Saturday, March 3, 2012

Long Live the Sultan!

One of the things we love about Malaysians is that (just like us Aussies) they love their holidays. Last year a holiday was declared after 'we' won the football - love it!

So this is a long weekend to celebrate the Sultan's Anniversary. (Love the fact that there will be another to celebrate his birthday!)

So ... how to spend the time?

Well that has to account for at least part of the day!

Watching recorded shows on our big TV (cutting out the ads), and playing "Play-and-Pass" Words with Friends on my iPad - that's a holiday.

After a while we felt the need to go out for our walk on the beach. But then there was this:

Raining and raining - like the wet season has returned. No worries, we don't mind getting a bit wet. It's not like it's cold!

But when we got to the car park we noticed that the road below was packed with traffic which wasn't moving at all. Overhead a helicopter was flying low, somewhere a loudspeaker was making incomprehensible (to us) announcements, and there were police everywhere.

That's okay, we've lived here long enough to know the back alleys. We got in our car, pushed our way through the stream of traffic, and snuck into the kampung (village) road behind our building. Winding our way between the old wooden houses, avoiding chickens and ducks, we came across ... a queue of cars!

We were unsure what the hold-up was, so I got out and walked alongside the cars (through ankle-deep puddles) to the front of the queue and found a plastic bollard closing the road. There were police and eager umbrella-wielding citizens lining the road we wanted to cross. The position of the helicopter overhead suggested that the Sultan and his entourage would not be far away.

We managed to turn our car around, pushed back through the stream of traffic, parked back in our building, and set out again on foot carrying our umbrellas.

As we once again approached the blocked-off road, we met streams of damp people, their umbrellas now folded despite the fact that it was still raining, so presumed that the important people had passed.

With umbrellas aloft, we scrambled through sand and gravel heaped in a new construction site to the abandoned beach where we 'played' in the edge of the waves. Coming home slightly damp from rain and sweat, we picked up some KFC (yeah, we get that here!) and settled back down in front of the TV ...

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