Tuesday, 30 September 2008

The Swedish Hash

Today was the day that Anna and I had our Hash.
It must have been the most well-reckied hash in a long time, because not only did we reckie it two weeks ago and last week - we did it again last night too! We had heard that the mens hash was going to be on the same site tomorrow, so we were worried they had touched our paper.
They hadn't though, so we did yesterday completely in vain (but good exercise!).

Today was a busy day, because Nathan was working I had to do all the school runs myself, organize the food for tonight, fix the last little things and then of course LAY the run this afternoon with Anna.
The thing is, the horn goes off for the run at 17.15 and most people are on site up to half an hour or even more before. If they see a hare then, that's a hashitalbe (hashit=hash punishment, mostly a bucket of cold water) offense. So, if you lay it in the afternoon just before the hash starts, you better make sure you are done, out of the jungle and away before the first hens start to turn up. We were under time pressure, but we were done in two hours (at 16.00) - so we were good!

Here I am in action:

Can you see the trail of paper?

Then home for a shower, and back to site to welcome the hashers once they got out of the jungle. We had time to get a little bit worried though, cause some of the hens who only walked to first check and back said that the paper went in both directions at one stage, and people had been confused. Oh no!
But promptly about an hour after start, the first hashers started showing up, the right way, and we could breathe again! Actually, the whole pack kind of came out at about the same time, which is exactly what you want - keep everybody together (that's why we have the checks etc). So we were pleased!

First hashers out, discussing the run:

After the usual on-on with shout-ups, announcements and awards, it was time for us to serve up our food; all to the tunes of ABBA from the portable CD-player we had brought.
We had opted for baked potatoes, Anna had made a chili and I had made my (actually my mother-in-law's) famous spinach dip. We had Swedish Daim chocolates for dessert, and oh - we had Swedish Absolut Vodka as well, of course, as a pick-me-up after the run!

It all seemed to go down very nicely, the pots were licked until the last drop and the bread all broken up and gone until the last crumb, as usual!

Yes, we were pretty pleased with our efforts - it was a very good hash tonight!

Sunday, 28 September 2008

I'm the Word Bird!

I have recently taken on a new little assignment. From now on I'm the editor of the Hash Words! (The Hash Words is the newsletter that is distributed at the Hash each week.)
It took me all evening yesterday, and most of today to set up a template, since I had to start from scratch. The lady who used to do it before me used Publisher, but that program isn't compatible with the MAC, so I had to get Pages. Now that it's done though, I can just change it accordingly every week and add the accurate information.

The Words are supposed to consist of any admin information about the Hash and the hashers. Also every week there is a written report about last week's run, but it's written by the hares, so I don't have to actually write it myself, just copy-and-paste!

After all the mandatory info is in, I can fill the newsletter out with jokes, stories, photos and other interesting things, as I please! So if you have any - send them on to me!
This might be a pretty fun job! On-on!

The sound "L"

Lucas had the sound "L" as homework the other day. We were driving along in the car trying to find words that began with "L". It all started very good, with "Lucas... Linnea... long... lion...etc". Then he said "lot", and when we didn't quite understand what he said, he gave us an example:
-"A lot of toys".
Ah, yes, now we got it!

But then he continued:
-"A lot of houses... a lot of cars... a lot of friends..." Hm, yes, not quite what they had in mind for the sound "L" though I think! :)

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Baju Coctail Party

Hari Raya is coming up next week, and in our own expat take on that, there was a coctail party with a twist last night - it was mandatory to wear a dress that was made out of baju material.
It was so funny to see everybody, and how they had interpreteted this theme! It was also great to see what you can accomplish with these normally far too busy materials, by using them in more western designs. Lots of the dresses were looking fab, and I would wear several of them, to a "normal" do.

