What a month it has been so far. President Obama was re-elected despite the lingering dissatisfaction with the US economy. Israel bombs targets in the Gaza Strip but is ready for a diplomatic solution to end rocket attacks by Hamas. Lynas Corporation has been given the green light to process rare earth products in December. Logging and development continues in the Kanching Forest Reserve despite a post-election assurance from the State Government that they would hold a moratorium on logging in forest reserves. And so we play the waiting game, with a sense of restlessness and hope combined, doing what we can to ensure the best possible outcome. We're just going to have to make the most of the damp days.
Deepavali week was one marked by car troubles and bouts of illness, with both Aravind and I taking turns to have colds and sore throats, thanks to the weather and dedicated colleagues who keep turning up for work despite being ill.
I went shopping in Brickfields on Deepavali Eve with an incredibly patient man. I took particular relish in the crowds, noise, colours and insanity.
The Vivekananda Ashram looks even more picturesque and melancholy in the rain.
Deepavali celebrants thronged the shops for good deals on fresh food and groceries. This is where I usually shop for vegetables and Indian goodies.
Food gifts for my friends, and our Nepali office security guard bhaiyas who are always so helpful with wheelchairs, prams, heavy boxes, difficult individuals and flat tyres. I know this is nothing like being able to celebrate with one's family back in one's home country, but I hope my little gift would make them feel appreciated.
In the course of cleaning out his apartment, Aravind found these Amar Chitra Katha comics from his childhood, and made a gift of them to me, since I didn't have these in my collection yet. He really hit the jackpot with this one. I was so happy I couldn't sleep, thinking about all my "new" comics.
This is our SPCA shelter canine reception officer, Lulu. November is an unproductive month for us volunteers. Due to the poor weather, we couldn't manage to get much dog-bathing or tick treatment done. I would start bathing dogs and before I could even complete bathing and tickwashing the dogs in one section, it would start to rain and I would have to dry everyone off. Aravind and I spent Deepavali evening with our good friend Rangamal after we left the SPCA.
Sunday, 18th November, marked the 16th Anniversary of Waikiki Bar, which is located at the PJ Palms Sports Centre. They conduct a charity event each year to raise funds for worthy causes. This year, their 'Tribute to Kindness" charity event has impoverished families whose critically ill children are in oncology wards as its beneficiaries. My buddies and I seized the opportunity to have fun for a worthy cause.
The festivities kicked off at 11 a.m. with a flea market, food stalls, and fun activities including diving lessons, water walker Zorb balls, photo booths, tarot readings and arts and crafts. These lovely ladies sold delightful little cupcakes and cake pops. How could we resist?
Nicole, Aravind and I contributed books and knick-knacks to the flea market and made a few purchases in return. Here is Nic, looking thrilled with the books she is adding to her collection.
A Zumba demonstration attracted a number of participants and lots of spectators. The clowns decided to strut their stuff, too. Those clowns... they have the moves like Jagger!
No carnival is complete without cotton candy or popcorn.
I had been looking forward to this all week after I found out that there would be Zorb balls (technically, these are water walking balls and not Zorb balls) at the event. RM5 entitles one to 2-3 minutes in the ball. Anything longer would pose a danger of suffocation, as the balls are airtight. Still, it was a fun and novel experience! It was quite difficult to keep my balance in the ball, and walking forward just kept making it move backwards.
Water walking, swimming and diving under an overcast sky -- all for a good cause.
Well, seeing as that it is November, it just HAD to rain torrentially after a few hours of good weather. We took refuge in Out of Africa and had hot beverages and lunch to bide our time. I had the vegetarian pie, which came with mashed potatoes and collard greens. Here are Aravind, Mary and Nicole, waiting for their food to be served.
I bought these adorable Zumreed headphones at the flea market to replace my ancient earphones which went under the wheels of my office chair last week. There were about 10 units of such headphones for sale and I thought they look sturdy enough to last me a good long while. I was right! They work a treat. I love my new headphones.
We learned later that the organisers raised over RM38,000 from the event. I am sure the amount would have been higher if not for the crazy weather. I am glad we were able to play our part, no matter how small.
This crazy weather. It can't last. It has to run out of rain sometime.
So never mind the darkness /
We still can find a way /
Cause nothing lasts forever /
Even cold November rain.
~ Guns N' Roses, 1992.