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PP 4353/05/2013 (033269)

September 2013

KL

american

A Publication of the American Association of Malaysia


Contents AAM September 2013 Advertisers Index Advertisers

(A-Z)

2

Director’s Corner

3

Page

Asian Tigers Transpo

Back Cover

CAM

p.26

City Motors

p.4

Crown Relocations

Inside Front Cover

A Cut Above

p.18

Eastern Carpets

Inside Back Cover

The Expat

p.5

Gandhara

p.20

IBU

p.26

ISKL

p.25

IWAKL

p.26

MANZA

p. 26

Pantai Hospital

p.24

Tropicana Medical Centre

p.22

8

4 5 6

9

16

Membership

AAM Messages

Community Service

7

Help Wanted!

8

Weekly Events

What’s On at the AAM

16

Digital Shoe Box: The Duncans Visit Bangladesh

19

Perspectives: Unpremeditated Adventure

21

Diversions: Do You Dream of Becoming a Writer?

22

Health Care in Malaysia

23

19

Editorial

27 28

Memories

AAPP Directory AAM Calendar

21 Cover Photo: Malacca River Art, Malacca, Malaysia Photo by David Terenzio

23 KL American September 2013

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Director’s Corner

Board of Directors President Jennifer Guthrie President.aam@gmail.com 1st Vice President Diane Tenney FirstVP.aam@gmail.com

Hello! I’m Ann Blacklock and I have been in Kuala Lumpur since December, 2012 and loving every minute of my stay so far. I will be your Secretary for the upcoming year. I am joined here with my husband Jon and my precious little girl Boo (my Maltipoo). We have two boys attending Sam Houston State University and both will hopefully graduate within the next two years! We moved here from Montgomery, Texas and before that spent 12 years in Katy until both boys had graduated from Katy High School. I am originally from Louisiana and an LSU graduate just to throw that in there! Geaux Tigers!! I look forward to meeting many new friends and the great year we have planned ahead.

Ann Blacklock

2nd Vice President Vacant SecondVP.aam@gmail.com Secretary Ann Blacklock Secretary1.aam@gmail.com Treasurer Vacant Treasurer.aam@gmail.com Publications Director Kim Starr Editor.KLAmerican@gmail.com Major Events Director Sherlyn Bourne Majorevents.aam@gmail.com Membership Director Merrie Braden Membershipdirector.aam@gmail.com

Secretary

Community Service Directors Claire Hines and Karen Beham Communityservice.aam@gmail.com

Corporate Partners For 2013 Presidential

Corporate Relations Director Lyndsey Scull Corprelations.aam@gmail.com Bazaar Directors Lovie Alptunaer and Mary Mantei Bazaardirector.aam@gmail.com

Liaison Directors American Malaysian Chamber of Commerce Yvonne Miranda

Liberty Eagle AMCHAM Coca-Cola Malaysia Halliburton Santa Fe Relocation Services Talisman Malaysia Limited 2

KL American September 2013

ISKL Hilda Alposilva US Embassy Jessica Schnepple Jo Ann Sernovitz General Manager Ann Tan


Editorial

KL

Welcome Back!

AmericanMagazine Team

Can the calendar be right? Where did summer go? Autumn is my favorite season. Cool crisp weather, beautiful foliage, and of course football… well, back home anyway, not in the tropics! But regardless of what the trees are doing outside my window, what the thermometer says or what they call “football” in this part of the world, the onset of September puts me in a contemplative mood.

Editor Kim Starr Photo Editor Kim Starr Contributors Karen Beham Ann Blacklock Merrie Braden Randee Duncan J. Sophia Anderson Sharon Bakar David Terenzio

September will always be associated with back to school even if it seems that the kids go back earlier and earlier every year. Though my school days are way behind me, the feeling of “new beginnings” persists. I like to check in on how I’m doing with all those optimistic resolutions made nine months ago, and I am inspired to try again if those resolutions are still relevant, or perhaps embark on new projects that improve myself or my life in some way before the year ends. So how am I doing? Back in January I resolved to get out on the town more and discover a new cultural activity in KL each month. Sadly my streak stopped in June owing to a crazy summer travel schedule – time to start again!

Proofreaders Randee Duncan Jennifer Gutherie Stacy Rushton Editorial Support Ann Tan Designer Yap Wai Kuan Advertising Sales Ann Tan Tel: (603) 4021-4367/8 Printer Seng Hoe Printing Process 33, Jalan Hang Tuah 2 Taman Salak Selatan 57100 Kuala Lumpur Tel/Fax: 8941-7603 Publisher American Association of Malaysia The KLAmerican is published 10 times per year. The deadline for inclusion is at least 6 weeks prior to publication which is the 1st of the month. Advertising for non-profit organizations is free-of-charge on a spaceavailable basis. The magazine staff reserves the right to edit copy for clarity, brevity, and accuracy. Information on AAM members is not to be used commercially.

The AAM has a great line-up of activities this month including our annual “welcome back” Shrimp Boil. In this issue new member J. Sophia Anderson treats us to an anecdote about a local adventure, Sharon Baker talks about the creative writing courses she teaches for beginners and experienced writers, and Randee Duncan shares her photos from a recent trip to Bangladesh. And if you’re like me and filled with a “new beginnings” spirit, please consider contributing your talents to the AAM – we need bazaar volunteers, magazine contributors, green committee members, and there are a number of open board positions to fill.