We had cocktails and danced until very late, chatted and had a great time! Here is a little slide show from the evening:

And no, those are not Ruth's own teeth... ;)

The dress I'm wearing is the first thing I have had copied down here, and I was really pleased! The material cost me $14 (65 SEK/50 DKK/€6.75/£5.30) and to have it made, it cost me $15! It's copied off a dress from InWear/Martinique, that I bought in Copenhagen this summer. There was lots of silk left over too, so I could have a small dress made for Linnea, or a top, or something. But I'm not sure it's actually something I could wear "for normal", could I?
Anyway. I will for sure use this seamstress again, she did a good job!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Pimp my office

Today we had a delivery from IKEA. We weren't expecting it until in 2-3 weeks time, so we got really surprised! (Usually it's the other way around. Some furniture that should have arrived mid August will - hopefully - be here mid October...)
It was the Helmer drawer units that came. We had ordered them from the Singapore IKEA via the little shop here. Unfortunately (for me) they were sold as a cash-and-carry item, so I (cause Nathan was working) had to mount them myself. Took all afternoon and it was hard work.

Anyway, this is before:

And this is after:

Lots of little drawers for all those knick-knacks. Looks really neat, huh?

Keeping it cool

Even though it's easy here to go and have a swim, we are very close to the Yacht Club, and not really far from the Empire Countryclub either (nowhere is actually far away in Brunei, at the most 20-25 minutes to anything!) - it's nice sometimes to just stay at home and relax in the afternoons. The schooldays are long enough as they are, so most days I prefer not to drag the kids off anywhere, but just be at home.

We have contemplated to get a pool similar to the one we had in the UK. Here we are, summer of 2006:

A few people have this kind here, they have bought them while nightstopping in Oz or NZ and then brought them back over.
We would probably go for at least a 12ft big one though, or even 15ft, if we decide to get one.
Until then, we have a little paddling pool the kids use to cool off some days, even though what they mostly do, is just hose each other (and everything else nearby) down with the water hose! That's great fun!

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today has been a special day in the Watson family - it's the Daddy's birthday!
It's been celebrated in style, with morning coffee at a nice café after school drop off with some friends and then lunch at a new Italian restaurant, with some other friends.

It all started at 06.03 this morning, when we woke him up with his birthday present, a big plastic bag with a kilo of peeled oranges! (He actually got a "Juice Fountain", but it wasn't wrapped but ready to use down in the kitchen.) The funny thing was that the kids didn't question at all that Daddy got oranges for his birthday! They just said "Here Daddy, this is for you! Is your party downstairs?" :D

We later tried it out and invited the Scotts back here after lunch for some lovely superfresh orange juice, and I can tell you - it's yuuummy!

Nathan also spend some time at the boat today, before he came home for fried noodles with shrimp, and some cake:

Then he played with his other birthday present, a Lego Mindstorms Robot that he got from Thomas, anyone sees a trend?

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

Ramadan and traffic

I wrote in a previous post that the celebration of Ramadan doesn't affect us expats much, but I was wrong. It could affect us quite badly if we are unlucky, cause at the moment the traffic situation is even worse than normal.

Our way home from school is a two-laned motorway which is mostly just straight along the coast, for kilometers on end. Still, both yesterday and today we passed accident scenes on our way home. Both times it seemed like it was single car accidents, where the drivers had simply swiveled into the hard shoulder or smashed up their car against the lane divider in the middle.

Traffic accidents might be everyday happenings where you are (f.e driving along M25, you always saw one) but this was actually the first ones I have witnessed here since we have been here! And - my theory is we can blame them on the Ramadan and the lack of energy everybody must be feeling now, with only one week to go.
Nobody seemed to have been seriously hurt though in these incidents, luckily, and let's just hope we all get through this Ramadan period without any other more serious accidents.

Hello John!

A little bird told me that I have what might be this blog's biggest fan, back home outside Uppsala in Sweden. So - here is a hello just for you John! :)

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Cosier and cosier

Today we went to Carpet Palace, to get some carpets for our empty floors. We got a small blue one for the hallway, a big blue one that at the moment lies sort of in the middle of the floor but later will be laying in front of the bar; and a beige-y one for under the coffee table.

