Archive for November, 2010


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We spent Thanksgiving in Singapore eating Italian pasta. How wrong is that??!! Next year, I am throwing a major Thanksgiving feast with at least 2 turkeys to make up for this.

Singapore is a maze of skyscrapers and is the hub of Southeast Asia for business, telecommunication, shipping…everything really.  The national sport is shopping. You can buy anything is Singapore.

Yours truly and my henna tattoo. Living on the edge!









Night safari!








Sim Lin Square… 6 floors of anything electronic made in China. It is a like a giant husband day care center. And yes, David had his play date.










Random trivia about Singapore…

If you are convicted of littering three times, you will have to clean the streets on Sundays with a bib on saying, “I am a litterer” (in addition to fines of USD 2,000 )

Failure to flush a public toilet after use may result in very hefty fines (USD 500)

As it is considered pornographic, you may not walk around your home nude.

Pornography is illegal.

Homosexuals are not allowed to live in the country.

The sale of gum is prohibited.

The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15g of heroin, 30g of morphine, 30g of cocaine, 500g of cannabis, 200g of cannabis resin and 1.2kg of opium. Possessing these quantities is deemed as prima facie evidence of trafficking. In other words, if you possess these quantities (and possession means you had control of them), you are deemed to be a trafficker and therefore subject to the death penalty.


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Kuala Lumpur

We started our Malaysian adventure in Kuala Lumpur.  I have always been fascinated by the Petronas Towers, a sentiment that the movie Entrapment with Sean Connery did little to discourage.

Unfortunately, they only issue only 1300 tickets a day for the sky bridge which are gone about 2 minutes after the office opens. However, after an Oscar-worthy performance and a big fat lie, I was able to get us in. Don’t ask….There was simply no way I was letting anything come between  me and Sean Connery. The view from the sky bridge is stunning and the towers while massive are mesmerizingly elegant. 


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Afterwards, we explored Independence Square which features the world’s tallest flag pole and hiked through the jungle at the Forrest Research Institute Park. The jungle is fascinating; there is always something making a loud sound from parrots to crickets to who knows what and the variety of plants just takes your breath away. Of course, there is also the heat and humidity. You know when you see Asians sweat that there will be no happy ending for the pasty whitey you. Indeed, thirty seconds into our hike we turned into two portable sweat showers.

Finally, at sunset we went to Batu Caves which is a holy Hindu site in an enormous cave accessible by ascending 270 stairs. No European cathedral can even come close to that kind of a spiritual edifice.  



















Penang is an island in Northern Malaysia and is renowned for  its cuisine. Unfortunately, our stomachs are not trained to process all those delicacies, so we had to be really careful about what we eat.

Penang was settled by the British. As the island was covered by a thick jungle, the British commander loaded a cannon with silver coins and then shot it into the jungle to motivate the hired labour to clear the forest faster in hopes of finding some coins. How very British!








We hired a taxi to take us around the island. The historical center is full of Buddhist, Hindu, and Chinese temples. This is us at the Snake Temple. I was OK with the giant python but when they put the green snake on my head and it immediately positioned itself right next to my eye, I simply stopped breathing.

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We went to a butterfly farm which was a place out of a Disney movie. Hundreds of butterflies everywhere. Huge and small. Colorful and plain. They also had an extensive collection of giant millipedes (over 10 inches), scorpions, tarantulas, and geckos. IMG_2605










For lunch we went to an organic tropical fruit farm where they took us on a tour of the farm and IMG_2741then fed us the fruits of their labor. Haha. FYI, the British introduced rubber trees to Malaysia which soon became the number one cash crop for 200 years. However, lately rubber plantations are being replaced with palms. Coconut oil is the number one agricultural export.  This is a picture of Jackfruit which can weight up to 80 pounds!!!






This is us with some monkeys. Turns out that that monkeys are mean jerks and I hope to never see another one. And then us on a riksha ride. IMG_2829









About 50% of the population of Malaysia is Malay. To be Malay means to be Muslim. The rest is Chinese and Indian. While Malays are dominant in politics, it is really the Chinese who run the economy. The country is enormously diverse. The amazing thing about being in a Muslim country is being woken up every morning by the call to prayer and having stickers pointing to Mecca on every hotel room ceiling. Anyway, we  visited a beautiful mosque in Penang and received over an hour-long lecture about Islam.

I wrapped up the day by indulging in a message. Asian massages are the stuff of legends and I could not wait for my back-pain-free Nirvana.

Now,  I am no prude but OMG…the show got to good start as my masseur aloofly watched me strip down. Indeed, she did not leave the room or at least pretend to be organizing her oils…no she just stood there while I was frantically sucking in my stomach and willing my cellulite to disappear so hard I nearly passed out. I continued to be completely and utterly stark naked for the rest of the experience. I must admit that there came several points where I was not totally sure what kind of massage I paid for. My butt crack being kneaded was definitely one of them. But I do have to say that I came out of there absolutely pain free and with 3 new muscles for good measure. As for my ego…let’s hope that what happens in Penang, stays in Penang.