Kim Starr

Publications Director

Reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission, is strictly prohibited.

Unit G-3A, Villa Seavoy 7, Lorong Titiwangsa 8 Taman Titiwangsa 53200 Kuala Lumpur GPS Coordinates: N3° 11.035’, E101° 42.278’

Tel: (03) 4021-4367/8 Fax: (03) 4021-4371 E-mail: aam_kl05@streamyx.com website: www.klamerican.com

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday and Friday 9:00 a.m. - 1 p.m. Closed from 1-2 p.m. every work day for lunch Closed Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays

KL American September 2013

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Membership

What’s new at the AAM? Welcome back from “home” or wherever you roamed this summer. Stop by the AAM Villa on 19 September for an informal morning of coffee and treats, catch up with old friends and welcome new members to KL! See page 10 for details. Hello! Well if it’s the September edition, it must be the beginning of a new year of sorts. Although I am well past the days of taking “first day of school” pictures of my children, somehow this time of year is full of promise for new beginnings.

We will talk about changes afoot at the AAM including our initiative to “Go Green.” Hope to see you there!

For those of you who have moved to Malaysia over the summer holidays, welcome and we hope that you are ready to jump in and become part of our organization. There are many opportunities for you to do fun and interesting things; opportunities for you to learn new languages, cultures, foods, skills and opportunities for you to make new friends. I’ve just returned from my summer holidays in Arizona, where the weather was actually cooler than usual. The temperature only topped 115 once while I was there! I need to get used to it as we will be retiring there in the not too distant future. Wherever your summer holidays may have taken you, I hope that you enjoyed catching up with family and friends and driving on the other side of the road (always exciting those first few days back…). To kick off this “new year”, we have our First Friday luncheon on the 6th at TGIF in the Pavilion; Coffee Morning on the 19th at the Villa and of course the annual Shrimp Boil on the 21st. These are in addition to the other fun things that have been planned and that are itemized on the calendar at the back of this magazine. Take some time now and clear your calendars for these events, tours, classes and get-togethers – you won’t regret it! Looking forward to seeing you all soon. Cheers,

“Selamat Datang ke AAM!” to our new members for July: Anderson, Jodi & Casey Hanford, Holly & Anthony Pohl/Garibaldi, Mary & Brian

Merrie Braden Membership Director

The KL American Sailor Socials (KLASS) is a program that supports U.S. Navy sailors (and occasionally Marines) when their ships come into KL at Port Klang. The socials allow our American members to show their appreciation and home-style hospitality to the servicemen and women who serve to protect all that we hold dear. Events can include dinners or barbecues at home, dinner at your favorite restaurant or even shopping or sightseeing. If you would like to become involved with this program or have any questions, please email aamklass2012@gmail.com. 4

KL American September 2013


AAM Messages Membership Renewal To avoid missing any issues of the magazine and to continue receiving discounted prices for AAM events, please make sure your membership is up to date. Renewal notices will be included with the magazine two months before expiration. Dues can be paid at the office by cash or check or via IPAY.

Reservation & Payment Policy Reservations can be made via fax, email or in person. • The AAM Office will send confirmation of receipt if the reservation is made by fax or email. • Reservations not cancelled five (5) working days before the event must be paid in full. • When minimum attendance is not achieved, the event may be cancelled or rescheduled. • Pay online via IPAY88 or in person by cash or check. AAM Tel: (03) 4201-4367/4368 Fax: (03) 4021-4371 e-mail: aam_kl05@streamyx.com

IPAY88 Please respond within 48 hours of receiving the ipay invoice. AAM hopes you are enjoying the convenience of our online payment service. With this convenient and secure portal you can pay for events, classes, workshops, dues and Building Blocks tuition from your home computer. Simply contact the AAM office to make your reservation and request an online invoice. Then check your email inbox for further instructions – it’s that easy! Note: • Any MasterCard or Visa credit card accepted regardless of issuing bank/country. • Multiple events can be paid for in one transaction. • Service charge: RM 50-250 - RM 5 charge RM 251-500 - RM 10 charge RM 501 and over – 3% charge For additional details, contact the AAM office or visit http://www.klamerican. com/policies.htm.

AAM Online Communities The AAM is now on Facebook! “Like” the AAM Facebook fan page by logging on, typing ‘American Association of Malaysia’ in the Search bar at the top of the page and clicking ‘Like.’ You’ll get the latest information on all of AAM’s exciting events and activities! Our Yahoo! Group remains active as a useful forum for members to consult with other members on queries and recommendations for anything from best family hotels to dentists to household help. Members who have not received an email invitation to join can contact editor.klamerican@gmail. com. Enter “Need AAM Yahoo Invitation” in the subject line, and include full name and AAM membership number in the body of the email. An invitation will be sent via email and you must respond to complete the registration process. For more information go to www.klamerican.com/policies.htm.

Your $0.02 Do you have any ideas or suggestions for new activities, events or workshops that may be of interest to our members? Can you think of ways we can improve our current line-up? Any concerns about the AAM’s building facilities? Your feedback, whether positive or negative, is always welcome. Kindly drop us a line in the Suggestion Box located in the villa or email aam_ kl05@streamyx.com

Solicitation Policy Solicitation of business by any member or guest is not allowed at any AAM function without prior board approval. Members are requested to respectfully observe the policy that membership information is to be used solely for AAM business and is not to be used for personal or business solicitation purposes. If you are interested in sharing your talents/services with the AAM, please contact the AAM office.