And one...two...three - it looks and feels cosier and more homely straight away!


We are only five weeks into this school year, and Lucas has already visited the school Medical Center (fancy name for the nurse) twice! This morning we had to go again, even before the bell had rung!
No biggie though, he was playing in the yard with some of the other kids, tripped over and scraped his knee. It was one of those "I-will-have-a-look-and-iiih-there-is-a-little-bit-blood-I-better-start-crying-!-!-!"-kind of scrapes...
So, I took him over to the nurse who patched him up quickly.

By the time we got back to the class room, the other kids had told his teacher that he had fallen over, hurt himself really badly, there was blood everywhere and he had to go and chop his leg off - almost..! :)

Monday, 22 September 2008

The meat dealer

Today I got introduced to "the meat shop" for the first time. I have been wanting to go for a long time, and today it finally happened. The things is, you have to get someone to show you where it is, since it doesn't look like your regular shop, and Anna took me today. This is how it looks like on the outside:

Apparently, it's some sort of wholesale. When you get in, it doesn't look like a shop at all, but more like an office, with four ladies behind each their desk. You "order" things from a little plastic book that has lists of all the different kind of meat, fish and cheese they supply. The lady then puts on a hard hat (?) and goes out the back, and comes back with all your meat on a trolley and loads it into your car.

It almost feels a bit like you are dealing with illegal goods, which is not at all the case of course! It's just that you have to buy quite big quantities, so lucky we have a big freezer. It's a LOT cheaper than at the supermarket, so well worth the extra trip. For example, the cheddar cheese it $9/kilo there, at the supermarket it's $16/kilo! Only thing is, you have to buy it in a 5 kg chunk..! But considering we are both Swedes, we will share it and get through it in no time!

Today I got 8 nicely sized lamb chops, 600 gr of lamb fillet, 1 kg mince, 800 gr chicken breast and 1 kg of tiger prawns - and it cost me $49 in total! (=176DKK, 226SEK, €23, £18)

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Our Friday lunch date

The last few Fridays we have gone for lunch after picking Linnea up from school, instead of going home - while waiting for Lucas to finish.

Usually if we go for lunch in town, we go for sushi. Nathan and I have both always loved sushi (trivia: our first date was actually in a sushi restaurant in Copenhagen) and down here it's really cheap so we can have it as much as we want!

To my fascination, Linnea has grown quite a liking to sushi! In the beginning, we used to order the fried chicken for the kids when they came along, but more and more she started eating the maki rolls and even the other things; so now she gets her own plate and she really enjoys dipping it in the soya sauce and diggin' in!

I think we are going to have to make this Friday sushi lunch a tradition!

Saturday, 20 September 2008


Finally, after months and months of waiting and waiting (for people to build, mount and fix "stuff") - we were all out on OUR boat today, for the first trip with both the families! (We co-own it with another NZ family).
Only for about half an hour (cause there was still some kind of engine-issue...), but we got out, and it was absolutely lovely!

Proud boat owners:

Linnea, Ben, Hannah and Lucas:

Speeding up a little:

Waiting for the trailer, to get towed out of the water:

I am now looking forward to many great weekends of boating, getting around out at sea and discover the islands and other surroundings off our coast; having picnics on remote beaches, go bisquiting and just have fun! Ahoy, ahoy!

Friday, 19 September 2008

World Peace Day

This Sunday, the 21st of September, it's International World Peace Day - so today they celebrated Peace Day at school.

It was casual clothes day, so the kids were allowed to wear their own clothes - as long as they were in peaceful colours (i.e no Spiderman t-shirts etc...). White of course should have been the obvious choice, but not so practical on the young ones... Instead I put them in calm blues and browns. I did spot a few cool hippies though, with peace symbols on their cheeks!
For this, they contributed (voluntarily) $1 each, that will get put together and sent off to a landmine charity in Cambodia.

