Friday, June 27, 2014

Ben and Sarah visit

Boy and daughter-to-be time--yay!
with friend on Beach Street, downtown Penang

At Tom's school

going up Penang Hill

Two peas in a pitcher plant pod

monitor lizards on the hike to Monkey beach

trying out some reflexology in a Penang park

Thursday, June 26, 2014


A new local favorite smile opportunity, a close second to    Wong School Bus:

Loh Child Specialist Clinic

And then there is this, a Japanese item for sale in Malaysian supermarkets:

Alopecia--a test from the universe

March 20:  Guy cutting my hair frowns and looks perplexed, looking at the back of my head.  I think it is because of my poor home dye job and I grin stupidly, and think—maybe next time I should have it done at a salon.

April 5:  I notice it the first time: a bald patch at the crown of my head on the right, an inch and a half or two inches in diameter. Horrors!  I mention it to T, who says he first noticed it a month ago. I am touched that he spared me a month of knowing.  And mindful that he no doubt dreaded experiencing my reaction to the news…

I decide that since I'm going bald I might as well go gray at the same time. The terrible chemicals can only exacerbate the problem. Most of my good friends, especially those in the States, don't color.  I've felt before that it would make me invisible, that strangers treat gray hairs with less interest.  Now I am ready.

Mid-May: Conscious realization of the now-familiar gesture of brushing a stray hair from my arm; pleasant surprise when tickle on the arm is a dangling thread rather than a hair.

The trials of trying to get it up from the floor! Sweeping, Swiftering, mopping—pesky truants still there, picking them up with difficulty off the tile floor by hand. Plucking them from the broom. Knowing the broom, swifter, mop will be full of them

End of May. I really can’t go out in public now without a barrette effecting a comb-over. Size of hairless patch is about 3” diameter.

Ah, vanity. 

Folding laundry, Tom’s socks have a couple of my hairs stuck to them, having made it through the wash and lighted there.

June 2. Catching a falling hair, knowing well how bothersome it can be to try and flick it into the trash or other receptacle, sometimes giving into temptation to fling it off the balcony. 

June 4.  I attend a presentation on medical Qi Gong and am very impressed. The treatment has shown much success with autoimmune conditions. I’m in! The Qi Gong master is in town for the opening of a Qi Gong clinic, and will see 20 patients the next day. I sign up.

June 5. First Qi Gong treatment. I abandon my barrette for the visit to Lam Wah Ee Hospital’s Chinese Medicine Center. I sit for the treatment, and close my eyes.  The healer moves energy around me, touching the base of my spine briefly. I start to cry.  Well, I am a cry-er.  It is emotion from the energy flow: the beauty and power of it, gratitude for his care, a jumble of other feelings that have been bottled up, releasing.  It lasts only 5 minutes or so but is powerful. After, I feel both relaxed and energized, and think I am sitting straighter, taller.  He recommends weekly treatments. I won’t be able to go back for two weeks because I will be busy with visitors, but I definitely want to continue.

June 6. I must be getting used to it, or maybe it’s the Qi Gong. I meet some new people and very early in the conversation bring up my decision to go gray AND my hair loss (Hi I’m Kristine and I have Alopecia). Well, it was a white-haired woman who shared her skin cancer details with me almost at once…

mid-June. Second Qi Gong session.  Same luscious feeling of energizing relaxation. I want to go back next week but they are full. Next opportunity: late July.

I learn that the insurance company will not cover my return trip to the dermatologist in a few weeks. it is considered a cosmetic issue.

The offending area about 4" diameter now.

Twin time in Penang

Brother Tim and wife Cathy stopped by to celebrate T&T's birthday.
we are getting the Penang tour down :-), discovering something new each time.
Penang street art

anchor, anyone? from the blacksmith shop

On one of the Clan jettys

on our balcony

Tom entertaining Cathy with card tricks

From the temple at Penang Hill

A really lovely birthday dinner at sunset on the beach, at Uncle Zack's in Batu Ferringgi. They went all out to make it special.

Great visit and east coast trip

This is long overdue...  The first in a string of recent visitors were our dear old friends, Greg and Laura, in April. We hit some of the Penang sights before heading east to the Perhentian Islands.
Friends in the jungle--hiking

At a Hindu temple atop Penang Hill
Cooling off in the pool waaaaaay down there

On Perhentian Island

Greg and Tom

In our flat

We hit two different east coast islands, Perhentian Besar and Pulau Kapas.  The snorkeling was incredibly good, just steps off the shore.  The Perhentian islands have a ban on fins, which is no doubt a contributing factor to reviving the marvelous coral beds there.  Too bad Kapas hasn't followed suit.  Your author managed to forgot to bring the camera which purports to be waterproof to 3 meters and would have provided some fab shots...Alas, we will simply have to come back. We snorkeled several times each day, seeing perhaps three dozen different species of fish.

dusky leaf monkey

Why is she smiling--her vest says "SHARK BAIT"

We hit the city of Kuala Terrenganu  inbetween the two islands.
Yummy food--many dishes unique to the east coast

Made a new convert to world's best drink (after coffee, that is, of course)

others,do not enter 

Squid jigging, anyone?

Milo Dinosaur (the drink!!)