April 10th 2017 Kuching

Oh what a day, oh what a day.

I drove more today than I have in the past year. Up and down, up and down, back and forth, back and forth and to and fro, and to and fro.

It's metaphorical, okay?!
Made it past the dreaded 4 am wake up point this morning, but still feeling groggy. First drive of the day was to Azreen Cafe for a roti telur and to meet up with some more former classmates - LC, HCC, MY, WHM, BZ, AA and ALS showed up. There was some polite chat, and some more interesting discussion - mostly surrounding how the C-Ps were coming in, and we might as well roll over and die now. Gawd, we can be so racist sometimes. CE couldn't make it, he's not well, the second-line chemotherapy is failing, and I wish him well for what is to come. My first major crush. So sad.

This can't happen soon enough
Then drove home - so to put this into perspective. Getting from my parents' home to Azreen cafe took 30 minutes - to cover a distance of about 4 miles. That's how bad the traffic is here because the density of cars on the road surpasses that of much larger cities.

That's why we need this MRT system so badly, not that it'll happen.

Home to not do laundry - we actually didn't do laundry today - mostly because I asked with some aspersion yesterday, did we have to do laundry every single day. This was vehemently denied, and I think the laundry services were suspended today to prove a point. The war is not over.  Dr. C called, and we chatted briefly and he lectured me on the terrible consequences of internecine war. He's Greek, so I guess he knows about the philosophy of wars and the like.

Popped by First Aunty's place where there was nobody around. SO empty. I guess this will be last time that I go to that living room since she's no longer there waiting for us, playing patience with that old, crumpled up deck of cards.

We then popped back into the car with mum and dad to go to the bake store to get supplies - high protein flour to make danishes and croissants, all purpose flour to make a cherry cake (canned cherries available for $53.00). Icing sugar for icing, cocoa powder for chocolate and butter for puff pastry. Roasted pork for dinner. This was at King Centre where things haven't improved. Still dirty, still crowded and cramped. Honestly, this particular F&B area (Food and Beverage - do keep up), needs to be hosed down in the way of the Agean stables, or just torn down. The parking here is horrendous and it's hot. If only the city planners had insisted that all parking areas came with big trees.

Don't think the rains didn't come after
Later that sunny hot afternoon, I was summoned to Great Eastern to surrender my policy which has been around for a while and has made a fair amount of interest - almost a 48% return to be exact - well worth cashing in to finance the purchase of exotic fruits (grapes and apples from South Africa), and canned cherries. Apparently, apples from Canada have even appeared on occasion. So I had to drive to the building behind Great Prudential - it wasn't easy to find I tell you. One of those situations where you can see the building poking up from behind other buildings, but the mess of roads leading to the building you want isn't all that clear. In true Eastern fashion, things weren't as simple as signing a piece of paper to get the cash. However, I think all is sorted out now, and I'll have to make another trip down today to deliver the papers to EEK for processing. Fingers crossed that all this will happen quickly, and preferably before I leave. For your professional interest, +Taki Venizelos my agent, AL, went through the papers multiple times, murmuring to me, I can't help it. I'm OC - but it works out for you cos I go through the details many times to ensure we've not missed anything.  He was particularly worried about whether my signature had changed in the intervening years - a natural concern cos signatures do evolve (they become more refined, I think) over time - but I think GEA just uses this to not pay out.

Vietnamese mosquitoes
Dinner and then coffee where I was to deliver the red mosquito to PK, except he was foiled by the fecundity of the people in Kuching. Clinics at 6:30 pm which stretch to 11pm - nuts. I got CII an XL hot chocolate - couldn't help it as the cup was such a pretty blue colour, and despite all the protests, she finished it anyway. MH brought along the brother of K from Cupertino and we discussed retirement (we're of the age) and parental care (some of us feel guilt) although no decisions or conclusions were arrived at.

Today's tasks:

  • Laundry (losing war cos this is first on the list)
  • Make pastry - full puff
  • Cook shanks - lamb with ginger wine
  • Make filling for pastry
  • Send work e-mails out to let them know I'm back on the grid (bah)
  • Try and go for a run
  • Contact BZ about CE
  • Hand in papers to GE
  • Read IA's summary
We'll see how we get on today.