Hooby Groovy is back from holiday! I've had a brilliant holiday in Malaysia with my family and childhood friends. This time around, we spent most of the trip in my hometown of Petaling Jaya, Selangor with a small 5 day trip to Penang to visit my sister and her new baby. It wasn't a highly exciting holiday, we didn't really do or discover anything new. But I was really happy to be with my family and friends and to revisit old haunts from my childhood. So without further ado, here's a few bits and pieces from my trip.
Our first taste of Chinese New Year was right here in Australia at the Melbourne Airport. I think the troupe was under some kind of directive that they couldn't be too loud though as the drum and cymbal players looked like they were trying their best to play as softly as they could, which made everything sound quite subdued and slow. Which meant instead of a Lion Dance, the lion was just sort of doing a casual stroll.
Chinese New Year: lion dances, red packets, firecrackers....and COOKIES! I love Chinese New Year cookies, that one in the jar in the middle of the front row was my absolute favourite this year. It was such an amazing peanut-y, melt in your mouth joy. Naughty joy but joy nonetheless!
Best fruit in the universe? Mangosteens! These weren't really in season but my dad managed to find some in the night market and bought some for me knowing these are my absolute favourites. So good! I may be deeply biased but tropical fruits are the bomb!
On the very last day before leaving Melbourne, I suddenly had this urge to make a small colouring book for my nieces. I drew about 4 pictures and added extra blank pages and bound it up as a 'colouring/sketch book'. One of my little nieces reciprocated by making this for me! :D Ee Ee is what my nieces and nephews call me. The word "Yi" (or however it's phonetically spelt) means aunt in Hokkien and is usually preceded by the order of said aunt. For example, my oldest sister is called Tua Yi meaning oldest aunty, my second sister is Ji Yi meaning second aunty. As the youngest in my family, I got Yi-Yi but my nieces and nephews seem to spell it with Ee Ee, I think it probably has something to do with my real name lol. Anyway, this little booklet contains several Dora the Explorer stickers followed by a blank page and my directions were that I would have to use the Dora stickers as reference and well 'copy and colour' them. :)
One of the fun things we did with my friends was Escape Dungeon. The concept is that you get to choose a scenario, we chose one called Trapped. And then we get locked into this 'dungeon' and we have to find clues and work through puzzles in order to escape. We had heaps of laughs and we did manage to escape YAY! The scenario was meant to have a 4/5 rating for horror, which it had none whatsoever, so that was a little disappointing. I think they could have tweaked a few things to make it scarier. Nonetheless it was a fun day out with my friends. I've known this lot since we were 11 years old and now 20 years later, they're still very much my best friends!
My new niece!! She was just born about 1 week before we arrived in Malaysia, so was not even 1 month old when we met her. She is super adorable! Fluffy cheeks and cute little gurgly sounds, ah I am one proud Ee Ee alright! She's pictured here with the bunny that we bought for her. I'm hoping that she will adopt her new bunny as her BFF so that there's always a part of us with her since we don't get to see her all that often.
While staying in Penang, one day we drove out and just as we were about to hit the nearest main road, we were greeted by a herd of cows casually strolling around. I have no idea where they came from! There are no farms or villages close by, this area is a pretty standard suburb district. They must be quite the city yuppie cows, as you can see in the background, they were visiting Starbucks. Apparently, they're quite common visitors to the grassy patch outside of Starbucks!
One Sunday afternoon was spent indoors painting pictures with one of my nieces. It was huge fun but I did learn that kids are really impatient! They kept telling me to hurry up. "Faster Ee Ee! Go faster!" And then at one point, I must have tested her patience too much because she decided that she would help me paint my picture. So I very quickly learnt not to get attached to any artworks that are being created with kids. :)
While in Penang, I made time to visit the Penang Buddhist Association to pay my respects to my grandparents. I haven't had the chance to go in the past few years so it felt good to be able to say "Hi" once again. :)
Back in PJ and on the very last full day we had in Malaysia, we visited the Farm in the City with my oldest sister and her family. It was basically a petting zoo and they had some pretty cool animals. Like these giant tortoises that we fed. When we were planning our visit, I thought that my niece and nephew would absolutely love the place. My nephew did but his sister did the funniest freak-outs! She was terrified of all the animals that were running free (which were most of them...) One of her very dramatic observation was that "This is like a zoo with no cages! I was NOT expecting this!" and her funniest freak-outs was when she saw a chicken running around. She screamed "Chicken!" and clung to my sister's legs. It may be mean to laugh at her fears but...funniest thing ever!
Two very wise-looking prairie dogs peering into the future, also at the Farm in the City. :)
Sorry for the lack of photos, I didn't really take many photos this trip. Actually funny story, I brought my Fujifilm X100 camera with me, thinking I might take some nice photos. But didn't end up using it at all until the very last day, when I brought it along to the Farm in the City. I saw all these awesome animals and fired up my camera only to realise I'd completely forgotten to bring an SD card along with my camera! Doh!
Well, it's good to be back in Melbourne, though I am still a little struck by post-holiday blues. But I'm right back in the thick of things so can't wait to share what I've been working on with all of you! :)