KL American September 2013

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Community Service A letter from the UNHCR... The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is an agency mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. It is estimated that in the last five decades, the agency has helped close to 50 million people restart their lives.

Greetings! I hope this finds everyone refreshed and invigorated from their summer vacations wherever they may have been. Welcome to our new members, and to our returning ones! This month, I am including an article from the UN here in Malaysia that is very informative. I hope it will give you insight on the current needs and problems facing refugees. Please lend a helping hand in community service. I promise you, you won’t regret it! Check in with the AAM office for opportunities to get involved, or just start with the contact in this month’s news. I promise, you’ll be happy you did!

Karen Beham

Community Service Director

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KL American September 2013

As of May 2013, there are 104,070 refugees and asylumseekers registered with UNHCR, Malaysia. We constantly strive to improve the lives of these individuals and apart from our staff, volunteers play a huge role in areas such as Community Development, Education, Livelihoods & Self Reliance, Healthcare, Resource Mobilisation, to name a few. We are currently conducting a volunteer drive to increase our Volunteer base and have designed adverts for the same. Request if you could publish one of the attached adverts in your monthly/quarterly publication(s)/website to help us in this endeavour. Looking forward to your assistance in spreading the word and increasing our volunteer base.


HELP WANTED

It’s never too late!

AAM is looking for a few good people! This section will be dedicated to the open board positions that need to be filled. Not sure you want a board position but still want to help out? We will also list any help that will be needed for upcoming events. Keep checking for your opportunity to make a difference! •

Second Vice President – This position gets to help our members have fun every month of the year! Responsibilities include facilitating the monthly activities meeting with the directors and relaying the outcomes to the executive committee during the monthly board meeting.

Treasurer – This position gets to help our association grow financially. Responsibilities include preparing a quarterly financial report in Excel for presentation at the monthly board meeting. No daily entries will be performed by this position holder. (Note: due to business responsibilities, the individual recently voted in resigned shortly after the AGM.)

Webmaster – This position gets to help keep our members informed of all important information including fun events by updating our Google-based website. Responsibilities include attending the monthly activities meeting to receive information for the website and updating information in a timely manner.

Reporter at Large – Do you enjoy writing short stories or articles and sharing them with others? This position is designed for you! The KL American is always looking for submissions from our members. Please feel free to send us your poems, experiences in local adventures, family trip pictures, recipes and anything else you think would be interesting to our community.

Green Committee – As part of the AAM’s Go Green Initiative we are forming a Green Committee to explore ways to reduce the AAM’s carbon footprint as well as be a resource for members wishing to live a greener lifestyle. This committee will also organize activities that celebrate the amazing natural beauty of Malaysia and promote good environmental stewardship of our adopted home!

Bazaar Volunteers - The summer is coming to an end and thoughts of Holidays are reminding us the AAM Christmas Bazaar is near. November 7th is the date and we are in need of coordinators and volunteers! A sign up sheet will be at the AAM Villa or contact Lovie Alptunaer at Bazaardirector.aam@gmail.com

Used Books

Your junk...is someone else’s treasure!!! Please drop off your once-loved items and put a smile on someone’s face. Take your pre-loved items to the AAM office any time between now and 8 November to join our “White Elephant” table. All proceeds go to charity.

Dust off those bookshelves! Clean out those closets! Donate your old books to the AAM. All proceeds go to charity.

KL American September 2013

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Weekly Activities MONDAY

All activities are at the AAM Villa unless otherwise noted.

Mahjong 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Members: free. Non-members: RM10 Get rid of those Monday blues by playing a lively game of Mahjong. We’ll shuffle the tiles, make ‘pungs’ and ‘kongs’ and enjoy the afternoon. Please email Randee Duncan, Mahjong Coordinator, at brduncn@gmail. com, to confirm.

WEDNESDAY

Quilting 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Members: free. Non-members: RM10 New quilters and seasoned quilters work together to share their love of quilting. We meet at the AAM Villa. Please contact coordinator Irene Solomalai at the AAM office (aam_kl05@streamyx.com) for details. Please be sure to put “Quilting Group” in the subject line.

SATURDAY

KL Roadrunners Are you a runner? Are you looking for running friends? Come join the KL Roadrunners. We run on all different levels and newbies are welcome. Contact coordinator Scott Jaynes at sct158@me.com for meeting place and time.

UPCOMING - STARTING THIS FALL

Beginners Bahasa Malaysia – Level 1 (NEW CLASSES) New session starting in September - sign up now: 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays, starting 4 September - 20 November 2013 (12 sessions) Members – RM540, Non-Members – RM640. Materials RM50. Min: 8 / Max: 10 Now is the time to start learning the language of your “adopted” country. This series of classes is led by Puan Mas from Applied Language Systems who will not only teach you the language but also share knowledge that will make your time in KL richer. RSVP to the AAM office by Monday, 26 August 2013, to start this learning experience.

