New Year, Old World

Yey!!!  New Year!!  More Spice!!  More flavor!

More hotness to relish!!!

I hope you all have a good one!!!

chili
cut up chili peppers meant to be mixed with fish sauce

For our last family escapade for 2012, we had uncharacteristically spent Christmas in a country with Christians being in the minority, Islam being the predominant state religion.  The Malaysian Constitution, though, also guarantees freedom of religion.  I had read in one of their local papers dropped off at our hotel room that only 1 in 10 Malaysians are Christians, although the malls we’d gone to were suitably decorated with Christmas trees and even a children’s clothing store offered a free lap-sitting photo session with the spouses Claus.

headscarves

The Arabic word hijab refers to modest behavior or dress in general, but is usually used to refer to the headscarves worn by observant Muslim women.  The ones we’d seen around were commonly adorned with small sparkly and stylish pins or brooches, and some were being worn by little girls like the one above who was waiting, together with who appeared to be her older teenage sister and mother, for the father who was then in line ordering some snacks for the family.

no kissing

We found this polite reminder in a “teksi” (taxicab) that we rode in Johore Bahru in Southern Malaysia.  I supposed some foreign tourists doing their PDAs while on-the-go have repeatedly offended in the past.   My 6-year-old daughter, Lover, whom I am habituated to pecking on the head or lips every 5 minutes, cautioned me to do so “secretly” if it were to be done in the said teksi.

burqa
detail from a splendid display at Legoland, Johor

We’d seen several women covered from head to toe in their black burqas, with just slits  for the eyes.  Reminded me of the habits of Catholic nuns and the veils worn by traditional Christians.

indian family

The Indian people and culture are also significant parts of Malaysia’s very rich multilingual, multicultural and multi-ethnic society.  The one above is a picture of a family just strolling around Danga Bay in Johor, the women also wearing typically colorful traditional garb.

street food

And of course, what’s an Asian trip without dinners on the street, with all but an inch away from motorists nonchalantly rolling by, mixed into the hot brewing smells of spices, durian, barbecue, and beer?

lover bubbles

A young man on a street in Kuala Lumpur plays with one of those universally magical things.

bus station

Bus station in Johor. To me, it is highly interesting to observe people who are waiting for a public bus, either by themselves or with some companion.  Faces are sometimes with an obvious excitement, sometimes with boredom being dealt with by hands absentmindedly digging into a bag of chips or dried fruits or edible seeds, but always mysterious.  Where are they going?  To whom do they belong?

carousel
Danga Bay carousel

Need I say that I love old carousels, specially empty ones in carnivals that don’t open until night time?  For some reason I think they’re among the most enchanting things to photograph.

“Then the carousel started, and I watched her go round and round…All the kids tried to grap for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’s fall off the goddam horse, but I didn’t say or do anything.The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it is bad to say anything to them.”

—– J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Happy new adventures, everyone!

Thanks for stopping by! 😉

See you again,

fcg

10 Comments

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  1. Exciting travels for you and your family, hope you have many more adventures in 2013. x

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  2. Lovely photos! Happy New Year and I hope 2013 is full of health and happiness.

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  3. happy New Year Dear !!!!!!!!!! 🙂

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  4. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!

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  5. What an interesting and wonderful way to spend Christmas! This tradition is such a prominent celebration in our culture, we take for granted that this is the norm. I quite enjoyed your informative post! ~Thea

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