The Ceilings And Statues Of The United States Capitol Building

Heading up to the U.S. Capitol Building

***Just today, it’s been announced that the dome of the United States Capitol Building in Washington D.C. will undergo very intensive repairs to fix over 1000 cracks, leaks and corrosions that have occurred over the decades. The current dome is almost 150 years old and is a gorgeous piece of architecture. Touring the Capitol Building should be on your must-do list when you visit D.C. Here is a repost of the tour I took last year, from my old blog, dcexpat.com.***

I love the architecture of the Capitol Building, inside and out. If you love it as much as I do, you’ll be happy to know that you can tour the Capitol Building for free, provided they aren’t closed for special events. During off-peak season, it’s easy to just walk in and join a tour slot. I suggest advance online booking if you’re visiting in the summer. Continue reading

Ancient Taoist Rituals Of Ching Ming In Modern Malaysia

IMG_3981_zps6df4f33dTires crunched under the car as we drove slowly onto uneven parts of the worn, tar road. Riding alongside on her motorbike was Aunty, a private caretaker at the cemetery. One hand steered the bike whilst the other held a broom that she pumped upwards in acknowledgement upon seeing us. Aunty stopped when we parked on the side of the road, dismounted with broom still in hand and began chattering happily to my dad and uncle. Continue reading

Female Only Parking Zones in KL Malls

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This one’s in KLCC.

I didn’t really believe my mother when she told me that Mid Valley, one of Kuala Lumpur’s largest malls had sectioned off a part of their parking garage for a specific type of customer–female shoppers driving alone to Mid Valley–until I saw it for myself.

This is a well-intended move by the mall’s management, meant to tighten security for lone female shoppers after they became a prime target in a series of snatch thefts that occurred awhile back. Continue reading

The Good, The Bad & The Durian: Reflections On Being Back In Malaysia

It was exactly a month ago since I set out on this journey back to the homeland. People have asked how I’m adjusting, and as expected, there are pros and cons.

The first two weeks were spent getting over jet lag and the fact that I no longer lived in Maryland. Quite a number of mornings started out with me thinking that I had someplace in Washington D.C. to get to, only to remember that oh, right. I moved halfway around the world. Continue reading

Cat On An Overseas Trip – Part IV: Animal Quarantine In Malaysia

Instagram: @schubertkat

Saturday morning dawned early (March 1) for Schubert, a grey, shorthaired house cat. The alarm buzzed madly at 6 a.m., waking his human friend, who seemed to be in a great hurry to get up. Schubert ambled around her, gazing upwards intently until he was given a pat on the head. She even reached for the catnip flavoured treats this morning and he got three – they are never handed out so early! Then, as he was just done crunching up the last piece, his human friend walked him into a blue carrier bag, zipped it up, slung the bag (with Schubert in it) over her shoulder, and walked out the front door of the house in Rockville, Maryland, where a friend’s Hyundai stood parked waiting for them.

What Schubert didn’t know, was that he was about to fly for a total of 24 hours, on a journey of 17, 599 kilometers (10,936 miles) westward across the contigouos United States, and later, over the Pacific Ocean. A trip that most humans have never even embarked on, and those that have, dread it. Continue reading

Cat On An Overseas Trip – Part III: The Journey

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You put me in this small and miserable space; and you’re expecting me to COOPERATE???

Welcome to Part Three of my series on transporting your pet from the USA, all the way to Malaysia. Part I was was about travel accessories, and Part II was about essential pet travel documents. In this post, Part III, I’ll describe my overall experience travelling with Schubert Cat, including flight check-in, going through security, claiming your pet on arrival and checking him in with the quarantine office (MAQIS.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seeing the Highlights of Seoul in Three Hours

The hotel room was quiet, except for the unobtrusive, low-volume Korean voices drifting from the flat-screen television. I peeked out the window and down towards the lit empty streets with resignation — it was 4:00 a.m. on Friday here in Korea after all.

Earlier in the evening on Thursday, I arrived in Incheon Airport, excited that I could take advantage of a 24-hour layover to explore Seoul. I’d made big plans and plotted out what I wanted to see. After unloading my bags at the hotel, I would ask the front desk for directions to the famous Dongdaemun, set out on an evening walk to the city’s vibrant shopping district and stay there till the wee hours of the night to leisurely browse all the goods. The next morning could be spent taking in the city’s popular sights before heading back to the airport. Continue reading

Cat On An Overseas Trip – Part II: Essential Documents

Instagram: @schubertkat

This post is Part II of my Cat On An Overseas Trip post series. While Part One discussed travel accessories, Part Two will be all about travel documents that you’ll need on both USA and Malaysia ends. In fact, before you make other arrangements, your pet’s documents should be the first step in the process that you should handle, as some may require action before you can get the permits and certificates. Due to the slightly complicated procedures on the Malaysian side, I decided to wait till I had all the necessary paperwork before writing about this part of the process. Continue reading

Five Very Unique Ways to Explore San Francisco

Cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island and Lombard Street — iconic, San Francisco landmarks that are a given on the must-see lists of first-time visitors. A few days of exploring those gorgeous sights are bound to have you hankering for more that the city has to offer, especially to places that fewer tourists know about. Here are my suggestions on how to discover the charming and offbeat side of San Francisco. Continue reading

Virgin American is a Chic and Hip Budget Travel Option

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A painless check-in, even with a cat

Virgin is known as the hip and cool alternative airline, but I wasn’t expecting the interior of the plane to look like it did. A male attendant with spiky hair and hipster glasses stood near the main entrance of the plane; his all-black attire reminded me of a bartender. The plane itself, lit with a dim glow from neon purple and blue lights, had a swanky nightclub feel to it. Lounge music playing overhead amplified that atmosphere.

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