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KL American September 2013


What’s On in . . . September Bingo with Little Sisters of the Poor Every first Tuesday of the month, join our bingo game to help spread the joy at this home for the elderly! We will bring prizes for the winners. The bingo morning is one of the highlights of the month for the residents! Please e-mail aam_kl05@streamyx.com if you can join us. Tuesday, 3 September, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. St. Francis Xavier Home for the Elderly Taman Sri Bahtera, Batu Lima Cheras Tel: 03-9131-1464

First Fridays This monthly social activity is especially for newly arrived expats and provides an opportunity to ask questions, gather information and to meet and relax with new friends over lunch.

Friday, 6 September, Noon TGIFriday’s, Pavilion Mall, Level 6

There will be a reservation under “American Association.” There is no fee to attend, but guests are responsible for their orders. Please pass the invitation to new neighbors and friends! Members old and new are welcome. Please RSVP to aam_kl05@streamyx.com.

Walking Tour of Chow Kit Market Join Angie Ng for a two-hour walk through the famous, wet and noisy Chow Kit Market! Chow Kit is a typical Malay market selling mainly a variety of fresh produce and local fruits. Thursday, 12 September 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Chow Kit Market Members: RM65, Non-Members: RM85 (Minimum 10/Maximum 15 Participants) Meet at entrance of Cititel Express Hotel 449, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (5 min walk from Monorail - Chow Kit Station.)

The locals will always tell you it is still the cheapest market in KL! The goods are well displayed and you can buy most items in a plate for only a ringgit. We shall visit some stalls selling all kinds of household items and also some specialised shops selling baking items, white porcelain plates and full range of kitchen utensils. This tour is inclusive of a Roti Canai lunch with drink at a local food stall. Wear comfortable clothes (no sexy shorts or low cut shirts) and old shoes. Bring along drinking water, your cameras and shopping bags. Do not wear too much jewelry or bring too much cash. RSVP to aam_kl05@streamyx.com by Wednesday, 4 September. KL American September 2013

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What’s On in . . .September Antipodean Café “Let’s do lunch!” Whether you’re in the mood for breakfast, lunch or a decadant dessert, please join us for your midday meal at Antipodean Café on the ground floor of Menara Tan & Tan.

Wednesday, 18 September, 11:45 a.m. Antipodean Café Famous for their bang-up breakfast and outstanding array of sandwiches, Menara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak, salads and delicious treats from Down Under, Antipodean is a popular Ground Floor spot any day of the week. Cost: Individual

RSVP: Email aam_kl05@streamyx.com by16 September.

What’s New at the AAM Coffee Morning Thursday, 19 September, 10 a.m. AAM Villa Sponsored by:

Welcome back from “home” or wherever you roamed this summer. Stop by the AAM Villa for an informal morning of coffee and treats, catch up with old friends and welcome new members to KL! We will talk about changes afoot at the AAM including the new digital format of the magazine and our initiative to “Go Green.” The AAM also has a number of volunteer opportunities available including open Board positions, the newly formed Green Committee, and numerous ways to help with the upcoming charity bazaar so we would like to tell you about those oportunities as well. But it won’t be all business, we’ll have light refreshments as usual and plenty of time to socialize! RSVP by Wednesday18 September, to aam_kl05@streamyx.com.

Cajun: The food, the people and the culture! Laissez les bon temps rouler!!! Let the good times roll with your Cajun friends!!! Gumbo, jambalaya and muffuletta. Come learn about the Cajun holy trinity and dark roux; the heart of most all Cajun cooking. Tuesday, 24 September, 10:00a.m.-1:00p.m. AAM Villa Members: RM75, Non-Members: RM95 Maximum: 12 participants

Join us and pass a good time stirring the pot at your home away from home!!! Home is where the heart is and Cajuns migrated to the best part of the world, South Louisiana - where seafood, smoked meats, rice and local vegetables make Cajun food rustic and delicious! RSVP by 17 September, to aam_kl05@streamyx.com.

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KL American September 2013


Special Events

Join Us for our annual AAM Welcome Back Feast. Includes the fixings and all the shrimp you can eat! Cash Bar! Saturday, September 21 7 pm til Midnight at the AAM Villa! RM 150 members / RM195 non-members

Limit 100 RSVP: aam_kl05@streamyx.com

ther e g to t e g w e n d n a ld o , rs e All memb for a feast of yum! Event sponsors:

KL American September 2013

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What’s On in . . .October Know Your Local Fruits Malaysia’s hot, sunny and humid weather is ideal for growing tropical fruits. When certain fruits are in season, little stalls will spring up along roads and at highway rest stops and the supermarket shelves will be filled to the brim. There is no doubting when durian season is. Just follow your nose!

Tuesday, 8 October 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. AAM Villa Members: RM75, Non-Members: RM90 (Minimum 10 Participants)

For some, tropical fruits consist of bananas, pineapples or coconuts but there are many other different and sometimes weird fruits that are grown in Malaysia. Please join us on Tuesday, October 8th as Chef Judy Loh will show you a variety of local fruits that are currently in season. You will be given an explanation about how to choose ones that are ripe (and buy some at local prices that morning, if you like), followed by a light meal of dishes prepared using some of these local fruits. RSVP to aam_kl05@streamyx.com by Tuesday, 1 October.

