Sunday, July 30, 2006

River Quay Seafood

Just about every week we go over to see our friends at River Quay Seafood in Boat Quay. They are so nice and the food is ALWAY delicious. Michael always gets their black pepper crab, and I love the cheese lobster, but really I shouldn't eat that on a weekly basis. Last night they prepared scallops and prawns with a Thai sauce. Yummy! You can see that it was hot and spicy by the beads of sweat on my face! Madame Loh, the owner, Ken, Calvin, Allan, Myat always make sure we have plenty to drink and eat. They treat us like royalty!

Michael and Ken

Calvin and me

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Tioman, Malaysia

OK, my audioblogger post didn't work out that well when I was trying to record the loud screeching noises of the bats -- big disappointment. Using my new camera, I thought I could make a "movie" of them; and I did, but I didn't realize that I had to adjust the properties to record the audio -- sound. Shit! If you listen carefully in my audioblog, you CAN hear the bats in the background. My friend Diane and I were out on our separate balconies and we could hear them screeching. I thought that the sound was from cats, then monkeys. Only until we reached the jetty and actually SAW the bats did we realize what the sound was. Still, those suckers are very big and creepy!

Berjaya Resort, Tioman Island

Of course, it took much longer for us to head out on the ferry than we had been told. I believe it was going on 7 p.m. before we went anywhere. It was still storming and the sea was very rough. I'm glad that I had taken medicine for motion-sickness.

There were lots of people on the ferry. The aircon was blowing full-blast and we just about froze to death! Fortunately, I had a sweater with me, but it was still too cold. There was a woman sitting a few rows behind us who sounded like she was going to cough up her lungs! I do not like crowded enclosed spaces.

We finally arrived at Tioman around 10:30 p.m. It was difficult getting off of the boat and onto the jetty. I had trouble seeing because there was very little light. Somehow or other we made it to the little bus that would take us to Berjaya Resort. Since we were so late in arriving, we missed out on the welcome drinks.

After we got unpacked and settled in our rooms, we went to get a bite to eat. Then strolled around the resort. As we were walking along the beach area, we ran into Hauke and Geli, and Hauke's sister and family -- very nice!

The next day was lovely and Mike and Mike did some snorkeling and we hung out at the pool and pool bar. Beautiful!

Mersing, Malaysia

Friday, we went with another couple (they're "car people"), Mike and Diane to go to a resort on Tioman Island. They picked us up at 9 a.m. and we started our journey through customs and into Malaysia.

As we got closer to Mersing, the roads were two-lane, winding, and up and down. I think we were the only people on the road for miles. As we were driving along, Mike pointed out that there were monkeys on the side of the road. Since nobody was behind us, he stopped to take some pictures.

We arrived in Mersing, Malaysia at about 12:30. Mike went to check on the ferry and was informed that it was full and we would have to wait until the next one at 5:30. We asked a man nearby if there were any shops or entertainment and he said, "There's nothing to do here." At least he was honest! So, we went to a little restaurant in a hut and had some beers and lunch.

While we were sitting in the restaurant, a big thunderstorm started rolling through. Diane and I both needed to use the bathroom, but it was raining so hard we had to wait. Finally, after about 30 minutes the rain let up and we asked the guy where the toilets were. His reply was, "We do not have toilets here, you must go over to the ferry station." So, we headed over there only to discover the most foul, rank "toilet" I've ever encountered! It was SO stinky and the floor was so wet that I was terrified I might slip and fall. Diane took a picture because we know that no one would be able to fully comprehend the horrid nature of attempting to relieve oneself in Mersing! Whew!!!

After this, we decided we weren't going to drink much of anything until we got out of Mersing!

Creepy Bats at Tioman Island, Malaysia

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Ana Catarina's First Hair Cut -- Part II

The Godfather (Paul)

Camelia fed Catarina from a special loaf of bread

Camelia, Catarina, and Paul

I think after this, the baby is bathed by the Godmother and changed into another new outfit.

After this, a toast was made and the celebration and festivities began with lots of delicious Romanian traditional foods.


Diana and Diana

Photos Courtesy of: Alex

Ana Catarina's First Hair Cut

I'm going to attempt to describe some of the customs Romanians observe at their child's first birthday. If any Romanians see I've noted something incorrectly, please make sure to leave a comment.

A Romanian baby's first birthday is celebrated with a hair cut. This is a very special occasion. The Godparents buy new clothes, socks, shoes for her and the Godmother dresses the baby. Ana was a bit overwhelmed with so many people watching her.

Camelia, the Godmother, snipped Catarina's hair in the sign of the Cross -- first a snip at the top of her head and then a snip of hair on each side.

Paul, the Godfather, then lit the candle that was used at Catarina's baptism. Catarina's three tiny locks of hair were placed on a coin. Paul dripped wax from the candle on to her hair and then another coin was placed on top sealing the locks of hair between coins.

Camelia placed on a tray a calculator, book, comb, pearls, pen, money, mirror, and lipstick. Catarina was shown the tray and selected the comb first, then the pen, and lastly the pearls. I think this means that she will be beautiful, smart, and have lots of jewelry in her future.