Posts

Showing posts from January, 2018

Driving on the other side of the road

Image
Now that I’m back to driving on the usual side of the car and road, I couldn’t help but compare it to when I was driving in the US.  I rented and driven two cars for a total of 3 days.  Th first car was the huge 5.3L V8 engine Chevrolet Suburban and the second was the 1.6L Hyundai Accent and I must say that I prefer the larger one. It felt safer and no one honked me at all when I drove it! I certainly got honked at a lot when I was in the Hyundai.  And I think I would have driven about 500km going around Monterey, Seaside, Marina, Watsonville and all the way up to San Francisco and back.  I noticed these few differences when I was driving in the US.  For one, it was definitely a matter of conscious competence and unconscious competence. I notice now that when I drive here in KL, I don’t think about it at all but I couldn’t not think when in the US. I was in full alert. It’s a don’t-talk-to-me-when-I’m-driving thing.  Two, I keep having to vocally tell myself to turn into the right side

Now I know what jet lag is

Image
I did not experience any jet lag when I arrived in the US, but now that I’m back, I am having it bad.  I’ve never experienced anything like this before. The furthest I have flown before this was to Qatar, a 5-hour time zone difference, and when I returned, I just went on as usual with no jet lag.  But this time it’s bad with it being a 16-hour time difference.  The  Mayo Clinic  describes jet lag as a sleep disorder and the symptoms can vary but will worsen the farther you travel. And it takes about a day to recover for each time zone crossed.  With the 16-hour time zone I’ve crossed, if you minus 24 hours or a day from it, I would suffer from jet lag for a total of 8 days.  This means I will only feel better this coming Sunday. Oh boy...that’s many more days to go.  The symptoms I have encountered so far are: • daytime fatigue - I get very tired after lunch time • difficulty concentrating • stomach problems - I keep burping • a general feeling of not being well • sore achy muscles • p

Broken heart, broken mug

Image
I’m back to work today and when I woke up in the morning, as usual I’d walk over to my son’s room, knock on his door and say, “Wake up!” But I could only do it mentally... Then when I reached my office, I took out the CSUMB mug my son bought but it was broken! Not only my heart is broken, my mug too.  pearlie

Just the two of us

Image
It is a usual Sunday morning fare that our whole family will have breakfast in Restoran Rishadh before we head off to church.  But this morning it was only my husband and I. And our usual order is without the “tiga idli, satu roti canai, Milo ais.” I did tell my son that there will be several places, mostly restaurants I would not be able to go anymore. He is big on food and I can see now that the memories we share are marked with food.  pearlie

Bittersweet Home Sweet Home

Image
My plane touched down and I arrived home at 9:30am.  It is really amusing that after a long 17+ hours flight from Los Angeles to Singapore, the half an hour ride from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur felt like it just lasted a few minutes. My mom and brother came to pick me up from the airport.  And as luck or coincidence have it or whatever you want to call it, the policeman stopped my brother who was driving the car and found that he has forgotten to renew his driving license.  And so I had to drive.  I was very tired but compared to driving in the US, this was so easy and instinctive. I could do it in my sle...I didn’t have to think or pay too much attention to it.  Whilst I have enjoyed the trip to the US—except the goodbye part—I didn’t like the food there. And food to me is a big part of traveling if not the biggest.  So now that I am home, the first thing to do is to go eat something good.  So the first thing I did even before heading home is to find some good food—ahh...beef noodles..

This is where I lose the day that I gained

Image
Here is when I lose a day. I boarded the plane at about 5pm and here is also when time is fluid.  What time and day is it exactly?  I have no idea.  I am seated by the window, which is a good thing even though it is much safer sitting at the aisle.  But for a long flight and I’m of course banking on an absolutely safe flight, seated by the window seat makes it easier to sleep and I do plan to sleep my way home so that I can beat the jet lag.  The whole flight happens in the night and I did manage to sleep some though not as much as I would like.  pearlie

Monterey Day 9: I’m going home, alone

Image
Today is the day I go home alone. And as I have driven him to school and college all these years, this is a long “drive” to college and a long “drive” home.  I spent the morning cleaning up the AirBnB place as much as I could. I am going to miss this place.  Like all AirBnBs, I am supposed to check out at 11am, but my flight is at 5:25pm and I don’t have anywhere to go. But the host was gracious enough to let me hang around the house till my transport come to take me to the airport. God bless him! I got to the Monterey Regional Airport very early, too early in fact. And so I just checked in and spent time reading.  When the plane lifted off the runway at Monterey, it was kind of momentous for me—it’s like a final goodbye.  The flight from Monterey to Los Angeles takes about an hour and upon arrival, this is all I see of the city, all lighted up and the roads are mostly congested with cars. It is quite a sight.  And after this, it’s 17+ hours of flight from Los Angeles to Singapore.  pe

