocery shopping. (Yeah, in the mall) So, loaded down with heavy bags I placed my order "Take Away"

(Funky wall art, cement bricks with sticks balancing bowls, I like it)

Very simply put, Tuesday I had some "down home Penang" style Malaysian, soup? It was Asam Laksa which is a bowl of thick white rice noodles (udon) , served in a soup made of fish meat, prawns, tamarind, onion, basil, mint, pineapple and cucumber in slivers and slices of little scary green peppers! (There is a lot of tamarind in the food here) It was hot as all get out, and I loved it....think Asian Seafood Gumbo with thick oodon noodles.....You know something is spicy when you have to put on chap-stick first before you eat it!!! lol

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bukit Bintang at it's Best

Sunday night, after a day of relaxation and just chill time, little one (Pascaul), needed to hang out with me again so his momma could get some much needed rest. This time it was the "Project Binky", she had not really wanted to use one, but noticed he was just hanging out at the boob. So he and I hung out, he had "binks", I had water and watched a little TV while A.L.B.B slept fitfully on the couch next to us. We hung out till midnight when I returned him to the milk bank (ha ha) and went to bed inspired by Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations": Malaysia Special.

Today's mission (and mission everyday till Friday) eat something, somewhere that I just could never, would never if I was home!
My dear friend's housekeeper "Lonnie" walked in, and I was given the "go have fun, get outta here" thumbs up...and it was ON!

I first went to the locals version of Sears, I guess, it was an indoor four level department store of sorts. I picked up beautiful pashminas (100% Cashmere), Indian tops (Kurta's I love), and a few other odds and ends. As I was walking out I ran into snack stop numero uno. Por que the sudden usar of Spanish? Cause I found the far distant Eastern cousin to the "Agua de...(Insert a fruit)" I ordered up a cup of the was perfect. Not too sweet and the perfect tanginess that one expects with a good glass of limeade. In the sweltering humidity it was GREAT, but now I did need a little sweet to go with it.

Situated right next to my lovely juice stand was a cart (it had parked wheels) where the vendor was frying up hot and fresh pineapple slices and my FAVE bananas. The breading is very similar to tempura, but better almost a bit like cake doughnut batter. I remembered these from summers in Indonesia and my grandmother's cook "Takeerah" making these by the dozen. I reigned myself in and only bought 3, he gave me 4...I will be back tomorrow.

While walking home I took in a few sights, busy streets, random lush mini jungles within this congested and loud concrete jungle.

Then I smelled it, a scent I had long ago put behind me during a summer in Jakarta, the putrid smell of Durian fruit. I took a pic and kept it moving, it tastes amazing, if you can get past the smell of rotting flesh....ugh, dry heave.

I was less than 4 blocks from the house (and final destination) and wanted my Bourdain inspired meal. The hood is called Bukit Bintang, the city is full of them, no different than New York's boroughs.

Fortunately there is a
pasar malam (a Malay term for 'night market'), and I know THIS is where I will find my supper.

I settle on a Chinese / Malay fusion street restaurant (It's very difficult to find true Malay food, I have a "date" with Lonnie after she gets off work this week to experiance some). This spot obviously caters to both the local and the tourist, the menu is in color and the dishes numbered. The items are in Malay & English- though some items, even in English are a complete guessing game. I was going to be bold, brave and order some things that I know I might never have the opportunity to try again!

Balitong (Trumpet Snails) cooked in an spicy tamarind type sauce, you suck out the insides, but not all of it! I learned the hard way some of it your supposed to spit...get your head outta the gutter...(I know my people) I got a plate with just shy of 60 and managed 20 before I had to move on.
(Sorry the pic is so bad, it was really hard to focus. They look like little twisted trumpets!)

I had to have some greens, it's a must if it's on the menu- they tasted like a combo of spinach, various sea greens and dandelions. The red chili paste was HOT like FIRE and I loved it, the only down side was they were cooked with meat. Not just any ole meat, well actually, yeah any ole meat. I could only think of three words: Canned Cat Food, but then again it's been years since I've eaten meat. It could have just been brine beef of some sort.