Bus Tour to 9th God Festival This is a fascinating Hokkien religious festival that takes place during the first nine days of the ninth lunar month when the 9 Emperor Gods are believed to return to earth to give peace, luck, wealth and good health. On the last night of the festival, a spectacular fire walking ceremony takes place to initiate the gods’ return to heaven. Join Angie Ng on this cultural tour to the 143-year-old Nan Thien Kwang temple Thursday,10 October in Ampang New Village. Since this is a religious festival, tour participants should 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. dress conservatively (no shorts or low-cut shirts) and it is recommended to Nan Thien Kwang Temple Members: RM70, Non-Members: RM90 give personally a RM10 donation to the temple for blessing and good fortune! Includes lunch. Lunch will be at Ampang New Village famous for its Hakka Dish “Yong Tau (Minimum 10 Participants) Foo” (non halal, fish & minced meat stuffed in vegetables). Please remember Meet for pick-up at the side entrance to bring along drinking water but do not wear too much jewelry or bring too of the InterContinental Hotel on Jalan much cash. Ampang (near Ampang Park LRT station) RSVP to aam_kl05@streamyx.com by Wednesday, 2 October.

Off the Eaten Track Save the date for this very special Lunch Bunch. It will be a moveable feast of Malaysian delights! Participants will get to experience some of the “most authentic Malaysian food in the Klang valley” during a guided tour lasting 2 1/2 hours. Our meeting point will be in the vicinity of Jalan Petaling (Petaling Street) with a start time of 10 a.m. Led by two expert guides, we will visit a local market and sample two cuisines at “Off The Eaten Track” places. Wednesday, 23 October 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Members: RM110, Non-Members:RM130 (Minimum 10 Participants) Location disclosed upon registration. 12

KL American September 2013

For this unique tour, we will require a minimum of 10 participants, and we will have a firm registration deadline of October 16th. At the time of registration, you will be given more complete directions for our meeting point. RSVP to aam_kl05@streamyx.com by Tuesday, 16 October.


Announcing the AAM’s inaugural

Town Hall Meeting

Join the Board for a morning of open conversation about the AAM’s past, present and future. We want to hear from you – all comments, questions and suggestions welcome!

October 1, 2013 10:00am – 12:00pm at the Villa Members only. Please e-mail aam_kl05@streamyx.com RSVP by 25 September if you can join us. Light refreshments will be served.

KL American September 2013

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AAM/CAM and Eastern Carpets present

The Fall Rug Auction Friday, 25 October Safir Room, Hotel Istana 73 Jalan Raja Chulan 6:30 p.m. Viewing of rugs, light dinner and drinks 7:30 p.m. to Midnight Auction Members: RM30 Non-Members: RM45 Lucky draws throughout the night *Eastern Carpets is an AAM preferred carpet seller.

Photos from the 2013 Spring Rug Auction

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KL American September 2013

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Digital Shoebox The Duncans Visit Bangladesh Photos and Text by Randee Duncan Bangladesh is located on the Bay of Bengal. Its neighbors are India and Myanmar. The capital city of Dhaka, with a population of over 15 million, is ranked the 9th largest city in the world. It became quickly apparent to us why the city was given the title of being the rickshaw capital of the world. A government study done two years ago found that the roads are so congested that “traffic stands still for more than seven hours per day�. Visiting Bangladesh is not for the faint-hearted or if you have a sensitive nose. Nevertheless, we enjoyed our Dhaka experience. We found the Bangladeshi people to be curious, cordial and kind.

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KL American September 2013


Digital Shoebox

KL American September 2013

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KL American September 2013


Perspectives Unpremeditated Adventures Story and photos by J. Sophia Anderson This past March, my daughter Macy (17 at the time) visited us here in KL for her spring break. After seeing most of the local tourist staples, she and I decided on a whim one day to have what we called an “adventure day”. So with no information other than I had read somewhere that if you go to Port Klang there is a ferry that takes you to an island, we jumped on the train to Port Klang. We got off the train and other than a tiny little KFC, there really was nothing around. We almost got into a taxi and asked them to drive us to the ferry, but instead decided to grab some lunch at KFC and ask there. Well, we can only imagine the fun a taxi driver would have had, had we asked, because the gal pointed literally across the street. We crossed the street and asked someone where to buy ferry tickets. Luckily they didn’t ask where we wanted to go, because we had no idea the name of the island even. We purchased tickets from a lady sitting on a bucket at a folding table. I won’t lie. We were both wondering what we had gotten ourselves into. We boarded the ferry, which was really just a covered, low sitting boat and wondered yet again, where are we going? Well, when the boat made a stop at this ghost town looking island, Macy looked at me with a very nervous look on her face and asked if this was where we were going. I replied that I had no idea and maybe we should wait and see what the other people on the boat do. Luckily, only a couple of people got off, and then we left again. After about 45 minutes we reached Pulau Ketam, which literally means “Crab Island”.

And we’re off...

...low tide in at Crab Island...

Within feet of the pier were bikes to rent, so we rented two and went to explore the island. The entire island is on stilts. There are no cars, only bicycles, and the paths are narrow strips of concrete with old rickety wooden plank bridges. There are a few eating establishments on the island and really that’s about it. Roughly two hours after we stepped off the ferry, we were back in the ferry heading back to Port Klang, with lots of pictures and a story of unpremeditated adventures to tell. ...another Crab Island view...

Mom & Macy’s “Adventure Day” Round trip train for 2 = RM16

Total spent = RM 95.5

Round trip ferry for 2 = RM28

Finding this crazy island called Pulau Ketam...

