Moving from a yard with a house (which is I’m sure how Flossy would describe it) to an apartment has been an adjustment for our 3 year old golden retriever. Our building is advertised as “dog friendly” but in reality it is “dog tolerant” at best. There is no place for her to run free outside, and when we take her for walks we are relegated to using the service elevator and can walk her only in a few very specific areas of the complex.
While we still take her for walks several times a day, and give her lots of indoor playtime, we are always on the lookout for a good park to take Flossy for some outdoor fun. Recently we headed over to Desa ParkCity, which friends had highly recommended as a great place for dogs, and happily this is definitely the case.
The park surrounds a huge man-made lake which is pleasant to walk around.
There are also nearby restaurants, a handful of which have outdoor/pet friendly seating. But Flossy’s favorite spot was at the playground. The playground is large and beautiful, and as you can imagine the place to be if you are around 5-12 years old. All Flossy had to do was sit in the shade and as if on cue, a parade of new friends stopped by for a chat.
For a gentle giant like Flossy, all the attention was heavenly.
Of course, there was some cute competition. But there was plenty of love to go around.
As the sun went down and the heat retreated, the park became even more lively as more people came out to walk their pups and grab a bite to eat.
I definitely recommend heading out in the late afternoon when the heat is less intense. Be sure to pack extra water for your pet. This is a great spot for the whole family. Enjoy!☞ Desa ParkCity 5, Persiaran Residen Desa ParkCity 52200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Desa ParkCity Facebook Desaparkcity.com
After months in the city I was ready to be surrounded by nature. I wanted to wake up and hear birds instead of construction, and see more green than gray. Don’t get me wrong, city life has its rewards, but there are times when nature is the best remedy. Herman Melville sums it up, “Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul… I account it high time to get to the sea as soon as I can.”
The sea wasn’t really an option this time around, instead we headed to the hills for a visit to the Cameron Highlands.
The Cameron Highlands is one of Malaysia’s top tourist attractions. Known for the cooler temperatures, venues where you can pick strawberries and mushrooms, tea plantations, and scenic vistas, we found in the Cameron Highlands the perfect getaway spot.
There is also an air of mystery here as this is the place where Jim Thompson (who created a veritable silk empire in Thailand) disappeared. While on vacation here Thompson went for a walk and never returned. A massive manhunt ensued, to no avail. To this day no one knows what happened to the textile giant, and many have found a way to cash in on the mystery, offering special tours and menu items dedicated to the man.
For us, the hillsides offered crisp air and a fresh perspective.
Everywhere you turn there are souvenir shops brimming with strawberry themed knick-knacks. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a strawberry shaped pillow, this is the place for you.
What I loved about the Cameron Highlands was the sheer variety of plant life on display. Little shops featuring exotic mushrooms, cacti, (did I mention strawberries?), and even lavender dot the road, inviting you to see or try something new.
Our timing wasn’t right in terms of picking strawberries, but we were able to purchase and enjoy them nonetheless.
We were able to feast our eyes on lush tea plantations, and taste yam flavored ice cream (it was delicious) and strawberry coffee (which oddly did not taste like strawberries… or coffee).
Two days in the Highlands was not nearly enough time to explore all they have to offer, but it was the perfect respite from the noise and stress of Kuala Lumpur.
I’ve been wanting to do something special for my readers/subscribers for awhile and since it is the season of giving, it occurred to me that now would be the perfect time to have a special giveaway!
One lucky reader will be receiving this special Olio clutch featuring the Celosia print in Red Rumor from Tulisan.
I love all things Tulisan. The prints are so bright and cheerful and the quality of each product is impeccable. I happen to write for this brand, but I picked out this clutch and paid for it with my own bucks. I would love to buy each subscriber a great gift like this, but Mama ain’t got that kind of cash (but I do wish everyone good luck!).
All you have to do to enter is:
- Subscribe to WanderlustandWonder.com
- Leave a comment below sharing what your favorite holiday tradition is. It doesn’t have to be related to Christmas; any special holiday tradition will enter you in the contest.
