IndyJunior © Bryan Boyer

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Happy Hari Raya and Deepavali

This week has seen two major celebrations here in Malaysia.

Deepavali for the Hindus and Hari Raya for the Muslims. The two rarely coincide but this year they are only 2 days apart so it's celebrations all around.

For us, it's a break from all the crowds and traffic as everyone has gone back to their villages for the celebrations. "Balik Kampung" as they call it here.

Things are much more quiet than usual except for the odd firecracker every once in a while.

This down time has also let us venture out a bit further into the city. We actually made it into Kuala Lumpur! Yes, and I was driving. There wasn't much traffic and we were on a mission.

Our Mission? Find the SPCA. Yes, that's right. But J will have a blog about our little mission I'm sure so I won't spoil it any more.

Things are going good here. It's been a while since my last blog, but there isn't anything really new.

Oh, except for the fact that we are starting to learn some Qi Gong. But I'll save that for another blog later.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Western vs. Eastern Media

(Don't look at the picture if you have a weak stomach.)

I can't remember a time in Canada where I've seen really graphic pictures of accidents. The most gruesome it gets is a blood stain on the sidewalk or something like that. Perhaps they feel this isn't really necessary to get the point through. Maybe.

But here in the East, that doesn't seem to be a problem. While in Lhasa Tibet, we saw posted on a few street corners, some displays of traffic accidents which included the results of Human vs. Vehicle interactions. They were really gross actually. The one I remember the most was a picture of the back of a large 2 axle truck with dual rear tires. You can see some legs and arms protruding out both sides of one of the tires, and a large RED skid mark about 20-30 feet in length. Nice huh?

The other day while reading the local paper here in KL, there was an article on a suicidal bus driver in Chongqing, China that drove off an over pass. Of course many died but the picture they showed was one you would never see in North America. An overhead view of the bus with bodies lying everywhere.

I don't know which is better. Does the shock value of seeing these things drive the point home more? But after some time, won't you get desensitized to it all? Are we all better off not seeing this stuff? The crowd that has gathered right around all the bodies is quite interesting too. All very curious I'm sure.

There's lots of different opinions I suppose and I'm not sure which is better but in an effort to bring you both sides, here's a picture of the picture shown in the local Star Newpaper.

You decide. Too much? Or ok?

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Driving on the wrong side of the road...

We have access to a car here in Malaysia but for the first few days we didn't use it, choosing instead to take the bus and taxi's.

Unfortunately, the public transport system out in Subang Jaya really blows. To get anywhere, it's at least an hours ride but by car, it can be as short as 20 mins. So needless to say, we needed to learn how to drive here.

We took some time one day to take the car out just around the complex here seeing how the car drives and making sure we can work the clutch and stuff. We had no intention of leaving to go on any roads yet but as I was driving around all the one way lanes here, it eventually led us to the exit gate. Great! I've got no choice now than to leave...

Look Left, then Right, then Left...I can still remember my driving instructor drilling this into my head...and after 15+ years of doing just that, I needed to reverse it. Stay on the left, stay on the left I kept muttering to myself as we pull out of the gatehouse and make a right hand turn across oncoming traffic.

we went down the street, turned into the coffee shop area, turned around and headed home. All in all, a 5 min. ride and no problems. Sweet.

The only problems I've had so far is getting used to shifting with the left hand and holding the steering wheel with the right hand, always reaching for the seat belt on my left side and the signal bar on the right side.

So far so good.

Oh yeah, and the car we drive is a locally made Perodua Kancil... 659 cc of raw power baby! AND it has AC. SWEEEEET!