2 Bicycle rentals = RM16 4 bottles of water = RM4

Priceless!

Snacks = RM5.50 2 Frozen snacks = RM 4 Lunch = RM 22 ...what an adventure! KL American September 2013

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Diversions Do You Dream of Becoming a Writer? Story and photos by Sharon Bakar I started teaching creative writing back in 2005 when I realize that there was absolutely nothing going on for people who wanted to learn to write in Malaysia. I’d been running a writing group for friends and had plenty of exercises and materials I knew worked well. I took my idea to MPH Bookstores who were very supportive, and my first public course, called Getting Started : Finding The Flow was born. I went on to teach my course through the British Council, and then through various other organizations. I now teach on Saturday mornings at Language Works in Sri Hartamas and mid-week at locations in Bangsar. New courses will be starting soon, and if you need details please email me at sharonbakar@yahoo.com. The course is aimed at those who have not written before, or folks who have got stuck with their writing. Even some more experienced writers find the course refreshing. I show new writers how to generate material that can be used for stories, poetry and non-fiction pieces, and help them to improve their confidence. We use words and sentences prompts, brainstorming, listing, photographs, drawing, objects, and dreams as our starting points. The participants write together in class and read out what they have written. The atmosphere is always very encouraging, and nothing is more rewarding than the sense of surprise when someone writes something, and they’ve no idea where it came from. In the final weeks of the course, participants present a piece they have worked on for critique in the group, and hopefully they will end up with something in their hands that can be published. I have more advanced courses to take the participants further. Who Are You? Somebody! focuses on writing autobiographical material which can later be used for memoir pieces, poetry, personal essays, and fiction. It’s about writing honestly and completely from the heart. Finding Stories is a fun course that focuses on using lots of different kinds of sources for fiction, including borrowing characters from other people’s books, transforming personal writing into fiction, writing modern versions of legends and fairy tales, and using automatic story generators. I have recently been working on a course that focuses on reading short stories because that’s the best way to learn aspects of the writing craft, including structure. More courses and workshops are on the way, and I’d love to organize a writing retreat next year.

Students hard at work in Sharon’s class (above), and Sharon Baker (left) Sharon recommends these books by Malaysian authors: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. The author’s highly acclaimed second novel is set in Cameron Highlands. It brings together a war-scarred judge and an exiled Japanese gardener, against the backdrop of the communist insurgency. It was short listed for the Man Booker and took the Man Booker Asian Prize and the Walter Scott Award.

Besides the teaching, I also edit and publish books. Readings from Readings: New Malaysian Writing co-edited with Bernice Chauly came out in 2011, and a second collection Readings from Readings 2: New Writing from Malaysia, Singapore and Beyond, was launched last year. Both grew out of the monthly literary event I organize at Seksan Gallery, 67, Jalan Tempinis 1, Lucky Garden Bangsar. If you want to find out more, there’s a Facebook group for the event (https://www.facebook.com/groups/12482985713/).

Evening Is the Whole Day, by Preeta Samarasan illuminates in heartbreaking detail one Indian immigrant family’s layers of secrets and lies, while exposing the complex underbelly of Malaysia itself. The novel was nominated for the Orange Prize.

If I have a dream, it is to one day establish a writers’ center in Kuala Lumpur, where classes can be taught by different writing teachers, and the public can get help and advice about writing.

Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw explores China’s explosive growth by tracing the fates of five Malaysians who move there to make their fortunes. The novel has been nomated for this year’s Booker prize. KL American September 2013

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! IT T U O B A T A E W S ’T N O D Do you avoid shaking hands with other people when introduced? Do you avoid certain types of clothing? Does your handwriting frequently get smudged or messy? If so, you might be one of the 2-3% of the population that experiences hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is a benign condition that causes abnormal excessive sweating of the hands (palmar), or armpits (axilla) or feet (plantar). It can be socially embarrassing and quite distressing, impacting negatively on personal relationships, career choices and self esteem. Those who don’t suffer with the condition “just don’t get it” and wonder what the big deal is. The fact is this condition can be debilitating and often affects adolescents and young adults.

Dr Anand Sachithanandan M.B. B.Ch. B.A.O.(Dublin) A.F.R.C.S. (Ire), F.R.C.S.I.(C-Th)(UK), A.M.(Mal) Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon (UK trained and Board Certified) Tropicana Medical Centre

TROPICANA MEDICAL CENTRE

11, Jalan Teknologi, PJU 5, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan. T: +603-6287 1111 W: www.tropicanamedicalcentre.com FB: www.facebook.com/TropicanaMedicalCentre E: enquiries@tropicanamedicalcentre.com