- Only one comment allowed per person.
The winner will be chosen at random at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, December 23nd and notified by email. It doesn’t matter where you live, if you win I will mail you this lovely clutch. Should the winner for some reason not claim her/his prize, then another will be randomly selected.
I love my Tulisan clutch. It holds everything, and doubles as a wallet too. Tulisan makes such lovely gifts. Have a look at their website to find out more.
P.S. you may have noticed the blue expatsblog.com badge in the right hand corner of this page. I entered a blogging contest for the first time. If you have a couple minutes to spare please have a look at my post and leave a comment of ten words or more below it. I’d appreciate the support and would love to read your comment!
Happy Holidays! And, good luck!
If I were ever to sit down and craft a bucket list, certainly being an extra in a TV movie would be on there, right? Good, then I can cross that one off my would-be list as recently I got to play myself (i.e. nondescript American female) in the upcoming TV movie for Oh My English.
This incredibly popular Malaysian sitcom centers on a group of struggling students on a zany quest to learn English. Interestingly, the series was created by the Ministry of Education in partnership with Astro TV as a means to promote better pronunciation and the use of proper English among viewers. With over half a million ‘likes’ on the show’s official Facebook page, it seems the series has resonated with the tweens/teens it targets.
Oh My English airs weekly, but soon they will feature a special movie (which the director’s assistant described to me as a High School Musical version of the show). For this episode, in which the students receive exciting news from the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia, they needed a few Americans to watch and applaud as the story unfolds.
It was very cool to see the production being taped right before my eyes. The kids did the scene several times, each time perfectly in character. But when the scene was over they instantly morphed back to regular folks just goofing around.
From what I can tell the episode is really funny and I’m looking forward to getting to watch it. Oh, and I’ve’ve got an agent now so if anyone needs a 5’5″ brunette to clap on cue, I now have enough experience to handle the job!
I will never forget when Guns N’ Roses first appeared on my radar. I was in fourth grade riding the bus home from school and my best friend’s older brother pulled his gramophone (an early predecessor to the iPhone, for the youngsters out there) out of his backpack, turned the volume way up, and “Paradise City” invaded my airspace.
Instantly my fourth grade posse was hooked because: 1. the older (and by default, cooler) kids were into it and 2. there is something inherently freeing about blasting music and singing like a badass. Subsequently, for the rest of the year, “Take me down to the paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are pretty” became our mantra, rallying call, and collective theme song.
It’s funny how music can instantly transport you back to a moment or time in your life. I hear that song, and bam! I’m on the bus feeling like teachers don’t know anything and I might just go on tour myself one of these days.
Turns out, you need more than a sassy attitude and penchant for noisiness to make it as a rock star. That was a disappointing realization.
Recently though, solo artist, producer, hot sauce king, and Guns N’ Roses lead guitarist, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal visited Kuala Lumpur and incredibly our paths crossed. I was able to tag along with other press people on his “Appetite for Durian” tour as he visited an orphanage and performed at Auditorium Balai Seni Visual Negara. I wasn’t sure how it would all go down when I was given the chance to meet him, but Ron Thal was as genuine a person as I’ve ever met. I was able to catch many moments where his humanity, patience, and kindness were front and center, so I will let these images speak of his authentic nature.
The next day he did a private concert at Auditorium Balai Seni Visual Negara. It is here that I should mention his passion for hot sauce. In fact he brought his own brand of spicy concoctions everywhere with him and encouraged fearless souls to give them a try. Malaysians aren’t wimps when it comes to heat, so when I saw the people in front of me start to sweat, I quietly backed away from the line.
If this looks appealing/fun/not like torture to you, then by all means, please visit his site to find out more.