The older kids have sold the white "Peace ribbons" around school all week. In Kindy they have been creating beautiful pinwheels, as part of an international project "Pinwheels for Peace"; and in Reception they have each made a felt hand print - to be put together to make a Peace banner.

New links for school

If you have a look in the side bar of this blog, you will notice that I have put up a few new links, that will take you straight in to each kid's school page.
Unicorn is Linnea, and Reception is Lucas (he is an Alligator).
If you click on "photographs", you can see photos every now and then from all the events and different things they do at school.
They are really good at updating this pages and it's nice to see what they do, when we are not around! :)

Exciting fauna

On Tuesday we had a really good hash in an area here called Lucky Gardens. It was so long (and well laid, took us a while to find the checks) that most of us actually came out in the dark, or dusk. That's was a first for me, the longest hash I've done so far!

In the words (the story about the previous hash) it said that when they had laid it, they had encountered a sun bear (!) that their dogs had scared off.
We didn't have any dogs with us, so we were all on lookout, talking loudly and stomping through - afraid we might get some exciting faunistic experiences too!
Luckily not, since the sun bears apparently are the most aggressive (even though the smallest) of all bears. *Phew*...

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Feel-good evening

Yesterday I went to the movies, together with 19 (!) other chicks to watch "MammaMia!". It was SO good! A real feel-good movie!
I have unfortunately not seen the musical (yet) so I didn't quite know what to expect. I knew the story and of course most of the actors - but it was really surprising to hear how well they all sang, and super to see the on screen chemistry they had.
The movie felt like one big party that you really would have liked to be invited to! The girls immediately decided we need to have an ABBA-party, soon!

Apart from another family of four, it was just us in the theatre, so we could have a good old sing-along, it was super fun!
If you haven't seen it yet - go now!


Now that Lucas is in Reception, he is supposed to go to After School Activities (ASA) at least once a week. At least, that's how they worded the information that came out in the beginning of the term. They can choose from a long list of things, from rugby and cooking to gymnastics and ECOclub; and everything in between.
First I wasn't going to sign him up for anything, cause I think his days are long enough; but then I heard all the other boys in his gang were going to do this one ASA on Wednesday afternoons, so I signed him up too for:
"Bugs and Microscopes"!

Colouring in bugs, waiting for his turn at the microscope:

I thought that it could be nice for them to do this ASA together, since they are in different classes all of them this year. They don't see much of each other. Yesterday was Lucas' first time (since last week I had to come and pick him up early because of his hurt foot) and he seemed to think this was pretty cool!

-"Look!!! They are REALLY BIG!!"

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Half time

We are half the way through Ramadan now, only two weeks to go until Hari Raya, and Brunei is buzzing.
It's like their Christmas, it's their biggest Celebration of the year, and they are preparing in every way possible: decorating their houses, putting up lights, buying new furniture, new curtains, baking and cooking to be ready for the Open Houses, having new clothes made etc. Nothing can be done at the moment here in Brunei, it's all "After Hari Raya, after Hari Raya".

The holy month of Ramadan is the month in which the Holy Quran was revealed by Allah to the prophet Muhammad. The 9th month of the Islamic calendar.
So how do they celebrate Ramadan?
All Muslims must fast, from sunrise to sunset it's forbidden to eat, drink (even water), smoke, curse, lie, loose your temper or have sexual relations. (The only ones exempted are women who have their period, or those who are sick - but they will have to make it up at a later time.) Fasting is one of the 5 pillars of Islam.

Many people spend their time reading the Quran, or in prayer. Here in Brunei, the Royal Palace is open every evening for people to sit and recite the Quran.

The fasting is broken here at about 18.15-18.30 every night. All Muslims listen to the radio or listen out for the sound of the drum, to announce the end of the fast, then they pray and have their evening meals.