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KL American September 2013

Hyperhidrosis is either primary or secondary in nature. Primary hyperhidrosis is due to overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system whilst secondary hyperhidrosis is usually due to an underlying medical condition most commonly thyroid disease or diabetes, or anxiety. Whilst most of us will perspire or sweat in a hot humid climate like Malaysia, excessive or disproportionate sweating particularly in the hands or axilla is abnormal and can be treated. Various treatments are available for primary hyperhidrosis including anti-perspirants, iontophoresis (a technique which uses a small electric charge to deliver a chemical through the skin), botox injections and surgery. With the exception of surgery, most treatments are temporary or ineffective but still costly. Secondary hyperhidrosis is due to an underlying medical disorder which should be addressed and not treated with surgery. The sympathetic chain, an array of specialised nerves (called ganglia) that travel either side of the spine, is responsible for performing many specialised functions such as bowel function, gland function and sweating. In the case of hyperhidrosis, a state of abnormally increased sweating, the sympathetic chain stimulates the sweat glands excessively and inappropriately therefore patients tend to sweat unexpectedly even in the absence of heat or physical activity. Most patients tend to have isolated sympathetic over-activity and suffer with hyperhidrosis in specific parts of the body. The commonest sites are the face, armpits, hands and soles. These patients can be cured of their unpleasant sweating by selectively destroying the parts of the sympathetic chain that supply the sweat glands to the face, armpits and palms (T2/T3 ganglia) without any other significant side-effects. The sweat glands still receive a nerve supply from other nerves; hence patients can still sweat in response to exercise and heat but no longer sweats inappropriately or excessively. This selective destruction of certain parts of the sympathetic chain is performed using a minimally invasive approach with an endoscope (an instrument with a tiny camera at its end which transmits pictures to a TV screen in the operation theatre). This gives the surgeon a full view of the chest cav-

ity enabling him to identify the sympathetic chain. Electrocautery (electrical energy is converted into thermal heat energy) is used to destroy the nerve ganglia at the correct level. The operation is commonly referred to as a Video Assisted Thoracoscopic (VATS) Sympathectomy or Endoscopic Transthoracic Sympathectomy (ETS). It is usually performed by a cardiothoracic (heart & lung) surgeon familiar with the anatomy and structures in the chest cavity. The operation is performed through a small incision (0.5-1cm) in the armpit fold and hence very cosmetic. It usually takes about 30 minutes in total to address both sides and is usually performed as a day-case under a short general anaesthetic. We all have two sympathetic chains; one responsible for functions on the right side of the body and one on the left. The same parts of the sympathetic chain must be destroyed on both sides in order to stop the over-sweating on both sides. A sympathectomy is highly effective with an immediate result in most patients. The success rate is highest for symptoms of palmar hyperhidrosis (sweaty hands – over 90% success rate) but less for axillary (armpit sweating – 75% success rate) and plantar (sweaty feet) symptoms – 50%. Hence the indication for surgery is an important consideration. It is a very low risk procedure but as with any surgical operation not entirely without risk. It is vitally important that should you decide to have the operation, the operating surgeon explains in detail all potential albeit low risks and his results. The most common risk or perhaps more accurately side-effect is compensatory sweating. Sweating is a normal and vital physiological biological function that helps keep us cool. Following surgery, the sweat output may increase elsewhere in the body for example over the back or lower trunk/ abdomen or thighs, and this phenomenon is compensatory sweating. This may occur in up to 50% of patients and occurs immediately or several months after the surgery. Compensatory sweating may resolve itself. However the vast majority of patients who suffer with sweaty hands find this a highly acceptable consequence following surgery. Conclusion Excessive and inappropriate sweating or hyperhidrosis may be a benign condition but it can significantly affect one’s confidence and quality of life. Most non-surgical treatments are ineffective or temporary however in selected patients, surgery offers an excellent, low risk, highly effective and permanent solution. Consultation with an appropriate specialist will enable you to make an informed choice on what is the best available treatment for you and your condition. Each individual must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and, depending on your symptoms, you may (or may not) be an appropriate candidate for a sympathectomy.


Memories SNO - HEALY MAC’S, 13 JULY Photos by Bill Duncan AAM members enjoyed a fun evening of coversation, drinks and grub in the authentic Irish Pub atmosphere at this popular night spot.

FIRST FRIDAYS - TGIF’S, 2 AUGUST Photos by Randee Duncan Newly arrived Ex Pats were welcomed to KL by AAM members at this monthly social event.

KL American September 2013

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KL American September 2013


KL American September 2013

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he... Come to t

MANZA

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR Sunday, 17th November 2013

Persatuan Wanita Antarabangsa Kuala Lumpur International Women´s Association of Kuala Lumpur

PRESENTS

IWAKL 25th Anniversary Dinner “A Touch of Silver”

10am-2pBme Venue To Confirmed

RM15

Entry Fee ai la bl e Pa rk in g av

Come and celebrate with us 25 years of Understanding. Sharing. Cooperation. Peace. Friendship. Respect. Unity. Date: Friday 4 October 2013 Time: 7.30pm - 11.30pm

Contact iwakul@gmail.com or Apsara 016- 3862144 More details on iwakl.org Funds are raised for:

Venue: Intercontinental Hotel, KL Tickets: RM300 / RM500 (VIP) per person

Gifts • Crafts • Charity Stalls • Trash & Treasure • Books Home Baking • Raffle • Charity Quilt • Refreshments

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KL American September 2013

Dress code:

