Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back home in Malaysia

If I've been a little quiet lately, it's because I've been busy stuffing my face. While I was back home with my parents, I stuffed my face full of local fruits. I ate lots of mangosteens and langsats while I was home. It's not that we can't get this stuff in Jakarta, we can. But I don't know where to get it cheap and I'm not going to pay some supermarket thousands of rupiah for fruits which I know cost a fraction of the price tag.

It was Dad's birthday on the Sunday and we'd gone out for dinner the night before. There were seven (and a half) of us - my parents, my two younger brothers, my two cousins, me (and Little Monkey) - and I think I over-estimated the amount of food. We ended up ordering herbal duck, salted roasted chicken, steamed fish, tofu, mee suah, vegetables... and satay to boot. Gawd. Nearly felt like my tummy was going to burst ala that infamous scene from Aliens after dinner.

On Sunday, I managed to hitch a ride up to KL with an old buddy. Her bro-in-law2b was driving his wife2b and her back to KL and they kindly offered me a ride. Thank you very much! And the best part was they stopped off in Seremban for eats. Yum, yum. It was the famous Seremban beef noodles which I'd never tried before and it was delicious.

Dear Hubby was waiting for me in KL when I arrived together with my bro-in-law. BIL is now living in Malaysia, having ditched the cold of the UK for the time being. We celebrated our little family reunion that night with a meal in one of my favourite ever places to eat - Suzy's Corner!!!

Suzy's is a mamak shop that's popular with both the locals and expats. It serves your usual roti canai, thosai, naan, teh tarik etc along with a very good steak and nasi lemak. There's also other stalls - the satay man, the otak-otak and a pasta outfit which I've never tried. To get there, go along Jalan Ampang towards Gleneagles Ampang. Keep to your left after you've passed Gleneagles and take the left at the traffic lights at the foot of the flyover. By the time you reach the traffic lights, you will see Suzy's tucked into a, er... corner on your left. There is a small lane to the left right after you pass the traffic lights, so go slow and watch for it. There's parking within Suzy's or further along down the lane. I've forgotten the name of the building just behind Suzy's... it's that pointy grey building. I always think it should be called Ampang Point because it's all pointy but Ampang Point is opposite. That's why I can never remember its name!

I looooove the nasi lemak here. I'd been dreaming of it ever since I knew I was coming home to KL. On the other hand, Dear Hubby had been dreaming of the steaks. We were regulars when we used to live in KL and the head waiter recognised us immediately. He also saw right away there was something different about me and asked with a smile, "How many months along are you?" When I told him I was about six months along, he immediately told me I should not have my usual teh ais (nono, I wasn't going to anyway) and suggested some warm barley for me. How kind! Hehe.

The nasi lemak was every bit as good as I remembered it. This is what I miss most about KL - being able to just go out and sit outside at some cheap stall and eat food that won't give me the runnies. Suzy's does look dodgy from a cleanliness point of view but we've never had a problem and have brought countless expat friends there who never had any probs either. It was nice to look out at roads that weren't clogged with traffic all the time and to have streetlights lighting the lanes so you don't feel that scared walking about.

I was very clear about my holiday objectives this time. I knew I had only a limited amount of time but oh! so much food, so I focused on what I could eat and made sure I ate them all. Hehe.

Despite all the fun I've had, I'm looking forward to returning to Jakarta this Sunday. Our house is finally ready and we'll be moving in next Monday... woohoo!!! Finally - a place to call home! Part of our frustrations stemmed from the fact that we'd felt a bit "floaty" all this while with only a hotel suite to call home. It's not a lot of fun to be living in a strange country without all your familiar stuff around to comfort you. Yes it's nice to live in a hotel where housekeeping and laundry are taken care of but there's really no place like home.

So I'm going to spend my last weekend eating and shopping as much as I can and then back to Jakarta to make us a new home! And I hope to get my first visitors sometime in September, we'll probably spend most of August trying to sort things out, buying new furniture to fit the place and the Top Monkey Hotel should be open for business come September!


  1. Hi Mrs. Top Monkey

    I am considering an offer of work in Jakarta with an integrated marketing communications company and hence this post.

    I would like to know:

    1. What the costs would be of a 3 bed roomed bungalow in a gated community - I have traversed various websites and the costs range from USD 1500 all the way through USD 2500; hence some confusion.

    2. Whether getting an English speaking cook cum maid is an effort and if they are available then what they would cost

    3. The same with a driver

    4. What car would you recommend that one buys in Jakarta - would a SUV (Toyota Fortuner type vehicle) be the best?

    I have read most of your posts pertaining to Jakarta and I do find them immensely interesting. Should I get to Jakarta, I shall definitley want to meet up. Yours is an extremely interesting family.
    I am Indian (from India) 49 years young! and hopefully the rest of it when we meet.

    Many thanks.

  2. Hi, was wondering if you'd like to exchange links with me?
    If yes, please leave your blog url as a comment at:
    I'll link to you first, then when you have time link back k?
    Thanks, Michael
    BTW--I'm michaelwong38 on digg. If ever you want something dugg, just send me a shout anytime.