For us expats, Ramadan doesn't affect us much. Things get done a little bit slower, and as I said, everybody are busy so you can't get anything done (I tried today f.e to order curtains... "after Hari Raya" lah) - so you just have to wait. Hari Raya will come around soon enough!

Monday, 15 September 2008

The 15th

In a month's time from today, our first guests will be arriving! YAY!
I'm really looking forward to sharing our daily life with them, welcoming guests in our new home and show off what Brunei's got to offer.

Feel the pressure, the rest of you - feel the pressure to book your trips and come and see us in our life, it's about time!

Brunei Street Directory

At the end of last month, they launched a new Street Directory here in Brunei. You might not think that's news worth a whole blog post, but it really is! Consider this: it's only the 2nd ever Street Directory published in this country - and the last one came out 12 years ago!

It really would have been nice when we first got here, to have an up-to-date directory, but we learned our ways around the hard way!
This new directory is really accurate, and it shows of course a big development of the country since the last edition!

It's a 144-page book filled not only with maps, but also information for tourists who wish to travel around Brunei, such as a profile of the country, places of interest, tourist attractions, locations of hotels, shopping complexes etc. Actually it's quite a good read as a bonus to the maps!

A Rambo kind of morning

Anna and I are hares at the Hash in two weeks time. That means that we will be the ones who lay out the trail for that week.
We do the Hash in different sites every week and even if you are in a familiar site - the trails vary and there are so many to choose from in the jungle here, you will never do the same Hash twice. All the members of the Hash takes turns to lay it and you are usually two or three people doing it together.

Laying the Hash involves laying out a trail of paper all along the route. Every now and then, 3-4 times, you will lay a "check". It means, that the trail of paper will all of a sudden stop with a big pile of paper, and the runners will have to walk about in different directions to try and find where it continues. There is allowed to be a gap of 150-200m, so could take a while to find the "on paper" route again. These checks are designed to keep the pack together, since some are running and some are walking.
The Hash for us women should take about 45 min - 1 hour for the runners, and a maximum of 1 1/2 hours for the walkers. If it's any longer than that, they risk coming out in the dark, which is ok, but not preferable.

Today we went for a 'rekkie'. We have chosen our site, and this morning we went in to see which trails we were going to use. Equipped with some phone book paper that we laid out so we will remember next week, when we are doing a 2nd 'rekkie', where to go; and machetes, to hack our way through the more jungly bits. We really had to channel our inner Rambo!
Since I am a "virgin hare" (= it's the first time I lay a Hash), we will do another 'rekkie' next week. Then we will time it properly and make sure we have all the checks in place etc. Then on the day of the Hash, we will be laying it properly just a few hours before the Hash horn goes (in case it rains, you can't lay it too far in advance, the paper will dissolve and you don't want anyone getting lost in the jungle in search of paper!).
It was a bit different to be in the bush all by yourself, instead of together with about 40 other hashers. Little bit scary, but at least we found our way out again!

When you are a hare, you also provide the food for afterwards. Anna and I will of course be having a bit of a Swedish theme to our hash but I wont reveal what yet, in case any of the other hashers are reading this! It should be a great hash though!

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Supers & Princesses Party

Today the kids were invited to yet another birthday party, this time with a "Superheroes & Princesses" theme. Lucas was pleased he was able to wear his new Superman costume we bought him just the other day - and Linnea wore a little cape over a pretty dress. (Hm, have realized we really need a tiara or a crown or something, to be able to glam the dresses up with, for all the princess-parties I'm sure will come in the future...).


Superman & Spiderman (Malthe) having their party food in the tower:

Another crazy whirlwind party, following the normal program with playtime (this time there was a pool again, so demanded a bit more attention from the parents), yummy food, pass-the-parcel-game, piñata-bashing, singing and cake and last but not least (and for Linnea the most important part) the party bags!