Orphanage for HIV & special needs kids

Black Tie and for Ladies - something silver

www.rumahjaireh.com


American Association Privilege Program Directory BEAUTY The Belfry Salon Lot G-03A, The Troika, 19 Persiaran KLCC Tel: 03-2168-8802 Website: www.thebelfrysalon.com AAM Discount: Complimentary Argan Oil (Moroccan oil) hair treatment with any color service (NP: RM100). Please mention during booking. bmic Nail Spa Salon S18, Pamper Floor Starhill Gallery Tel: 03-2148-1818 Pavilion Level 7 Tel: 03-2141-1326 Website: www.bmic.com.my AAM Discount: 10% off nail care treatments, waxing, eyelash extensions, and Elife Wellness Therapy treatments Energy Day Spa Energy Day Spa Ampang Lot 4, Level 4, Great Eastern Mall Tel: 03-4256-8833 Website: www.energymindbodyspirit.com AAM Discount: 15% off any ala carte spa, facial, or massage treatment. Special Offer for 1st Visit: Triple Action Exfoliation treatment for RM250 (Normal price: RM398) Faceworks Clinic S16, Pamper Floor, Starhill Gallery Tel: 03-2144-0080 Website: www.faceworksclinic.com AAM Discount: 15% off treatments. 10% off all products. Get a free facial during your birthday month! Sign a friend up for a package and receive a mystery gift. IPL Skin Care Clinique S2, Pamper Floor, Starhill Gallery Tel: 03-2141-4277 or 03-2141-4280 Website: www.iplskincare.com RM99 for first trial: 90-minute Intensive Rejuvenation Facial Therapy and Hot Stone Shoulder massage (Normal price: RM190) OR 60-minute Full Relaxation Ginger Body Massage (Normal price: RM150) The London Orchid 67M Plaza Damansara, Bukit Damansara Tel: 03-2095-6009 Website: www.thelondonorchid.com AAM Discount: 15% discount on treatments to all members of the AAM, including the only spray tan service in KL!

HOUSEHOLD/GIFTS EuroChef Malaysia Unit P-1-21, Block P, Plaza Damas Tel: 6201-8863 Website: www.eurochefasia.com AAM Discount: 15% (Excludes machinery, Frilich items, Flavor Shaker, cookbooks, and promotional items)

Royal Selangor Website: www.royalselangor.com AAM Discount: 10%

DINING Amadeus Bistro & Wine Bar Mezzanine Level, Wisma Life Centre 20 Jalan Sultan Ismail Tel: 03-2162 2788 Website: www.amadeusbistro.com.my AAM Discount: Receive 10% off total bill, enjoy Happy Hour prices all night except for Fridays and Saturdays, OR get a free bottle of wine when you spend RM500 and above on one receipt Fresca Mexican Kitchen & Bar Lot G242A, The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley Tel: 03-2201-2893 Email: info@fresca.com.my Website: facebook.com/frescabar AAM Discount: Receive a free mystery dessert with a minimum spend of RM100 on a single receipt. Not valid in conjunction with other ongoing promotions, set menu and public holidays. House GTower G02 & LG02-04, GTower 199 Jalan Tun Razak Tel: 2164-4424 House eCurve G25 & G26, e@Curve 2A, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara Tel: 7722-2414 Website: www.housegroup.com.my AAM Discount: 10% discount on all ala carte food and beverage (excluding alcohol). Discount is applicable everyday including public holidays. Not valid in conjunction with other ongoing promotions. TGIFriday’s Website: fridays.com.my Receive a free Crispy Cheesecake dessert from TGIFriday’s Pavilion, Hartamas Shopping Centre or Menara Hap Seng when you present your membership card.

SERVICES Crown Relocations Tel: 03-5637-9166 Website: www.crownrelo.com AAM Discount: 15% off local moves within Malaysia. Complimentary 2-hour handyman services for moves more than RM5,000. 15% discount for one-day orientation service and 10% discount ony immigration services. Complimentary Home Search for rentals above RM5,000. Three Sixty Computer Services Tel: 012-377-3522 (Clement Tan) Email: cletan10@yahoo.com AAM Discount: 10% off service charges The American Association Privilege Program (AAPP) offers special discounts and privileges to AAM members. Just flash your AAM membership card! If you are a business interested in joining the AAPP, contact the AAM office at aam_kl05@streamyx.com. KL American September 2013

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american association of malaysia KL

September 2013

Sun 1

8

Mon 2

1 - 3 p.m. Mahjong

9

1 - 3 p.m. Mahjong

Tues 3

10 - 11 a.m. Bingo @ Little Sisters of the Poor

10

Wed 4

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Beginners Bahasa Malaysia, Level 1

Thu 5

6

12 - 2 p.m. First Fridays @ TGIF, Pavilion

10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Quilting

11

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Beginners Bahasa Malaysia, Level 1

Fri

Sat 7

7 a.m. KL Roadrunners

Sept 6 - 8: Sarawak Weekend Tour by The Expat Group

12

13

19

20

9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Walking Tour of Chow Kit Market

14

7 a.m. KL Roadrunners

10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Quilting

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16

17

AAM Closed

18

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Beginners Bahasa Malaysia, Level 1

10 a.m. Coffee Morning

7 a.m. KL Roadrunners 7 p.m. til Midnight Shrimp Boil

10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Quilting

Malaysia Day

21

11:45 a.m. Lunch Bunch

22

23

1 - 3 p.m. Mahjong

24

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Cajun Cooking

25

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Beginners Bahasa Malaysia, Level 1

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27

28

7 a.m. KL Roadrunners

10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Quilting

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30

1 - 3 p.m. Mahjong

VENUE KEY

AAM Office Tel : (03) 4021 4368

AAM Off Site

email: aam_kl05@streamyx.com

Happy Malaysia Day 28

KL American September 2013


(60-3) 5565 2200


KL American - September 2013