Stingray, yup I said STINGRAY!!! Wrapped in a banana leaf and then grilled in a cumin, turmeric, and tamarind concoction. It was buttery soft, the bones were odd and familiar at the same time. The hint of lime reminded me of baja Mexico, but the very distinctive sauce was all the way Eastern. It's fatty parts were divine, like the fatty part of good fried chicken. Soo glad I tried it, a simple ball of white Jasmine rice to offset everything

A cool glass of fresh Lychee juice/water.

This meal was for everyone of my foodie friends back home, this was for my inner "Globe Trekker", "Andrew Zimmerman" and of course Mister Bourdain. Most importantly it was for me, so that one day when my locs are long and grey, my children are grown and maybe I'm propped up on a porch somewhere (the Dominican hopefully) I can remember my trip to Malaysia with a sly cougar grin.......

The Momma Brunch

My dear friend and her baby were officially 2 weeks together as "New Babe & Momma Again" on Sunday. She has spent the majority of her postpartum in bed, or on the couch breastfeeding. She had one exciting filled day in the hospital 11 days postpartum to have a piece of strongly adhered placenta removed. (Loads of no fun, the placenta was complete upon examination after the birth, this bit was a lobe that no one could have ever guessed was left behind.)

What is a better way to celebrate the momentous occasion such as a successful homebirth? Brunch at the Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur my dear breeders and non-breeders. The momma gets out, she is guaranteed a comfy chair for the lovely lady lumps, and the place is 5 stars....which here means you can breastfeed in public and they won't bat an eye.

We arrived late due to breastfeeding, diapering, clothing malfunctions (it happens whenever two momma's try to go out sans children, never mind with children too.) We had missed brunch (bummer!), but me being the foodie I am asked the waitress to ask the chef if "he'd indulge me and make me 2Belgium waffles and cheese eggs scrambled?". He did, I had a SPOT ON Irish Coffee and my dear friend's eyes rolled in ecstasy over her veggie lasagna. The baby nursed and slept, and we chatted about the up's and downs of young (newish) motherhood...the pain and pleasure of childbirth and what lay ahead....

The jazz ensemble was perfectly moving through a little of Coltrane, Benson and Parker....they played "Just the Way You Are", and since no one else was in the dinning room I sang along quite loudly. (It ended with applause from the band & hostess and asking if I knew anything else...ahh lets NOT)

The day ended with all of us by the pool, A.L.B.B. learning to doggie paddle and me "racing" the kids back and forth the length of the pool. Not a shabby way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Melaka & Backa....a photo story.

Saturday March 14th 2009

"Even when a person has an abundance his life does not result from the things he possesses." -Luke 12:15

It was today's text and it felt appropriate, and because of the day planned it just further inspired me. This amazing experience we are having and continue to have despite some of the bumps and bruises is a reminder to me what is truly important and what isn't.

Leaving for Melaka, 2hrs away, we got dressed up because we were hoping to go to the Malay branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses. Very excited!!!

We made it (2hrs exactly!) The small historical town's influences are Dutch, Portuguese, Chinese, Indian and British.

This is a "trishaw", like a rickshaw but these are bikes and tricked out. Think Oakland scraper bike that can carry friends. The Melaka's like to put as much stuff on them as possible to draw tourists to ride on them, the end all be all that would have the dude's from the "Bottoms" jaws'n? Ah these trishaws have sound systems, the most played music of choice? HIP HOP & RAP!!! I was dying laughing watching this old dude peddle these two Muslim girls playing Flo Rida's "Low" aaahhh haaa haaa aaaahhh

The Alien Midwife and Angry Little Brown Bear being quite nice! We are at the amazing fountain in the town square, this is a very historic part of town. With the Stadthuys (Town Hall & Governor's Residence), and a historical Christ Church built (?) behind us.

Time for lunch, some touristy spot that was included with the trip. It wasn't very good, and we didn't get to pick our meal- but A.L.B.B was happy because there was "CheekIn & Riiissseee!!!" He ate it all much to the surprise of our French travel companion.

Some of that Dutch influence I mentioned before, behind the windmill is the river. It is heavily polluted and smells terrible, I couldn't get close enough to take a pic.