Linnea and friends:

Singing & cake cutting:

Piñata time, Linnea giving it her all:

The next two parties in the calendar are grown-up parties, yay! But don't think for a minute that we will be excluded from wearing costumes, oh no! Quite the opposite, seems like it's an ongoing trend here to have themed parties.
I'm going to a ladies Cocktail Night with a Baju (= the traditional dress they wear here, we have to have a dress on that is made from baju material) theme; and in a few weeks time we are invited to a 40th birthday bash themed "A night at the Playboy Mansion"... Could be interesting, I will bring my big camera to that one, for sure!

Playroom improvement

I have noticed that when Nathan is not here, I usually to go upstairs with the kids straight after dinner - for them to have a play, or watch some TV for a while. I might spend some time in the scraproom or prepare everything for the next day.
Then, after bath, teeth, story and bedtime; I tend to stay upstairs and watch TV there, so that I can hear the kids, or just be close.

So, for this reason we have bought a sofa for the playroom - a good old "Klippan" from IKEA! The bean bags are cool, but not comfortable enough for an adult a whole evening. It's great, the playroom is getting super cosy, and both the kids and I love spending time there.

The dining area

We have now got our dining room table with eight chairs, that we ordered a while back. It smells really nice and both the table and the chairs are super heavy. It looks really nice, it's a great size - and it suits the house perfectly. We are still waiting for the cushions, they should be being made this week. They will be made in plain white, which will look sleek and nice.



We will have to have a little bit taken off the legs of the table though, cause Nathan didn't trust me when I had researched how high dining tables normally are, and had it made about 5 cm too high... His argument being "Well, we can always take something off, if it's too high" - and so we will!

You might also have noticed that our Georg Jensen weather station has now been mounted on the wall here in the new house! It's really nice to see things again, that has been packed away for so long. It feels great creating a home. Bit by bit people, bit by bit!

Saturday, 13 September 2008


Lucas has been going to Mandarin now for a year, but I must admit we rarely hear him say anything or practice what they have learned, at home.
When we were in Europe though, it seemed to be very important to mention that he spoke three languages, when that came up. Those conversations usually went something like this:
- So Lucas, you speak both Swedish and English?
- Yes! AND Chinese!

He does have three words he will tell you though, when you ask him to say something in Chinese: 'Hello', 'chocolate' and 'Coca-Cola'... Will get him through any situation, right!

(Picture borrowed from www.coca-cola.com.cn)

The Chinese characters of Coca-Cola apparently translate literally to "delicious happiness", and it's pronounced [ke-ko-ke-le].

Friday, 12 September 2008

The Harvest Moon Festival

"The Harvest Moon Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar (the exact date in the Western calendar changes yearly, but this year it falls on the 14th of September). On this day, the Chinese community all over the world celebrate by gathering with their loved ones, to enjoy the full moon, a symbol of promise for abundance, harmony and luck.
This festival is also known as the Moon Cake festival because of a special kind of sweet cake prepared in the shape of the moon and filled with different sweet fillings." (Taken from the school information sheet)

The children in school have been participating in the celebration of this festival this week through a variety of activities. They have been going to school in Chinese clothing, Linnea yesterday, and Lucas today (here is how he looked last year, we are reusing the same outfit as you can see). Some parents have volunteered to talk to the children about the Moon Cake festival and they have enjoyed some home baked Moon Cakes.

(Picture borrowed from www.chinesefooddiy.com)

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Our pets

In this house we have a lot of geckos. I don't mind them at all, they eat insects and stuff, so that's ok. They are harmless to us, and even though they make loud noises when they talk - hence they are also sometimes called "chit-chats" - I kind of like them. They become company, almost like having pets.

(Picture borrowed from lemondesigns.com)

I sure like them a lot better than the cockroaches we had as "pets" at our other house...

My first award!

What a nice surprise I got this morning doing my blog roll, my blog has received an award! My first one, thank you very much Cissi!

