Happiness is…

A relaxing place to live so that you can go off easily to have adventures. After last weeks disastrous apartment experience I am especially grateful for the peace of the new place we have found.

We also got our boxes of stuff that was shipped from home & it was like Christmas when we unpacked all of our familiar stuff, sewing machine, tins to keep things in (I did sob briefly when i found a hair from my old dog who is lodging with my Ma back in the UK).

We even went out for a shopping trip to buy some scribbly art stuff & at last have a relaxed system so the children can feel chilled & get on properly with some studies (on the beach of course).

 

I thought I might just send you a few pictures so that you can imagine where I am even if you can’t imagine how incredibly hot it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Settling in.

Wow, it really has been the most wonderful adventure so far.

When I last blogged I was getting myself acquainted with some of the rare to find local spirits (Malays are not allowed to drink alcohol?) but I have to be honest that every time ffinlo (husband) came home from his new job saying that he was going away for an extra few days to do a bit of testing here and there in the various different states of Malaysia I was internally screaming, wanting desperately wanting to leave the city- I’ve never been good at crowds & towns but with 3 children in an asian country even the most sane mother would be challenged, however if we had left after the 3 days that we were meant to be there I wouldn’t have had a very warm memory of the capital city but I really grew to love the place, it just does take a while to brush off the slightly cynical slant that I/we travel with, I was doubting people’s behaviour all the time expecting the worst when actually everyone & everything was really generous & lovely. (although Rosie got quite upset every time somebody asked if they could buy her or keep her)

From our KL hotel room.

But the time came for us to leave so we said a sad farewell to the friends we had made over the last 2 weeks & headed towards a mini bus a to the rest of the year in Kuantan.

The drive across the country was amazing, the different textures of the land- sometimes just jungle, sometimes very steep hills farms dusted with little villages of wooden or tin houses on stilts then massive acres of palm oil plantations, but all really varied for the 3-4 hour drive,but when we saw the monkeys we didn’t need the road signs, we knew we were very near to our new town!

 Traditional sort of house- I really liked the colour of this one.

Kuantan itself seems quite spread out, sadly as with all of the big towns it seems to have been built around the roads, I guess to be fair it is quite hard to walk about because it is SO hot all the time, so people drive everywhere even if it is just a few minutes away, this doesn’t really work for me, I like to walk so It seems I might have to improve or at least speed up my asian road crossing… but the beaches!!! Oh my word you can only imagine how wonderful they are. They are classically white sand, palm tree fringed, beautiful shells, bright darting birds of every kind in the undergrowth along the edges & full of life, everywhere there are little crabs, fish everything in every little crack.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We even threw ourselves into the house hunting as soon as we got there, so interesting to be able to look around different houses & even though I imagined us in a traditional house it seemed impossible unless you have a car- which ffinlo will have for work but we won’t have for just me & the children so we had to be practical & go for a sensible apartment. From this basis we had to decide if we wanted to be in the centre of town or by a beach- no points for guessing which I chose, you might be able to view this link ffinlo out playing while we bathed in the pool which comes with it.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2-8t9WcjgI  HOWEVER there is always a but… details on this link (it wasn’t actually a whole bottle but a collection of broken glass thrown towards the general direction of my head- bless the imagination of the 9 year old) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgyOdmGGHBo

So that brings us back out of our bit of paradise & back into the hotel we started with. Hopefully it will all be sorted out quickly, large trouble makers removed etc.. It had better because our boxes which we had shipped before we left with my art stuff in arrives on Tuesday & it would take a lot more than a gaggle of large German expats to keep me back from them! As always there is a silver lining though, we have been able to meet more neighbours from the apartments because these people have been driving them crazy for ages & they are delighted that our night meant a day of official police reports for me & something being sorted for them, a couple took us this evening to the night market which was uber-wonderful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZdQEnsTe7Y & back here at the hotel I actually have internet connection so I am able to sit down & write this, answer emails, skype & catch up with friends which feels very indulgent. I miss you all very much though (you know who you are), hopefully you are well. all my love Lou xx