Thursday, January 27, 2011

Life's Little Complications!

This week is FINALLY OVER! And that's good because we now have a week off for Chinese New Year. I can finally get some sleep.

Getting a Bank Account

It was important to open a bank account before the end of the week because tomorrow is pay day! We filled in lots of forms when we were in Kuala Lumpur in the first week, but then they told us to go to a local bank here to finish opening an account.


We work longish hours - getting up at 5.30am to drive to work (and beat the heavy traffic) in time for 7.45am - it's about a 20km drive. And we finish at 4.45pm - so we miss the banks altogether.

The weekend is Friday (religious day, everything closed) and Saturday - so we went to the bank on Saturday ... closed.

So we asked to get off work early on Sunday (first day of the week) to go to the bank. But Kuala Lumpur has a different weekend (Saturday and Sunday) and opening the account required talking to them on the phone ... so no joy. We would have to come back the next day.

Getting our accounts

So we came back the next morning - "it will only take a few minutes" we were told, but it was an hour and a half, and we came out to find that we had scored a parking ticket (!) Still, at least we had our accounts.

Trying to Pay the Fine

We left work early that afternoon to come in and pay the fine ... only 5 RM ($1.70) if paid within 3 days!! (Going up in stages to 40 RM over a couple of weeks.) We parked (legally this time), but I stayed in the car just in case. While I was waiting, I decided to freshen my mouth with some 'Extra' chewing gum ... and lost a filling (one the dentist in Brisbane had just put in a few weeks ago).

We were too late, and the office was closed, so we would have to come back the next day, leaving work even earlier this time.

A bad day all round

Getting home with a sensitive tooth and feeling quite annoyed, I tried to turn on my computer, but had problems with my power cord ... and Peter went out to the shops to buy a replacement.

While he was out, I did a load of washing and, as it was about to rain, hung it on the indoors line which Peter had tied up in the laundry. Then the line broke, and it all splonked onto the floor. So I went and hung it all outside (on the scary line over the abyss) and it promptly rained ...

Ggggrrrrhh! One of those days.

Going to the Dentist

We had noticed little clinics around the city (labelled 'klinik'), and hospitals ... but hadn't noticed any 'dental' clinics.

Then we realised that some of them were 'pergigian' clinics - someone explained that this word means dentist. So I just showed up at one of those. The sweet little receptionist didn't know any English, but I guess it was pretty clear what I wanted. The dentist, another sweet little lady in the local style dress and headscarf asked me "you want numb?" (yes, please!) and then quietly and gently fixed my tooth. I was in and out within a few minutes, and she charged me 70 RM (about $23!) and now all is well in that department.

And we managed to get to the fine paying office in time (parking illegally - but I stayed in the car!) and paid our 5 RM.

Our Students

These are not actually our students - they are some of the student teachers at the Institute. We will be teaching them sometimes, and doing demonstration lessons for their lecturers. These girls are in their sports uniform. Can you tell which one is Catholic (not Muslim)?

Our fellow Fellow, Lloyd, had a chat with the boys in the same class.

Speakers Corner

The students from four classes were having a "Speakers Corner" - the speaker is standing on the stairs landing on the right.

As soon as the session started, the rain poured down. The listeners (including us) had to shelter on the verandahs.

On Thursdays they all wear bright clothes - 'batik' patterns - as a sign of National pride, but they do dress beautifully every day.

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