STB_3085Langkawi is a resort island by the Thai border. For the first time this whole year, David and I did absolutely nothing…which means that David read the whole time and I either in the pool or the ocean hoping to turn into a mermaid. It was the most wonderful time of our life.





As always, love you all and thank you so much for all your support.



PS: This is the water monitor that the Langkawi resort management leaves chicken for every day on the edge of the National Forrest Park.

A dream come true.

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I fulfilled my dream of petting a Koala bear at a Sydney wildlife park. Koalas sleep 16 hours a day and are the cuddliest creatures! They so very much remind me of Sumo, my canine favourite. Additionally, I was cornered by 2 emus that freely roam the park and who were in the mood of eating my cone full of kangaroo food. I decided that I was in no position to refuse them. Two parrots said Hello to me but the moment I turned the camera on they pretended not to speak English at all. There were also wombats, a python devouring a rat, a Tasmanian devil crushing a rabbit’s skull for bfast. Australia is really amazing!!!  I am so very grateful we got the chance to visit and I cannot wait to return.




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We have been in Australia for over a week now and it is high time for me to update you on this latest adventure.
1. We went to the Sydney Opera House for a performance of Pirates of Penzance. I bought the tix as a surprise for David as he was in the BYU production when we met. I cannot even begin to tell you how hard it was not to say anything. Finally, I blurted out right before we landed in Singapore.
Anyway, much to my shock the outside of the Opera House is not white but really cream and features an intricate geometric pattern. The inside is then what I can only describe as concrete vaulted ceilings. It is very unique. Most importantly we got all dressed up and had a fabulous evening. David looks so good in a suit!
2. Blue Mountains National Park is about 2 hrs west of Sydney and that is where the crazy picture of David at Hanging Rock that I sent a few days ago was taken. The hike through the bush was great fun as we armed ourselves with sticks not knowing exactly what wild animals were out there ready to eat us or at least bite us.
3. We go on mini excursions every day after David comes back from the office. The highlights are eating kangaroo steaks and visiting the botanical gardens with dozens and dozens of bats that come out at sundown!
4. This weekend was simply amazing. We checked out of the hotel, bought a tent and 2 sleeping bags, and drove 4 hrs south of Sydney to Marramang National Park. We had only 1 goal in mind…see a kangaroo. We saw a whole bunch as drove at night but nothing could prepare us for the next morning as we poked our heads out of our tent…we were surrounded by dozens of kangaroos. They were everywhere. I was more giddy than at Halloween! Now, FYI, it is not recommended to drive in certain parts of Australia at night because if you hit a kangaroo, your car will be totalled. Though they may look all cuddly, they are wild and so no petting or feeding. Yes, they are capable of skipping but they really prefer to be sprawled and enjoy fat happy time…ideally in the middle of the road. The trees were filled with all kinds of parrots which, while beautiful, are extremely loud.
After some kangaroo sightseeing around our camp, we went on a walk along the beach and then Bateman’s bay for bfast. In the afternoon, we went kayaking. Now, this adventure started off leisurely as we let the current take us; however, paddling back against the current and the wind was extremely hard work. I seriously thought I was not going to make it back. I reached the shore completely exhausted. For dinner, we had a real Ozzie BBQ. David built a fire and I made potatoes, onions, carrots, and corn with peppered steak. It was SO good. It was raining/sprinkling a little. But honestly I could not care less. I was just so happy to be camping in the bush in Australia, cooking, and just enjoying being with my Honey…I really could not have been happier.
Next day we crossed the entire Durras beach and then continued to climb half a mile of boulders and then cliffs to get to the neighboring beach. This hike is only possible at low tide. While absolutely incredible (tide pools with octopus, waves crashing, stunning cliffs), we definitely sped up towards the end as the tide started to come up. We hiked through the bush to get back.
David surfed in the afternoon as I admired him from the hot beach. The fact is that though it is extremely hot outside, the water is 1 degree away from turning into an iceberg. David came out looking like a penguin but he did pull of some amazing moves.
Well, we still have a week here and then we are off to Singapore and more.
We love you.
David and Sandy

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Hanging Rock

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I won’t pretend that I wasn’t totally and utterly mad at him.
Anyway, apart from that we had an absolutely fantastic time hiking through the bush.


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IMG_0617 Don’t worry, this is our little secret. ;)
We didn’t tell anybody at all.
We’ll be here in Sydney for two weeks on business, and then they will send us to either Singapore or Malaysia for another week.
David and Sandy Litster