This is the famed Jonker's Walk (Night) Market, going during the day isn't as fun, but we got the gist. I picked up tee's from an world famous artists gallery, I couldn't afford any of the art work ($900 Malay dollars = $244 US dollars) and he didn't have any prints... next time he's in S.F. I am soo there!

A.L.B.B. getting people to carry him, even across the globe (Our driver Hajeesi)

This is the St. Paul's Church ruins, originally built by a Portuguese captiain in 1521 as a small chapel. There are tombs/memorial plaques all over- Dutch nobility are buried here. We had to climb over 100 stairs to get to it, and it was worth it! You can see the ocean from up there!

Here is A.L.B.B checking out the space, "A bit too drafty momma, and bad use of space"
(He didn't say that, it woulda been hecka funny if he had!)

The Governor's Museum, it's across from the chapel looking down

The view of the ocean and town looking to the South

A re-creation of the Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese ship that sank off the coast of Melaka

We made it back to KL, 2hrs late (our tour was more self guided than an actual tour, so our Frenchman got lost and the Alien midwife was lost for about an 1.5 hrs- fortunately "I laugh in the face of danger...hahahahah!" Actually I was pretty pissed, I was tired and had left my wallet & water in the car.) So we make it back to KL and I DON'T get to see the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses, because the address I have is a post office box!!! Bummed isn't even close to the right word, try on the verge of tears. There is a reason for everything, one day I'll find out the reason for this.

In a total moment of despair, and disgust we (Alien Midwife & A.L.B.B) go and have dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. I had nachos & Irish Coffee (they did a good job), and the babe had chicken & ulterior motive was liquor & t-shirts.

The view of the previously mentioned (and photographed) KL twin towers, this is the view from my bathroom window here at the condo. It's raining, and the camera had a hard time focusing.

A.L.B.B demanded to wear his Hard Rock Cafe button on his jammies, we are whooped. Selamat malam (Good Night!)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Message from A.L.B.B.

Alien Midwife, "Hey baby"

A.L.B.B, "Hi Momma, I gots an OUCH!"

Alien Midwife, "Yes I know, on your nose huh?"

A.L.B.B, "Yeeaahh, toyz did its"

Alien Midwife, "You going potty?"

A.L.B.B "Yeeeaahhh, I goings potty. I gots OUCH on my nooossse Momma, toyz did its"

Alien Midwife, "Yeah well that's what happens when you run with Star Wars ships trying not to share. That's why we should share right? So we don't bust up our face" (Actual statement FYI)

A.L.B.B "Yeeeaahhh.....Momma, I muss Poppa (long pause), I muss Zahn, (long pause), I muss Yaw-yee, I muss 'Fia, I muss 'Chessca, I muss Druw, I muss Jaymie, I muss (long pause) umm I muss Yil-yee, I muss Car-yee, I muss house."

Alien Midwife, "Aww baby, I miss them too. You want to talk to Poppa in the morning?" (He got a google account and a web cam just acouple of days ago)

A.L.B.B "Yeeeaaah, Momma I talk to Jaymie some more?" (She has a google account and video chat too)

Alien Midwife, "Ahh sure munchkin, if she's around yeah you can talk to her. Are you done going potty?"

A.L.B.B "Yeeeaaahhh... I dit it, I done! I foowosh now?"

Alien Midwife, "Ahh dude, you just pee'd on the step stool......close buddy, good effort, next time!"

A.L.B.B "Kay!"

While running from his little friend last night A.L.B.B. face planted on top of some crazy Star Wars plastic ship. The immediate thought was that he broke his nose, fortunately it's not broken but just as ugly. While sitting on the potty tonight, waiting for the "pee pee", he became reflective on those whom he missed and wanted to go home. Shout outs to:
  • Poppa
  • Zahn
  • Lollie
  • Zophia
  • Francesca
  • Drew
  • Jaymie
  • Lilly
  • Carliegh P.
  • His House
After which he had actually pee'd, twice, but while standing on a "break" from sitting on the potty. Hey at least he isn't talking about wearing a diaper "FOREVER!!"

Night ya'll...