Well, there are a few things you have to do when you receive this award, so I better follow the rules:
1. Upon receiving the award, copy the picture and put it in your blog - check.
2. Link to the person who gave you the award - check.
3. Pass it on to seven of your own favourite blogs, and link to them - check, kind of (see below).
4. Leave a message to your choosen bloggers, that they have recieved an award - hm... will try!

I will give this award to all the blogs in my blog roll. I have a hard time picking just seven favourites. Check out this previous post on my blog roll read though, where I mention a few of them. There are so many interesting, funny, entertaining and inspiring blogs out there!
I always try to comment on the blogs I like, so that the blog owners will know that what they are writing is appreciated, it's always nice to receive a comment.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

I drive

This post could also be called "What do you do all day? Part 2", because I know have the universal answer to that question - I drive.

I spend a lot of time every day in the car, a lot. You can't walk anywhere here really, apart from to your neighbours. So you drive, and since mostly it's me taking the kids to school etc, it means I drive a lot. Today more than other days though, because it has been a bit of a crazy day.

I just made it to school this morning when Anne called and said she couldn't get her car to start. As a good friend, I went to drop off my kids, then drove over to her house to pick her and her boys up to bring them to school, slightly late; and then we went for coffee with one of the other Mum's.
It was a short coffee break though, because they all of a sudden called from the school nurse's office and said I had to come and pick Lucas up, cause he had hurt himself in PE (he had fallen over and his foot was swollen, he has spent the rest of the day on the sofa with an ice pack...) - so back to school again, and then home with Lucas.

Then it was time to pick up Linnea (and Daniel, since Anne hadn't managed to fix her car just yet) but as I'm about to leave Anne calls again and says that now school had called her to pick Malthe up! (Because he was tired (?), but that's another story...)
So I had to take a detour, go pass Anne's to pick her up on the way, back to school (for the 4th time today!) to get the kids, then bring Anne and her little monsters back to theirs, and then home.

I was exhausted when I got home, sick of driving, and my back actually hurt. All this was before 12 o'clock, what a shitty morning!

(One of their friends later came and fixed the car for Anne, turned out the battery had no more to give, now it's working nicely again! Women and machines...)

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Week 3

So, you might ask - how has it gone now, when we are well passed the warm up week? Very good, thank you! I'm back in the gym, at the Hash and doing the hills in Bukit Shabandar twice a week. Today, I also tried something new, yoga.

I had never done yoga before, and I must say, it was a lot harder and a lot tougher than I had expected. It didn't really help I'm not the bendy type, some things I could physically just not do.
But, I will be back next Tuesday, cause it felt really nice afterwards! I'm sure it will get easier with time, once I get the breathing under control and all the different positions down: the cobra, the tower, the plank, the warrior, the cat, the seat etc...

(Picture borrowed from sarahbrumgart.com)

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Expat parties

I was talking a bit today with some of the other party participants, about birthday parties here and back at home. It seems to be a bit different in every country of course, but one thing we agreed on was that back home (wherever that is) they are generally smaller than here!

Today's party was no exception, it was huge, they were expecting about 100 people! It was great fun!

There was kids and parents absolutely everywhere. They had not one, but two bouncy castles, one normal, and one "wet":

Lucas really liked the slide, and I couldn't get him off it for the whole afternoon. He only took a break for having a piece of cake, then he was back on it again! He had an absolute blast!

Linnea was more happy paddling around in their pool:

I think (and this is the conclusion we came to today), that the reason parties tend to get so big out here, is that none of us have our families around. So our friends will replace family. Sometimes you will invite certain kids because you are friends with their parents; then your kids invite all their school mates - and if you invite this friend, you have to invite that one and leave no one out etc.
Also, at this age (the girls today turned 5 and 7) you can't just let the parents drop off their kids, especially not at a "wet" party - so you have to count and cater for the parents as well. Numbers get high very quickly.

Linnea's birthday is coming up next month, and I have realized I have to start planning it soon to be on top of things! Hmmm, better find out where they rented that water-slide-bouncy-thing...