Monterey Day 8: It’s time to say goodbye

Image
Today will be the last day I’ll see him for now till I see him again. He has classes from 4 to 6pm and so he came over in the morning and spent some time with me.  We then went for lunch and as a farewell lunch he decided on Gusto again.  My son is a food person. He loves to eat and he really has a penchant for anything Italian. So Gusto it shall be.  He ordered the Spaghetti Carbonara and he dug in before I remember to take a picture. And it was really yummy.  We ordered a pizza and it was the best pizza I have ever eaten.  We then walked to the bus stop which is just a block away and waited for his bus to take him back to campus.  It was quite a long wait which was fine by me since I get to talk to him and as a mom goes, to give him more advice with the should do and shouldn’t do.  I can’t say he liked hearing it though.  And then the bus came and off he went.  Goodbye dear. Be good and have fun.  pearlie

Monterey Day 7: At the Elkhorn Slough

Image
I met up with Lois today and she brought me for the Elkhorn Slough Safari Nature Boat Tour.  Here’s the jetty that leads to the boat we will be getting on.  And off we go... I only have my iPhone camera with me and it wasn’t so effective taking pictures in the sun. It was after all a beautiful day - clear skies and perfect weather for a boat safari.  This photo is suppose show you a whole colony of sea lions lazying on a dock away from the sun.  And here’s a sea lion flapping his fins above the water to regulate his body temperature. He has to keep his fins up because he can’t keep it warm in water like his body can.  I will see many, many, many types of birds during this boat ride, except I am no bird watcher to know one from the other. They are all just birds to me.  And here are birds on stilts.  I don’t have any good pictures of otters but the Elkhorn Slough boasts of the only place on earth with the largest number of sea otters.  And here we are enjoying the ride and the sun.  And

Monterey Day 6: It’s a book day, it’s a tsunami watch-night

Image
My son starts attending classes at campus today and I’m all prepared to spend the day on my own.  I returned the rented car in the morning and got back to the AirBnB where I planned to accomplish four things today:  1. Read my bible 2. Read a book 3. Catch up on my blog 4. Revise my language flash cards I only managed to do one, that is, I read a book.  I did try to blog but I couldn’t upload any pictures and I gave up.  One thing I have not mentioned is this: when I first arrived at Monterey, we walked to Target and I bought a Kindle Paperwhite.  I know I have too many devices already but I have always wanted an e-ink reader. Amazon does not deliver to Malaysia and now that I’m in the US, I will never forgive myself if I don’t get one.  And so I did.  And I finished reading a book today, which was also much needed and relevant for my current situation in trying to adjust to a new life chapter of an empty nest.  Praying Backwards: Transform Your Prayer Life by Beginning in Jesus’ Name

Monterey Day 5: Full day out and it was a great weekend

Image
I got connected with a church way before we came to Monterey. I googled for the nearest churches to the university and found two Methodist churches and a Presbyterian church.  The emails sent to both the Methodist churches sadly did not garner any replies. But for the Presbyterian church, I requested the pastor from the Presbyterian church I am currently attending to email them.  The church pastor, Joel Robbins and one of the church elders, Andres Czerwiak emailed us.  And so off we went to Covenant Presbyterian Church today to attend their 11am service.  The service is liturgical, using the hymnal. And for the first time in my life, I did not know any of the hymns and thankfully I can still sightread using the music scores.  And I really like this hymn, Praise My Soul, The King of Heaven. The melody and especially the timing is quite unusual.  We joined them for lunch after church and had a good chat with some of the members there, including Lois Deupree whom Pastor Joel connected me

Monterey Day 4: San Francisco, here we come!

Image
It’s Saturday and we decided to make full use of the day. I had made a call to the same car rental outlet two days ago to book a car and finally they did manage to find me a small car - a 1.6L Hyundai Accent.  The first thing we did was to go to the bank and get an account opened up for my son. And yes, the banks in the US are opened on Saturdays and this one is even opened from 9 and to 4 pm! It took us an hour to get it done.  After that and after much persuasion from my son, we decided to drive up to San Francisco.  He wanted so much to go and I don’t know why I have dialed down so much on my adventuresome spirit lately. I finally gave in and agreed to go ahead with it.  Well, driving on the different side of the car and the road still need some getting used to, but I am confident I will manage it well.  The scenes certainly look different to me.  And we even drove passed NASA’s research center. And we notice familiar places on the signboards - Palo Alto, Cupertino... We reached the