When you meet someone exceedingly talented and also famous who turns out to be kindhearted, open, and grounded, you feel like your admiration was not wasted. I never heard Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal complain, or grow tired of the seemingly endless flow of admirers that approached him. He never put a time limit on how long he would sign autographs for. He went out with local musicians and got to know KL through their eyes. Hopefully Bumblefoot’s appetite for durian remains strong, as fans here would love to welcome back this true Guitar Hero.
It’s 7:00 on a Saturday night. Somehow circumstance has trumped the usual rules of logic that dictate my life, and I find myself in the VIP Lounge before a Ninetology All Star Basketball game in Kuala Lumpur’s Putra Stadium . Standing less than 10 ft away is former Spur and perpetual rebel, Dennis Rodman. In spite of the fact that basketball (specifically Spurs basketball) is the only sport I have a soft spot for (to the point where I made sure my daughter had the initials A.J. after Avery Johnson), and that Rodman’s larger than life persona has always intrigued my introverted self, there is not a chance that I’ll be taking even one step closer to meet the man best known for playing by his own rules.
Rodman is not keen on meeting any fans. It’s a vibe that is palatable from where I stand (and perhaps even in San Antonio, right now). He’s the only player in the room who has appointed a man to stand around and make sure no one gets close enough to chat or take a picture without his explicit consent. It’s a tactic that certainly works on easily intimidated fans like me. He doesn’t want feel like a prop for Instagram pictures, he doesn’t need to hear fan validation, or desire to answer questions about his renowned antics. I can respect this, so I move on.
There are other players, most notably former NBA star Doug Christie who has brought along his young son (who he himself home schools), who are excited to meet fans and learn about a new city. Christie is warm and easy to talk to. He tells us about his wife’s upcoming reality TV show, how he enjoyed taking his son to the PETRONAS Towers, and how much he’s enjoyed visiting KL.
I wasn’t familiar with Christie’s career before meeting him, but right away I’m a fan. He relayed a story that I truly appreciated, where on one improbable occasion two people he was working with recounted how his actions had positively impacted them. He couldn’t recall the occasions they were referencing, as they happened long ago, but Christie was so touched that they had remembered him so many years later, and that in effect his kindness had come full circle. As I listened it occurred to me that Doug Christie must start these impromptu circles of kindness wherever he goes.
It’s 8:30 and the game begins. Amazingly, I’m sitting courtside with the best view of a live game I’ve ever had. Out of the corner Dennis Rodman appears, this time in full clown-like makeup–complete with glittering multi-colored hair. The crowd is caught off guard by what they are witnessing, and a flurry of cell phones scurries to capture the scene. It’s an occurrence Rodman initiates, and yet is incongruous with the aloof man in the lounge. But this odd juxtaposition of irreverent flamboyance and social awkwardness is fundamental to his one of a kind personality.
No one can take their eyes off Rodman. He seems to be invoking an alter ego, sort of a (basketball) court jester, as he plays to the crowd making lighthearted gestures and sporadically autographing, then tossing, items into the audience. The other players act as if nothing is out of the ordinary (and perhaps for them, nothing is) and the game is played like any other. Once again, Rodman has set his own rules (this time that a sparkling diva will be taking his place tonight), and others play along.
It’s after 10:00 and I leave the arena. Dennis Rodman did not disappoint. His sardonic, enigmatic, and unpredictable persona was as conspicuous and entertaining tonight as it was back when I was a high school student in San Antonio. But in the long run the more meaningful, and perhaps memorable, experience was getting to have a conversation with Doug Christie. His generosity of spirit is something that will remain with me long after the makeup of the evening’s events has washed away.
Recently it came to my attention that Wanderlust and Wonder had been included in Kuala-Lumpur.ws’ (a travel and local information guide for KL) list interesting blogs. This was certainly flattering news as the list contains a rich assortment of entertaining and informative blogs. I also appreciated that adjacent to each blog link was a synopsis that perfectly captured the spirit and tone the corresponding site.
If you are interested in really getting to know this city or if you are a fan of original points of view, then delving into this list is a must.
Thanks Kuala-lumpur.ws for including Wanderlust and Wonder!