It’s too late when I notice my pot of duck stew boiling over. In those split seconds between Bama’s warning and the time it takes for me to put down the camera, the damage has already been done.
Quick as a flash, Pearly Kee rushes over to turn down the heat. By now the excess liquid is bubbling and steaming on the hob, with a minor cascade dripping down the drawers and pooling on the floor tiles. “Too much water,” she says. The embarrassment must be evident on my face, because Pearly is telling me not to worry while she wipes down the mess. Read more
Peering out of our window on the seventh floor, the house looked far smaller than it did from the street. But its romantic window shutters, tiled roof and walls painted in indigo blue were still magnificent. Although The Blue Mansion was just behind our hotel, it took Bama and I four days of slow deliberation before we stepped inside for a guided tour. Read more
“How much? Ten Ringgit?” I fork out a note to the silent man clasping a stack of faded blue tickets. Gruffly, he hands me one with the change. Standing outside Kuala Lumpur’s Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), I feel as though I have just landed in Indonesia. The lush carpet of greenery from the air, marked with endless rows of oil palms; the equatorial heat piercing through the billowing, crumpled clouds; the gentle maelstrom of organised chaos… all this is reminiscent of a half-forgotten childhood vacation. Read more